Romain Feillu (Agritubel) snatched the sprint in Friday’s finale at the 42nd Tour du Limousin as the main bunch roared into Limoges for the fourth and final stage.
Feillu out-kicked Perrick Fedrigo (BBox) to claim the 180.1km stage from Chalus to Limoges to wrap-up the four-day stage race across western France.
Mathieu Perget (Caisse d’Epargne) finished safely in the pack to claim the overall victory, the first stage-race win of his young professional career.
Perget, 24, was in the driver’s seat after he snuck into a 120km breakaway with teammate David Arroyo in Thursday’s third stage to grab the overall leader’s jersey away from Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis), and he went into Friday’s final stage nursing a three-second lead to Arroyo, with Xavier Florencio (Cervélo) in third at 23 seconds back.
“I never doubted that this day I have been waiting for since such a long time would arrive some day and yesterday I started believing it was very close,” said Perget, who also earned the best young rider and points jerseys. “I nevertheless decided to remain very calm because in spite of the fact that I had a rather comfortable advance in the general classification and that I knew a very strong team was there ready to support me, one never knows what can happen before he crossed the last finishing line.
“I am a rider who is used to go with the breakaways every time there is an opportunity to do so hoping a good result will follow. This time I did it!”
Caisse d’Epargne controlled the pace in the final stage, keeping a seven-man attack on a short leash to under two-and-a-half minutes. Four others tried to surprise the sprinters when they attacked just as the day’s main break was reeled in, but it all came back together in the final kilometer to set up the mass sprint.
Perget, already in his fourth year among the elite ranks, posted some promising results this season, with seventh at the recent Tour de l’Ain and ninth at the Route du Sud.
Canada’s Dominique Rollin (Cervelo) finished ninth overall at 48 seconds back.