Gaudin tops Chavanel in Paris-Nice surprise prologue.

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Who wanted to win the prologue of the Race to the Sun, Paris-Nice? The man with the scariest teeth.

Now that should have been Omega-Druga’s Sylvain Chavanel who bared his white teeth in a grimace of pain as he approached the finish line. He looked like a vampire who hadn’t had a bloody cocktail in a several months. The man was thirsty for a victory.

However, the surprise winner was Damian Gaudin (Europcar) who took the prize by less than a second. Maybe he was the rider who had the most aerodynamic teeth. It was his first win and it was a monster. French cycling is on fire and Europcar is building for Le Grand Shindig in July.

The course was 2.9 kilometers, pan flat and highly technical with thirteen corners. Made for a specialist or a sprinter who could master the violent accelerations out of those corners. The young Frenchman nailed it in 3:37, beating Chava by a tooth and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) by not much more.

Gaudin says he has been inspired by Fabian Cancellara and he certainly looked slightly Spartacus. He could barely fit his muscular arms into the green skin-suit. A track pursuit and madison rider, he knows how to muscle a bike in and out of a corner.

Sometimes it’s the legs, sometimes it’s the legs and the teeth.

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