Monday, May 20, 2024

Evan Oliphant’s Haut Var

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HomeInterviewsEvan Oliphant's Haut Var

Down in the South of France for Haut Var it was AG2R and F des J reminding us that the French teams work hard in the winter, too.

Long term 2009 Tour yellow jersey wearer, Rinaldo Nocentini took stage one and the man with the lucky four leaf clovers on his tricot, Christophe Le Mevel took stage two and the GC.

Endura could have done with some of the luck from those F des J clovers; Evan Oliphant was there to witness the punctures and crashes that blighted the second race of the Scottish team’s continental adventure.

Haut Var
Rinaldo Nocentini.

AG2R have hit the ground running, Evan.

“Yeah, they rode all of stage two on the front – until we hit the big climb with 40 K to go and it fragmented.

“You can see they’ve put in a good winter, they covered everything until the climb.”

Was the weather any better?

“It was sunny, I rode in shorts both days but it was down to minus three over that big climb on stage two and I was freezing on the run in.”

Haut Var
Christophe Le Mevel.

Stage one?

“We had loads of drama – Davie Lines punctured after the first climb and didn’t get back; Gary Hand was dropped in the cross winds; Scott Thwaites crashed at the feed but got back on; but just as he got back, Jack Bauer crashed heavily, they took him to hospital and kept him, over night.

“Me, Ian Wilkinson, Rob Partridge and Alex Blain were all still in the group, but then Wilko hit a wall and wrecked his rear gear mechanism – and I punctured!

“I nearly made it back, I was in a group of 20 guys but as we were making the junction there were riders getting dropped and we couldn’t quite get on – it’s a pity because I was feeling really good.”

Stage two?

“Our race was going to be to the big climb – that was 15 K long – so we tried to get in a move but we didn’t make it.

“AG2R controlled it all day, until the climb, it was never savage, but never easy, either – it blew apart on the climb.”

Haut Var
Rob and Ian share a joke before the off.

How’s Jack?

“He was out on his bike yesterday and today; he’s been looking very good in training but he’ll have to get used to the cold weather and he’ll probably still be a little jet lagged from the flight from New Zealand – it usually takes about a week to get over that.”

I see Ross Creber, James McCallum and James Moss didn’t ride at Haut Var.

“Ross had a bit of a cold, James Moss hasn’t fully recovered from his crash and besides, management wanted other riders to get the chance to race.”

Rob Partridge finished well on Saturday.

“Yeah, I was with him when I punctured, I’ve finished with him – it was flat on the run in over those last 25 K.”

Jack Bauer.

Rob Hayles hasn’t been riding?

“He’s been in the car; him and James McCallum are off to Singapore to ride a big money criterium, there.”

How’s morale with the guys who were DNF?

“Gary Hand’s still a little ill, him and David Lines are going to Lanzarote to train – they’re not riding Murcia.

“Scott Thwaites is still a little under the weather after his crash.”

When does Murcia start?

“A week on Wednesday, we’re going to drive across there, stopping off at Barcelona and training as we go.

“There’s a 20 kilometre time trial in Murcia, so we’ve got our TT bikes over – it’ll be good to try them out.

“The race is over five days, but that time trial is short, so really it’s only four days.”

What’s after Murcia?

“We’re back to the UK for the first big race of the season – the Premier Calendar event, The Tour of the Reservoir.

“Alexandre Blain has organised a race in France for us between then and the big race at Easter – the three day in South West Scotland.

“It’s all up on the team website.”

How’s Team Sky looking?

“I remember when I was with DFL we would get a bit of hassle; guys not letting you into the string and such like – Endura has had none of that, but Sky have!

“It’s their B team here, but they certainly don’t seem to be very popular.”

Haut Var
The team’s LOOKs before the start.

The Med and Haut Var – a good value experience or a bludgeoning?

“Personally, it’s good, I’ve got round all these hard stages without too much of a hammering – when I recover, I’ll have good form for the UK races.

“And for the young guys – it’s an eye opener, let’s them see how much they have to learn!”

We’ll be talking to our man in the peloton again, after Murcia. Meanwhile, safe journey to Spain guys, and thank you for the insights, Evan.

