Posted by Editoress on 06/17/12
Vegard Stake Laengen (Team Type I) worked hard to win the Quebec City stage of the 27th Tour de Beauce, beating out Russell Hampton (Raleigh) and Liam Holohan (Raleigh). Nonetheless, leaders in the overall rankings held their positions. Rory Sutherland (United HealthCare) kept the yellow jersey, still 19 seconds ahead of Hugo Houle (Spidertech), who held on to second place. Christian Meier (national team) is in third and 43 seconds behind the leader.
"We worked very hard for him," said teammate Francois Parisien. "We wanted to make sure he was always protected from the wind. On Champlain Boulevard, I stayed beside him so he wouldn’t be disturbed. When he needed water, we would get some for him."
Hugo Houle, who held on to the red jersey as the best young rider, really appreciated his team’s hard work. "Francis did a great job. I needed to come down the side of the mountain with the overall leaders and that’s exactly what happened. It was important that I be well placed at the bottom of the hill and Martin Gilbert gave it his all to make it happen. Then, some 300 meters from the finish, Ryan Roth took over allowing me to conserve my position. Everything has gone according to plan and the last stage will be really exciting. UnitedHealthcare's team is very strong and the race will be intense. For sure, we will have to give it tour all to win."
The yellow jersey holder, Rory Sutherland, was not surprised at how the race unfolded. "The Quebec City stage is pretty serious. It’s very difficult and you have to know how to work with the team."
Russell Hampton, who came in second for the Quebec City stage, led several attacks in the breakaway of nine riders that occurred during the stage’s second of 13 laps. "I failed last time," he said, remembering how he had gone over 140 kilometers during the Mont Mégantic stage Thursday before the pack caught up with him. "I had good legs today and I also wanted to break from the pack, because I found it more dangerous to ride with the big group during the breakaway. The circuit is very difficult, but I’m known as an aggressive rider and I proved that today."
Norwegian Stake Laengen Vangard had his first taste of victory in a cycling race as winner of the stage. "The race was tough and I had no choice but to give it my all to gain some time. I was afraid that the pack would catch up to us."
Tomorrow will be the last stage of the Tour de Beauce with a street circuit through the streets of Saint-George.