Florian Sénéchal was crowned French champion for the first time, winning in a small committee sprint ahead of Anthony Turgis, Sunday June 26 in Cholet. The jersey remains with the Quick-Step team as the 28-year-old from the North takes over from Rémi Cavagna.

Julian Alaphilippe, for his return to racing two months after his fall, completed the 240 km in the peloton. Two months after his fall with severe results (hemopneumothorax and multiple fractures of the ribs and a scapula) in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the double world champion even helped Sénéchal to plug a hole 10 kilometers from the finish in the only slight difficulty of the circuit, the Côte de la Séguinière, where Cofidis launched the decisive movement with Benjamin Thomas.

Isolated in the lead with the roller-tracker, Florian Sénéchal was joined by a counter group of three including Anthony Turgis, a good finisher as evidenced by his second place in Milan-San Remo in the spring. Despite the efforts made in the lead and the numerical superiority of Cofidis, also represented by the young Axel Zingle, the Cambraisien was the fastest. He deprives his ex-northern formation of the tricolor knitting which has always eluded him since its creation in 1997.

“We knew Florian was fast in the sprint so we kept him in the last shot”, deciphered Julian Alaphilippe, even if Sénéchal, seeing the big favorite Arnaud Démare in difficulty, did not wait for a grouped finish. “I can’t say I had a lot of fun, but I was better than I thought so I’m happy,” he added five days before the start of the Tour de France in Copenhagen, where its presence remains to be formalized.