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Old 08-25-09, 12:53 AM   #1
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Cool new 24 hour event at Le Mans

By:Greg Johnson

Le Mans 24 Hour Velo: Inaugural winners crowned after 970 km

Four cyclists completed a massive 970 kilometres of racing to win the inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans cycling race at the weekend. Cyril Masson, Jimmy Aubert, Bruno Teillet and Sebastien Heron won the event, etching their name alongside some of motor sport’s greatest names on the track which is home to sports car racing’s oldest endurance event.

Some 276 teams, comprising of up to six riders, took part in the race. True to Le Mans heritage, riders had to line up and run to their bikes to commence the race.

Amongst the competitors were the likes of Roger Legeay, who directed the now defunct Credit Agricole following his own professional cycling career, and sports car driver Stephane Sarrzain. Having already finished runner-up at Le Mans once this season Sarrazain, who also competed in the World Rally Championship with Subaru, again led his team to a second place finish. Legaey’s team included former Festina rider Jean-Jacques Henry, among others.

While David Brabham, Marc Gené and Alexander Wurz averaged 213 kilometres per hour on their way to victory in this year’s sports car race, the cyclo-sportif winners set a modest, yet still impressive, 39.3 km/h average during the 24 hour event race.

Former professional cyclists Eddy Seigneur and Jean-Francois Bernard also contested the event, held on Le Mans’ 4.185 kilometre Bugatti circuit. The Bugatti circuit, which was floodlit during the evening, is a shortened version of the whopping 13.65 km Circuit de la Sarthe used for the sports car race.

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