So close… Anthony Turgis was once again on the verge of winning the French National Road Race Championships. As in 2018, the 28-year-old racer came second.
A team on the attack
The 2022 French National Road Race Championships held the promise of a great performance around Cholet, and did not disappoint! True to their reputation, the Team TotalEnergies racers kept up their attacks throughout the day. A few kilometers after the start, 14 cyclists broke away, including Geoffrey Soupe, Valentin Ferron, Fabien Doubey and Pierre Latour. The Groupama-FDJ team took things in hand, cycling at the front of the peloton to keep the break in check.
Three laps from the finish, the gap closed to under a minute, pushing the breakaway racers to attack. The pack started to get organized in this strategic race, dooming the breakaway at 30 kilometers from the finish. Mathieu Burgaudeau, Adrien Petit and Florian Sénéchal took the lead. The race was getting stressful, and Mathieu paid the penalty by falling in a bend. Our young racer was more shaken than hurt, getting away with a few superficial grazes.
Anthony Turgis in second place, a frustrating result
The decisive factor in this race was ultimately the La Séguinière uphill stretch, 10 kilometers from the finish. With a big effort by the Cofidis team, Benjamin Thomas led a very definite attack, followed only by Florian Sénéchal (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl). A trio composed of Axel Zingle (Cofidis), Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic) and Anthony Turgis followed a few seconds behind. They caught up with each other 2 kilometers from the finish. There was therefore no massive sprint, and the fight for victory took place between these five men. Anthony Turgis was finally beaten by a half wheel’s length by Florian Sénéchal. This was a cruel outcome for the racer, who had already come in second in this same race in 2018, and in the Milan-San Remo in March.
“It was a great sprint, I can’t complain”
France Télévisions journalists asked the runner-up of the French Championships for his first impressions.
“I’ve come second in the French championships before. It’s an excellent result but the most important thing is the jersey you wear all season. It’s what all racers dream of. I was capable of winning, but that’s the way it goes, that’s cycling. It was a great sprint, I can’t complain. We were almost home and dry today. We all rose to the occasion.”