Posted by Editoress on 07/21/17
On Thursday, riders faced a difficult double stage day at the Tour de l"Abitibi, with an individual time trial in the morning, followed by a short road stage in the late afternoon.
The 10 kilometre time trial saw Team Mexico on the top step of the podium for the second stage in a row, with Fernando Islas Lopez completing his 10 km in 12 minutes and 30 seconds; only the third Mexican victory at Abitibi since 1999. Riley Sheehan (Team USA), who started the day in second place overall, two seconds behind Kurt Penno (Team Canada), finished second at seven seconds and moved into the Brown race leader's jersey after Penno could only manage 35th. Top Canadian was Ben Caterburg (Cycling BC) in ninth.
After a few hours rest, the riders lined up in Malartic for a 51.5 kilometre stage. The stage was delayed for 40 minutes by heavy rain before starting. Luxembourg rider Richard Holec (Stradling p/b Specialized) won the field sprint, ahead of two riders from team Japan; Eugene Kazikaki and Ken Sato. Both Kazikaki and Sato are Keirin riders in Japan.
The fourth stage saw the highest average speed for a stage this year, at 48.6 km/h. The American and New Zealand team controlled the race, chasing down any attacks, with nobody gaining more than a few seconds. With his win, Richard Holec won the Orange Hydro-Québec Points jersey, tied with Sheehan at 72 points. Ama Nsek (Stradling p/b Specialized) retains the Polka Dot jersey since there were no KoM on the stage, with Sheehan also holding the Best Young Rider jersey. Team Canada moves into the lead on the team classification.
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