courtesy of the organizer
The sixth stage of the Post Canada Grand Prix Cycliste de la Beauce ended
in confusion today, when the peloton went off course inside the last
kilometre after an unauthorized vehicle entered the course.
who had already begun their sprint, followed the race caravan that had been
guided onto a detour, and found themselves in a dead end. In the event,
all the riders in the main field were given the same time for the stage.
Up to that point, the 111 km stage had provided some excellent racing.
Despite a very aggressive start to the stage, it wasn’t until nearly half
way through that a breakaway was able to establish itself. Working well
together, Chris Fisher (USA/Saturn), John Lieswyn (USA/7UP-NutraFig), Mark
Walters (Canada/Navigators), Arquimedes Lam (Mexico/Tecos Turbo) and Werner
Riebenbauer (Austria/Nuernberger) built up a slim margin that never
exceeded one minute and ten seconds.
Fortunately for the Mapei team, who had Michael Rogers’ yellow leaders’
jersey to defend, they did not have to work to chase the break. The teams
with strong sprinters saw this as one of their last opportunites to score a
stage win : St-Quentin – Oktos, with StÃƒÂ©phane Barthe, did the bulk of the
work chasing the break, and both Mercury (with Gord Fraser) and
IteamNova.com (with David McKenzie) also lent a hand. At the same time,
the break lost a strong worker when Lam punctured and dropped back to the
With eight kilometres to go, the break’s lead was down to just 15 seconds,
but the chase behind was interrupted when Fraser had a flat tire. While
Fraser’s teammates helped him get back to the pack, the break was able to
extend its lead back up to 25 seconds, but once the long descent to the
finish began the gap began to close again. After several attacks, Lieswyn
made a last bid on his own, but he was caught by the peloton with four
kilometres to race.
With no changes in the overall standings after this morning’s stage, and
major changes unlikely in this evening’s criterium, the Grand Prix is set
for an exciting finale in tomorrow’s 145 km road race.