July 17, 2012 (Lachine, QC) – Jean-François Laroche (Fantino Mondello-Cycle Régis) won his third stage victory in three weeks at this evening’s Mardis Cyclistes presented by Jean Coutu bicycle races in Lachine. He was followed across the finish by Dominic Chalifoux (Trek-Bontrager) in second and by Stephen Keeping (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery) in third.
“The race started off poorly for us because of the breakaways,” explained Jean-François Laroche at the finish. “But we picked up our rhythm as things went on. On the last lap, we lapped everybody to easily take this evening’s stage. My team mates played their parts very well. My lead-out, Pierre-Olivier Boily and I timed the last sprint perfectly.” Laroche was already leading the GC in the 10-stage series, and this evening’s win puts him at 661 points, well ahead of nearest rival, Jean-Samuel Deshaies (EKOI-Gaspesien).
François Parisien (SpiderTech p/b C10) and Rémi Pelletier-Roy (Garneau-Québecor) put on a two-man breakaway show for the crowd, staying out in front for 17 of 31 laps. Neither cyclist finished the race, however. “I’m just here to practice for upcoming European races,” quipped Parisien. Pelletier-Roy spoke about this weekend’s Tour de la Monteregie which he is still leading, but suggested that Sunday’s race will be tough. “And I won’t have a lot of team mates there to support me…”
Antoine Duchesne (Garneau-Québecor), the reigning U23 road champ, also rode solo out in front for a lap before being swallowed by the pack with one lap to go. The senior men’s race saw 59 cyclists bunched on the start line and rain held off although the pavement was not quite dry.
The start gun this evening was fired by Denis Coderre, the popular Liberal Member of Parliament for Bourassa. Coderre noted that this is not the first time he has been at the Mardis races, “I previously attended the bike races here as Minister of Sports.”
Among the women, it was a carbon copy of last week with Elisabeth Albert (Rocky Mountain Forget Aubin) winning the stage this evening, followed by Adrianne Provost (Steven’s Cycling p/b the Cyclery) in second and Ruth McLean (Powerwatts FITTIME) in third. Albert leads the series with 364 points now, well ahead of second place Catherine Couture (independent) with 254. Couture took a spill on the last lap, going down with, “about five of the guys. I’m glad to be wearing a dress now to hide the road rash. And I’m surprised to still be in wearing the [second place] jersey after my crash.”
The Mardis take a break next week and the cyclists won’t be back until Tuesday, July 31 for the evening race around LaSalle Park in Lachine.
Brief results (senior men)
1. Jean-François Laroche (Fantino Mondello
2. Dominic Chalifoux (Trek-Bontrager)
3. Stephen Keeping (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery)
Brief results (senior women)
1. Elisabeth Albert (Rocky Mountain Forget Aubin)
2. Adrianne Provost (Steven’s Cycling p/b the Cyclery)
3. Ruth McLean (Powerwatts FITTIME)
Complete results should be posted soon here.