Friday was the final stage of the 2012 race and was from Melle to Poitiers. We decided to station ourselves in the village of Aslonnes which is about three-quarters of the way along the final leg. We got there quite early so saw the caravane passing through. Good fun for the children collecting caps, T-shirts, pens, sweets, etc. Some had even bought along a plastic carrier bag to collect all the goodies in.
I parked myself under a large cedar tree close to the war memorial and promptly got resin all over my bum as the tree drips resin everywhere and I had decided to sit on the war memorial! Anyway it was not long before the cyclists came through, two groups, the leading group was quite big and made up of about 20/30 riders. They were about 2 minutes ahead of the Peloton and then there were a few straglers.
I took a stack of photos and here are some of the better ones.
What happened was this, the peloton split in two after the first 100 km, and it was ultimately Francisco VENTOSO (Movistar) who won by a few millimeters ahead of Thomas VOECKLER (Europcar). Following in this order Marco HALLER (Katusha), Luke DURBRIDGE (Orica-GreenEdge) and Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA (Movistar).
In the overall standings, it was Luke Durbridge (GreenEdge-Orica) who won the 26th Tour de Poitou-Charentes, with Jérémy Roy (FDJ-Bigmat) 6 sec behind ,then Lazlo Bodrogi (Team Type 1-Sanofi) 11 sec, Jean-Christophe PERAUD (AG2R La Mondiale) at 22 sec and Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) in 26 sec.
The results were as follows