Haut Var Results

Stage One

1 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 3:58:53
2 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:00:03
3 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
4 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française Des Jeux
5 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne
6 Jérémie Galland (Fra) Saur – Sojasun 0:00:06
7 Steven Tronet (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
8 Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin – Transitions
9 Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank
10 Julien El Fares (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
11 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quick Step
12 Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
13 Guillaume Faucon (Fra) Big Mat – Auber 93
14 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin – Transitions
15 Cédric Pineau (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
16 Johan Mombaerts (Fra) Big Mat – Auber 93
17 Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Big Mat – Auber 93
18 Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller
19 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:11
20 Chris Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank
21 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
22 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:00:13
23 Karsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing Team
24 Cyril Gautier (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
25 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
26 Jocelyn Bar (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
27 Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
28 Clément Lhotellerie (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
29 Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Rabobank
30 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne
31 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
32 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
33 Mickael Larpe (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
34 Laurent Didier (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
35 Roy Curvers (Ned) Skil – Shimano
36 Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Française Des Jeux
37 Anthony Roux (Fra) Française Des Jeux
38 Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank
39 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank
40 Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
41 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) Sky Professional Cycling Team
42 Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
43 Pierre Rolland (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
44 Koen Barbe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
45 Tom Veelers (Ned) Skil – Shimano
46 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step
47 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
48 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Sky Professional Cycling Team
49 Julien Simon (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
50 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
51 Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
52 Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
53 Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
54 Yury Trofimov (Rus) BBox Bouygues Telecom
55 Julien Mazet (Fra) Big Mat – Auber 93
56 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller
57 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin – Transitions
58 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:00:23
59 Alexandre Blain (Fra) Endura Racing
60 Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez (Spa) Bretagne – Schuller
61 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank
62 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
63 Renaud Dion (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
64 Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
65 David Lelay (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
66 Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
67 Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank
68 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne
69 Dario David Cioni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team
70 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
71 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
72 Morris Possoni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team
73 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
74 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team
75 Dimitri Champion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
76 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française Des Jeux
77 Michael Barry (Can) Sky Professional Cycling Team
78 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank
79 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
80 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur – Sojasun 0:00:30
81 Johan Le Bon (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller
82 Robert Partridge (GBr) Endura Racing 0:00:35
83 Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller 0:00:47
84 Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team
85 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
86 Robin Chaigneau (Ned) Skil – Shimano 0:00:49
87 Frederik Wilmann (Nor) Skil – Shimano
88 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
89 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne 0:00:59
90 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Rabobank 0:01:11
91 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil – Shimano 0:01:17
92 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet 0:01:19
93 Steven Caethoven (Bel) Landbouwkrediet 0:01:20
94 Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Landbouwkrediet
95 Mikael Cherel (Fra) Française Des Jeux
96 Trent Lowe (Aus) Garmin – Transitions 0:01:40
97 Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Saur – Sojasun 0:01:51
98 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:01:53
99 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:02:14
100 Christian Meier (Can) Garmin – Transitions 0:09:12
101 Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:09:18
102 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne
103 Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
104 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française Des Jeux
105 Noan Lelarge (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller
106 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team Saxo Bank
107 Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
108 Niels Brouzes (Fra) Big Mat – Auber 93
109 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale 0:09:29
110 Jonathan Thire (Fra) Big Mat – Auber 93 0:09:36
111 Evan Oliphant (GBr) Endura Racing 0:14:38
112 Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Quick Step
113 David Boucher (Fra) Landbouwkrediet
114 Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) Team Saxo Bank
115 Arnaud Molmy (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole
116 Nadir Haddou (Fra) Big Mat – Auber 93
117 Mathieu Halleguen (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller
118 José Luis Arrieta Lujambio (Spa) AG2R La Mondiale
119 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank
120 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank
121 Ian Wilkinson (GBr) Endura Racing
122 Florian Stalder (Swi) BMC Racing Team
123 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
124 Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller
125 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team
126 Thomas Frei (Swi) BMC Racing Team
127 Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin – Transitions
128 Steve Houanard (Fra) Skil – Shimano
129 Thomas Peterson (USA) Garmin – Transitions
130 Addy Engels (Ned) Quick Step
131 Jeffry Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team
132 Maxime Mederel (Fra) Big Mat – Auber 93
133 Anthony Charteau (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
134 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom 0:18:09
135 Scott Thwaites (GBr) Endura Racing
136 Andrei Kunitski (Blr) Quick Step
DNF Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team
DNF Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d’Epargne
DNF Jack Bauer (NZl) Endura Racing
DNF David Lines (GBr) Endura Racing
DNF Gary Hand (GBr) Endura Racing
DNF Andres Sergio De Lis (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
DNF Pierre Cazaux (Fra) Française Des Jeux
DNF Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) Française Des Jeux
DNF Martial Ricci Poggi (Fra) Landbouwkrediet
DNF Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quick Step
DNF Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quick Step
DNF Branislau Samoilau (Blr) Quick Step
DNF Kai Reus (Ned) Rabobank
DNF Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Skil – Shimano
DNF Job Vissers (Ned) Skil – Shimano

Stage Two

1 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française Des Jeux 5:03:47
2 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom
3 Bert de Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
4 Cédric Pineau (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole 0:00:02
5 Julien El Fares (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
6 Chris Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:09
7 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur – Sojasun 0:00:15
8 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:00:16
9 Yury Trofimov (Rus) BBox Bouygues Telecom
10 Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne – Schuller
11 Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:00:19
12 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Saur – Sojasun