What's Cool In Road Cycling

Winn-ing Is Easy For Julian!

He had a pretty tough baptism into the world of professional racing, but Welshman Julian Winn has come through the heat of Langkawi and the trauma of Paris-Nice to score his first victory in the European peloton.

Winn came out on top of a small group sprint edging French fliers Emmanuel Magnien and Jimmy Casper, giving the Danish squad one of their best results of the year so far at the GP de Villers-Cotterкts yesterday afternoon.

Helped out by powerful team-mate Magnus Backstedt, Winn was part of a small group which moved away after just 12 kms of racing, gaining up to 4 minutes on a fragmenting peloton. Always pretty good in that type of situation, Winn nipped the others on the line to take the 9th round of the Coupe de France series.

The reigning British road champion has scored a pretty spectacular bonus reward for his efforts, snaring a place on Team Fakta’s Giro d’ Italia starting roster.

Winn had been down as a reserve for the Giro, but Fakta’s management team of Kim Andersen and Peter Sejer Nielsen have been so impressed with his performances that they’ve decided to pitch Winn into the race, his first Grand Tour experience.

“It’s the highest level you can race at. All the world’s top riders will be there, so it’s going to be tough, but I’m ready for it,” said Winn yesterday to BBC Sport.

It’s a pretty good way to open your account on the elite scene in Europe – Jaan Kirsipuu, Laurent Brochard and Damien Nazon have all taken out this race.

Along with Navigators’ Ciaran Power, Lampre’s Max Sciandri and Ag2r’s Mark Scanlon, Winn was a member of the ill-fated Linda McCartney team that imploded so spectacularly in early 2001. Just goes to show that if you persevere, the results can offer a fine return.

GP de Villers Cotterкts (UCI 1.3) 192km Results May 1st, 2003

1 Julian Winn (GBr) Team Fakta 4.32.01 (42.4 km/h)
2 Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) Brioches La Boulangиre same
3 Jimmy Casper (Fra) FDJeux.com same
4 Sergey Krushevsky (Ukr) MBK-Oktos same
5 Jairo Hernбndez (Col) 05 Orbitel same
6 Christophe Edaleine (Fra) Jean Delatour same
7 Christophe Mengin (Fra) FDJeux.com same
8 Stйphane Berges (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance same
9 Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Team Fakta 0.04
10 Franck Renier (Fra) Brioches La Boulangиre 1.05

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