Sylvain Chavanel is Alexander Vinokourov without the drugs and slavic accent.
He attacks, he’s aggressive, he takes chances, tosses caution to the winds, trusts his instincts, rolls the dice and defies the odds. In short, he’s a French badass.
His win today in the French championship road race was vintage Chavanel. He launched his attack 27k from the finish on a hill course and rode to a solo victory 38 seconds ahead of the rest of the charging French horde.
2010 French champion Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Anthony Roux (FDJ) got the scraps because they waited, did not roll dice, played a game of calculations and did not combine their joie de vie with some joie de victoire.
“There couldn’t have been a better way to win,” said Chavanel. “Arriving solo you get the chance to savor the victory. I attacked from far away because there were many riders ahead and if I had waited any longer I would have risked getting shut out of the final.”
Savor is what you do when you’re French and that includes kisses from the podium girls and French champagne. It’s a sweet triumph coming less than a week before the biggest, most prestigious bike race in France and the world.
Chavanel now has the honor of wearing the jersey of French champion at La Grand Boucle. He took two stages in 2010 and he’s even more confident and motivated now.
We look forward to seeing Chavanel ride. He’s one of the guys who “animates” a race and win or lose he gives 100%. Just like Vino only without the hotsauce.