【FR】 Cyclingnews Report : Tour de Taiwan Victory - Team La Pomme Marseille


Ever placed Benjamin Giraud finally caps it off



While mountain bikers are usually known for their transformation as great climbers on the road, Frenchman Benjamin Giraud of La Pomme-Marseille has set an exception to the rule as he became an excellent sprinter but it wasn't a standard victory with just a bunch sprint finish that he claimed at the end of stage 6 in the Tour of Taiwan. Firstly, he was the first attacker of the day, from km 3 to 10, together with Champion System's Mart Ojavee. Secondly, he survived a long and hard climb to be able to come across to the 22 leaders in the finale. Thirdly, he could only count on one team-mate, South Africa's Chris Jennings who had ridden aggressively earlier on, to face the head wind and bring him back onto the attackers alongside the Taiwan Strait ahead of a bunch gallop.

"I didn't panic", Giraud told Cyclingnews after the finish. "As we passed the finishing road the other way round during the stage, I knew what the last 200 metres were like, and it was exactly to my taste as I prefer slightly uphill finishes. In the sprint, I always kept the situation under my control with an advantage of two length of a bike. I'm delighted. This is my first win at category 1 level. Some people might disregard it as it is a race in Asia but the Tour de Taiwan is a very nice race with an unbelievable battle every day from km 0 till the end. It's important for my team to win here on our Taiwanese bikes CKT. I know it's not China here but last year, in China, I finished seven times in the top 3 and nineteen times in the top 10 at the three races I took part in: Tour of Qinghai Lake, Tour of Hainan, Tour of Taihu Lake. It was time for me to win. It brings a totally different feeling to be a winner."

His continental team La Pomme-Marseille was continuously at the front with Thomas Vaubourzeix riding away from the bunch for fifty kilometers, initially with Joe Cooper ( Huon-Genesys ), Yoshimitsu Hiratsuka ( Aisan ), Dennis van Niekerk ( MTN-Qhubeka ) and Takero Terasaki (Japan) and later with counter attacker Liu Hao ( Max Success ) who missed a curve in a downhill and made his way back on the road through some cars parked at an intersection.