June 21/01 8:19 am - GP de Beauce Reports from Stage 4
Posted by Editoress on 06/21/01
Grand Prix Cyclist Poste Canada de Beauce - Stage 4
Saint-Georges - Saint-Georges, 178.4 km
118 riders started the 4th stage of the 2001 Grand Prix de Cycl;iste. Many of the riders are keen to make up for yesterday's race 'mistake' that saw 3 riders go off at the 8km mark and take the leaders jersey from MROZ.
After a brief pre-race chat with Eric Wohlberg, Rob's comments were "Eric is really pumped to do something today". And it appears that a lot of the teams/riders feel the same. The attacks started from the gun, with riders attempting breaks only to be brought back quickly.
There are 2 KOM and one Sprint for points today. The temperature at the start was in the low 20's.
The stage has been aggressive from the start, seeing rider after rider attempt to get away. At the 7km mark, Min Van Velzen (Can) Team Canada and Zbigniew Piatek (Pol) MROZ gapped the field, but were back in the pack by 15km by a very aggressive, no-nonsense peloton.
Mike Luther (Can) ORYX and Bruno Langlois (Can) Volkswagen, have abandoned.
June 21/01 11:55am EDT - GP de Beauce: 52 Km and there is a major break
30 km - The pack is all together but the constant attacks and counter attacks are continuing. MROZ and Saturn riders are being the most aggressive and Mercury is doing all the chasing.
37 km - 15 riders are off the front and have a 40 second gap. There are MROZ, Saturn, Nürnberger and Tecos riders in this group that is gradually pulling away from the main peloton.
45 km - There are now 22 riders off the front and they have 1:17 on the main pack. In this group are the yellow jersey Henk Vogels (USA), Baden Cooke (Aus) and Scott Moninger (USA) all Mercury-Viatel. Others are Elio Aggiano (Ita) & Antonio Rizzi (Ita) of Mapei-Quickstep, Piotr Chmielenski (Pol), Zbigniew Piatek (Pol) & Eugen Wacker (Kgz) of MROZ, David Mckenzie (Aus) Ficonseils-RCC Conseils (previously w/ Linda McCartney), Micheal Barry (Can), Harm Jansen (Ned) & Eric Wohlberg (Can) of Saturn, John Leiswyn (USA) & Doug Ziewacz (USA) of 7Up-Colorado Cyclist, Artour Babaitsev (Rus) Nurnberger, Laurent Paumier (Fra) Saint-Quentin Oktos, Chris Baldwin (USA) & Burke Swindlehurst (USA) of Navigators, Nicolas White (RSA) HSBC and Min Van Velzen (Can) of Team Canada. Svein Tuft and Team Canada have missed the break (Except Van Velzen) and Cantina Tollo have no one.
52 km - The break is now 1:15 and Cantina Tollo is at the front of the main peloton attempting to close, but there are a lot of teams who have no interest in helping.
70 km - The gap is now 1:10. Saturn and MROZ are at the front pushing the pace. Ville De Charleroi and Cantina Tollo are at the front of the main peloton chasing hard.
80 km - The riders have gotten into the bigger climbs (some are 2+km and 7 to 8 percent grade). The gap is now 3 minutes.
92 km - The break has just gone through the feed zone. Michael Barry, who flatted at 82 km, has gotten a new wheel and is back on. The main pack seems to have given up the chase. Mapei riders are sitting at the front successfully slowing any attempts to chase. One comment heard over the radios was "The cows in the field are moving faster than the peloton". The time gap is now 7 minutes.
107 km - The gap keeps increasing. It is now 10:14. Seems that many of the riders in the break have suddenly woke up to the fact that this break is a benefit to all riders and seem to be now working together in earnest. The chase pack seems to have just given up.
It seems when the initial "head" count was done on who was in the break, one very important rider was missed; Dominique Perras (Can) Ficonseils-RCC Conseils has been there all along.
40 km to go - The riders in the break have now started their attacks. Saturn and Mroz are becoming very aggressive. The gap from the main peloton is now 16:15, so the concern of being caught is the furthest from their minds, and putting their own rider on the podium and protecting the yellow jersey is the prime factor.
Harm Jansen of Saturn , who was earlier reported in the break, is not. He was mixed up w/ Dominque Perras when the numbers were recorded by the officials.
25 km to go - Lots of attacks happening in succession. Dominique Perras initiated and attack and then was joined by John Leiswyn of 7Up-Colorado Cyclist and another rider. They went clear for a couple of km, but were quickly brought back.
20 km to go - Michael Barry of Saturn is now initiating a break.
15 km to go - Micheal Barry was quickly brought back, but then Eric Wohlberg attacked hard and has a 15 second gap.
David Mckenzie (Aus) Ficonseils-RCC Conseils Assurances takes Stage 4 in a sprint to the finish. Eric Wohlberg was caught w/ 5 km to go, and everyone in the break came into the finish together. More finishers when available.
1. David Mckenzie (Aus) Ficonseils-RCC Conseils Assurances 4:04:25
2. Artour Babaitsev (Rus) Team Nurnberger
3.Eric Wohlberg (Can) Saturn
Grand Prix Cycliste Poste Canada de Beauce
It has been over half an hour since the leaders came through the finish. When they did, the main pack was passing 20 km to go. At this point the entire peloton is out of the time limit. It will be at the discretion of the Chief Official to allow them to start tomorrow.