By winning the 42nd edition of the Tour du Limousin, the French rider Mathieu
Perget took his first professional victory. A beautiful way of celebrating the way in which his team, Caisse d’Epargne, dominated the Tour du Limousin during the whole week.
132 riders representing 22 nations came to the start of this edition. Among them, the heros of July (Tour de France): Brice Feillu
(Agritubel), Thomas Voeckler, Pierrick Fédrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne). They all won a stage in the « Grande Boucle ».
2 riders, Nicolas Vogondy (Agritubel) and Mathieu Perget (Caisse
d’Epargne), are the first to attack on the road towards Ussel.
This happened in the climb of the Côte de Lestards, at kilometer 68, and they stay ahead during almost the whole 1st stage since the peloton gets back on them at only 4 kilometers from the finish line. The victory and the yellow leader's jersey are for the Slovenian rider Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil), who wins the sprint ahead of Xavier
Florencio Cabre (Cervelo) and Paul Martens (Rabobank).
Eymoutiers receives the Tour
du Limousin for the first time in its history, for the start of the 2nd stage which will be remembered of due to the high temperatures. This doesn't bother the leading duo of the day, Jonathan Thiré (Auber 93) and Anthony Charteau (Caisse
d’Epargne). They have a nice ride through the Parc
Naturel Régional de Millevaches.
But like in the first stage, at only a few kilometers from the finish, the leading group is taken back by the peloton. On the finish line in Felletin - which also received the race for the very first time -
Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) shows he's in a better shape than his two compatriotes, Romain Feillu (Agritubel) and Sébastien Chavanel (Française
des Jeux). He also takes the lead in the general classification.
Saint Mathieu celebrated on 20 August!
The 3rd stage between Saint-Martin-de-Jussac and Saint-Junien highly influences the resulot of this 42nd edition. As if it were a sign, the peloton visits at kilometer 26 the city of ... Saint-Mathieu! And at about 120 kilometers from the finish, Mathieu Perget, decides to get away from the peloton in a climb. David Arroyo, his team mate, is the only one to follow him. The rider from Montauban is only 20
seconds away from the yellow jersey. Arroyo turns out to be a hard worker, but goes over his limit and delays the progression of the leading duo in the final of the stage. However, Perget decided he wanted to finish the stage with him, to be able to celebrate the result of their hard work together. Behind them, the threatening peloton seems to get back on them and the gap which was about 3 minutes is down to several tens of seconds at 3 kilometers from their goal.
In Saint-Junien, Arroyo and Perget cross the finish line hand in hand, with the stage victory for the Spanish rider and the yellow jersey for his French team mate. With no less than 23 seconds on his 1st opponent, Perget, with the help of his team, is now in a perfect position
for the final win in Limoges.
Romain Feillu's stage win on the Boulevard de Beaublanc, at the end of the 4th stage from Châlus to Limoges, announces the end of the Tour du
Limousin 2009. Perget, dressed in yellow, can celebrate the result of the hard work on the hot roads of the Limousin. A Tour du Limousin even better than expected, in meteorological conditions similar to the south of France which apparently pleased the rider from Montauban!