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La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro Stage 3 finish: Two in a row for Simon, Ireland's Dolan is first rookie

by La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro 12 Sep 2018 07:40 BST 11 September 2018

Crossing the finish line off the Vendée port of Saint Gilles Croie de Vie at 06:40.26hrs this morning Sébastien Simon (Bretagne CMB Performance) won the 410 nautical miles third stage of the 49th La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro in an elapsed time of 3d 15h 57m 25s to extend his overall lead in the annual French multi stage offshore race by five minutes and 14 seconds to 35 minutes and 45 seconds over secind placed Xavier Macaire (Groupe SNEF).

Vendéen solo racer Simon, 28 years old from nearby Les Sables d'Olonne, becomes the first solo skipper since Jérémie Beyou in 2011 to win two consecutive stages of La Solitaire. Triumphing on what proved to be a long, slow stage from Ria de Muros Noia in Northern Galicia, Simon reprises his first ever stage win of 2015, also racing in light airs from La Coruna to Concarneau.

Just as on his leg win into Galica last week, Simon's strategic choices have been definitive. He was always among the vanguard of a group which chose to go east in the south of the Bay of Biscay. He took the lead yesterday morning.

Second across the finish line this morning was 26-year-old Med skipper Pierre Quiroga (Skipper Espoir CEM) at 06:43.50h in a time of 3d 16h 00m 50s. Third was 43-year-old Brest based Gildas Mahe (Breizh Cola) at 06:46.13h in a time of 3d 16h 03m 13sec.

Ireland's 31-year-old Tom Dolan (Smurfit Kappa) from Kellis in County Meath broke the finish line in 11th place at 06:55.10hrs to win the rookie division for La Solitaire first timers in a time of 3d 16m 12s. After having to abandon Stage 1 just 90 minutes after the start because of damage to his rig, Dolan made a wrong strategic choice on Stage 2, while racing with the leading group and dropped to 25th across the finish.

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