Jérôme Cousin took his first win as a professional at the Tour de Normandie after being part of a 170km breakaway that dominated the second stage from Colombelles to Forges-les-Eaux.
The former French national pursuit champion used his speed and endurance to work hard all day and then beat Guillaume Malle and Alexander Pluschin in the sprint to the line. The trio finished 2:18 ahead of the peloton, giving Cousin a commanding overall lead.
“This is a great performance. This win repays the team for all their hard work. We decided to bring a young team to this race and Jérôme took his chance. He’s worked hard for the team in the past and now he’s been paid back. He’s talented,” directeur sportif Ismael Mottier said with pride.
It is Team Europcar’s second victory of the 2012 after Pierre Rolland won stage three of Etoile de Bessèges.