August 07, 2012 (Lachine, QC) – Pierrick Naud (EKOI-Gaspesien) stopped the clock at 58:60, just 8 seconds short of record time at this evening’s senior men’s Mardis cyclistes presented by Jean Coutu races in Lachine. And that meant he was 8 seconds away from picking up an extra $14,500 in prize monies! Simon Lambert-Lemay (SpiderTech p/b C10) finished second, followed by his team mate, François Parisien.
“We thought that we were 26 seconds ahead of the record at one point, not a few seconds behind it,” mused Naud. “If we had understood, we probably would have pedaled faster.”
The three podium placers, together with William Blackburn (Medique), and Martin Gilbert (SpiderTech) broke away from the peloton of 81 riders shortly after the 50km race began. “We worked together pretty well,” explained Naud. “Everyone led for about one stretch at a time.” Eventually, Blackburn and Gilbert dropped off the back of the breakaway group.
The three leaders lapped the pack and reintegrated into the peloton with two laps left on the board. Race officials then declared that, because of this action, there was only one lap left to go. At the finish, it must have been complicated for race officials deciphering the photo finish results!
Parisien, fresh from his biggest ever career victory Sunday at Elk Grove in Illinois, explained that, “We’re pro riders, so we recover quickly. And Elk Grove was only a three hour race.” Parisien also noted that the entire SpiderTech team is flying to Europe and will miss the August 14 Grand finale with the Mardis Cyclistes in Lachine.
In the confusing finish, it looked like Jean-Francois Laroche (Fantino Mondello-Cycle Régis) had taken this evening’s stage, but he apparently finished only sixth. Laroche, however, remains the series leader with only one more stage race left in 2012. Laroche, with 817 points, holds a clear lead over Jean-Samuel Deshaies (EKOI-Gaspesien) in the battle for the yellow Jean Coutu jersey. Deshaies has 700 points followed by Stephen Keeping (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery) in third with 617 points. This means that next week Deshaies will wear the red Specialized jersey while Keeping will sport the green Desjardins jersey.
Among the spectators this evening were three para-cyclists bound for the London Paralympics from August 29–September 9. The three were Daniel Chalifoux (a blind cyclist who rides tandem), Marie-Eve Croteau (a T2 tricycle rider), and Marie-Claude Molnar (Locomotor disability C4) in the company of Louis Barbeau, director of the FQSC. “There needs to be greater awareness of sporting programs for handicapped athletes,” mentioned Chalifoux who only discovered para-cycling by accident at the age of 33. Chalifoux has since won gold at the 2011 Parapan American Games.
As noted, August 14 sees the grand finale of the Mardis Cyclistes 35th season. The minims and cadet races begin at 5:15 pm while the start gun will fire for the Pro-Élite Jean Coutu men’s race at 7 p.m. As always, admission is free and 10,000 spectators are expected. And the prize monies for breaking the course speed record will creep up to $15,000.
1. Pierrick Naud (EKOI-Gaspesien)
2. Simon Lambert-Lemay (SpiderTech p/b C10)
3. François Parisien (SpiderTech p/b C10)
Full results will be posted soon at: