Posted by Editoress on 06/14/12
Clear sunny skies greeted the riders this morning as they started to assemble for the 3rd and "Queen" stage of the Tour de Beauce - St-Georges to Mont-Mégantic, a distance of 164 km ending in a 5 km climb. This is the stage that has been on everyones mind this week, the stage that more often then not decides the overall winner.
The remaining field, now 98 riders down from the original 110, will ride out of St Georges at 9:30 am and head south for ~30 km, then head SW for ~20 km, before heading NW for ~ 30 km, then SW for ~18 km, then SE for 22 km, then S for ~15 km, The W for ~20 km where they hit Rue de Parc that takes them to Mont-Mégantic.
The course has 3 KOM's and 2 Sprints. The final KOM at the top of Mont-Mégantic.
Svein Tuft has been told he MUST wear his National Champion's jersey at Tour de Beauce, ansd it cannot be the one that his Pro-Team had made for him, since he is riding for the Canadian National team, it MUST be the one he was given at Nationals in 2011. So Svein will be riding today and onward in a different jersey that he has been seen in for the last 2 stages.
There is a break of 7 away: Flavio De Luna (Spidertech powered by C10), Davide Frattini ( UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling Team), Will Clarke (Champion System Pro Cycling Team), James Moss (Node4 Giordana Racing), Francois Chabot (Ekoï.com/Le Gaspésien Pro Cycling Team), Cody Canning (Trek Red Truck Racing Team p/b Mosaic Homes), David Stephens (Garneau-Quebecor-Norton Rose QC) with a 10 sec gap.
All back together again.
There will be a flurry of of attacks off and on for the first ~25 km. And NORMALLY the break of the day will go just after the first Sprint - my prediction, lets see if it holds true.
If you have not already done so, the Race (tourdebeauce.com) site has a few videos uploaded from the past 2 stages ready for viewing. Watching will give you the flavour of the race, which is very popular with the locals.
Another attack. 5 riders have 30 seconds
Matt Hyggins (NODE4 Giordana), Russel Hampton (Raleigh GAC), David Stephens (Garneau-Quebecor-Norton QC), William Blackburn (Team Medique p/b Silber Investments), Nic Hamilton (Canadian National Team)
1 hr of racing done, 33 km covered and the break group has over 3 min
David Stephens (Garneau-Quebecor-Norton QC) took the Sprint pts
@38 km, Gap up to nearly 4 min
@ 62 km the gap is now 5:30. It is very windy but the temperature is holding in the low 20's (celsius). They will very soon hit the first of 3 KOM's at 65.8 km
Sorry, the entire area has very bad cell coverage, ESPECIALLY if you are getting your service on a Rogers phone
5 of the Directeur Sportif's this year are former Tour de Beauce stage winners or participants: Mark Walters (H&R Block), Eric Wohlberg (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Gord Fraser (Competitive Cyclist) , Phil Cortes (Garneau-Quebecor-Norton Rose) & Steve Rover (Canadian National Team)
Now 4 in break group, William Blackburn (Team Mediqu) has been dropped. Leaders over KOM #1, with Nic Hamilton (Canadian National Team) taking the points.Gap 5 min +
@ 82 km the gap is up to 5:50
@89 km, gap 6 min
@100 km the gap is now 5:45. 64 km to go
@ 110 km and the gap is down to 4:20. Francisco Mancebo's team Competitive Cyclist is again doing all the work at the front to limit the damage to the lead of the riders on the road. Currently Russel Hampton (Raleigh GAC) is the top placed rider in the GC
@ 118 km, gap down to 3:50. Competitive Cyclist has upped the pace of the peloton
4 riders in break are: Matt Hyggins (NODE4 Giordana), Russel Hampton (Raleigh GAC), David Stephens (Garneau-Quebecor-Norton QC), Nic Hamilton (Canadian National Team)
Another KOM coming at 131 km
@ 128 km the gap is 2:45
On the 2nd KOM and the gap is down to 2:10. Matt Hyggins (NODE4 Giordana), Russel Hampton (Raleigh GAC) go over the top alone with David Stephens (Garneau-Quebecor-Norton QC), Nic Hamilton (Canadian National Team) struggling to keep their pace.
The lead group has disintigrated. Only Russel Hampton (Raleigh GAC) remains out front and the gap is 1 min to the peloton being led by Francisco Mancebo's team Competitive Cyclist and they are shedding riders off the back of the peloton . There are 20 km remaining.
All together again Hampton remains out front alone. With 15 k to go, the gap is 1:53
The climb to the top of Mont Mégantic (596.2 metres) begins with 5.4 km to go
@ 12 km to go gap was 1:36
@ 10 km it was 1:20
7 km - 55 sec
6 km 30 sec
Hampton was caught at the base of the climb
4 km to go and a group of 20 with Mancebo are away
w. 3 km to go there are 10 riders left with Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling Team) setting the pace
Mathew Cooke (Exergy) attacks and has a gap of ~ 10 sec. He is being chased by Christian Meier (Canadian National Team), Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare), Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team), Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare), Sebastien Salas (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies), Hugo Houle (Spidertech powered by C10)
De Maar is leading the chasers
1 km to go - Cooke still has a small gap
1 Mathew Cooke (Exergy)
2 Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team)
3 Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling Team)
Mancebo holds onto the lead by 5 sec
Stage profile - courtesy Tour de Beauce
Stage map - courtesy Tour de Beauce
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