Posted by Editor on 06/17/16
Gregory Daniel (Axeon Hagens Berman) held onto the Yellow jersey at the Tour de Beauce by a slim seven second margin on Friday after the 19.4 kilometre time trial, while his team mate Neilson Powless won the stage.
Race leader Gregory Daniel
The rolling out-and-back course with a headwind return came a day after riders had faced the Mont Megantic mountain top finish, so legs were heavy. Geoffrey Curran, another young Axeon rider, set the first fast time of 24:44, and it would prove to be good enough for fourth place.
Powless knocked five seconds off that time and then had to wait for the top GC contenders to finish. Robin Carpenter (Holowesko/Citadel p/b Hincapie) came within one second, while Canadian time trial champion Hugo Houle (Team Canada) had to settle for third. Daniel took eighth, 17 seconds back but, more importantly, only 12 seconds behind Houle to keep the jersey.
"I'm usually a pretty good time trialist," said Daniel, "but it's all about the day, and the past few days have been pretty difficult. I was really suffering, but I was just thinking of the team and all they have done for me. I just knew I had to go as hard as I can and suffer. It was more then I have ever suffered before, so I was really happy with the ride."
For Houle, his ride wasn't a enough to take Yellow, but moved him closer. "I wasn't surprised at how well [Daniel] rode, I've known him for a few years and he is strong. I had a strong ride, and put out the power that I could on this type of course, so I'm satisfied. For sure, i had it in my mind to win the stage, but third is good and I'm not too far away from the lead. It's not a bad situation to be seven seconds down with three stages to go."
The riders face a second stage Friday evening; a 78 kilometre race on a circuit, that finishes with a 300 metre climb the hits 21% before the finish line, and could open a few time gaps.