Posted by Editoress on 08/3/16
Jean-François Laroche (Regis Cycles) has demonstrated he's serious about his goal of winning a sixth title at cyclists Mardis de Lachine.
Laroche and his teammates stood up to the powerful Garneau-Quebecor team that tried to make the race hard in the early laps, even to approaching the race record of 58 minutes 16 seconds.
"The race was difficult," admitted Laroche, who almost was not able to attend because of his work. "The pace was high, but I trust the work of my teammates."
- photo Elias Raposo
Jean-François Laroche - photo Elias Raposo
Yannick Cojan, the only cyclist to have won six Mardis cyclists Lachine, on the podium with Jean-Francois Laroche (centre), Felix Cote-Bouvette (left) and Hendrik Pineda (right)
- photo Elias Raposo
When Garneau-Quebecor cycling realized they were about thirty seconds off the mark on the 18th lap, they backed off because they also aim to win and help Olivier Brisebois reduce the gap in the title race.
"It was the best strategy for us. If they continued their attempt to eclipse the record and we would have been ahead at the end because of fatigue, or they back off and we are faster than them in the final sprint with Pierre-Olivier (Boily) and Charles-André (Bilodeau), even when we would have won," said Laroche, greeted as a hero in his tent after crossing the finish line in a time of 59 minutes 40 seconds, one minute 24 seconds off the established record by Simon Lambert-Lemay August 6, 2013.
Félix Cote-Bouvette (H&R Block Pro Cycling), finished right behind Laroche in the final sprint. Hendrik Pineda (Transport Lacombe / Devinci) crossed the line in third.
The Garneau-Quebecor team tightened the race in the first half, but that did not stop Laroche from winning the second sprint of the evening.
The holder of the yellow jersey conducted a smart race. He was always near the front, always protected by Boily or Bilodeau when it was not by another teammate, while keeping an eye on Brisebois.
To demonstrate the high pace, the peloton was already split in the sixth of 31 laps and only sixty of the 136 starters were grouped at the end.
The only attempt to escape took place in the 24th lap by Pier-André Côté (TRJ Telecom-Desjardins Ford) but he was caught the following lap.
"Our goal was to eclipse the record, but when we saw that our riders started to be tired and the foot was lifted," said Simon-Pierre Gauthier. "Our aim was also to win the race. It would not have served much if we had kept pace by shooting everyone and getting beaten in the end. We will try again."
Overall, Laroche increased his lead in the race for the Nero Cycle yellow jersey, and has 748 points.
The third place of Pineda allowed him to seize the Specialized red jersey and ranks second with 533 points. Brisebois has lost a place, and follows with 491 points and became the holder of the Desjardins green jersey.
In the race to the CMS black jersey as the most combative rider, Denis Cottreau (Golden Sports) continues to lead with 34 points, 11 more than Marc-Antoine Soucy (Garneau-Quebecor).
Cote (TRJ Telecom-Desjardins Ford) follows with 17 points.
In the Women's Cup, Luce Bourbeau (SAS-Macogep-Acquisio) ended the domination of Raphaele Lemieux (iBike) by winning the eighth stage. Evelyne Gagnon (Stingray / Trek / Lacasse), finished in third place.
Overall, Lemieux still leads with 472 points. Gagnon follows with 249 points, 15 more than Bourbeau (234).
1 Jean-François Laroche (Cycles Régis) 0:59:40
2 Félix Côté-Bouvette (H&R Block Pro Cycling)
3 Hendrik Pineda (Transports Lacombe-Devinci) s.t.
1 Jean-François Laroche (Cycles Régis) 748 pts
2 Hendrik Pineda (Transports Lacombe-Devinci) 533
3 Olivier Brisebois (Garneau-Québecor) 491
4 Félix Côté-Bouvette (H&R Block Pro Cycling) 424
5 Sébastien Cossette (Scott-RackUltra) 419
6 Michel Henri (Cycles Dupuis) 417
7 Didier Godbout (Vélo-Station) 325
8 Marc-Antoine Soucy (Garneau-Québecor) 305
9 Charles-André Bilodeau (Cycles Régis) 293
10 Laurent Gervais (TRJ Télécom-Desjardins Ford) 222
10 Pier-André Côté (TRJ Télécom-Desjardins Ford) 222
1 Luce Bourbeau (SAS-Macogep-Acquisio)
2 Raphaele Lemieux (iBike)
3 Evelyne Gagnon (Stingray / Trek / Lacasse)
1 Raphaele Lemieux (iBike) 472 pts
2 Evelyne Gagnon (Stingray / Trek / Lacasse) 249
3 Luce Bourbeau (SAS-Macogep-Acquisio) 234
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