July 27, 2017 (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) – Canada’s Lex Albrecht in Team Quebec colours landed 3rd on the women’s podium in the 78km road race at the Jeux de la Francophonie taking place in Ivory Coast, West Africa. France’s Pauline Allin won with her teammate Soline Lamboley in second.
“I am very happy to represent Québec on the podium at the Jeux de la Francophonie. It was a nice race despite the difficulties in the temperature, because it was much hotter and drier than what we are used to and it was winding a lot. We still managed to get a third place on the podium and a team silver medal so we are very happy,” Albrecht told Sportcom.
In the men’s race Felix Côté Bouvette finished just off the podium in 4th. Olivier Brisebois, Simon-Pierre Gauthier, Elliott Doyle and Jean-François Soucy finished 6th, 14th, 16th and 26th.
Quebec Cycling Report
Lex Albrecht, bronze at the Jeux de la Francophonie
Quebec’s Lex Albrecht climbed to the third step of the podium at the end of the road race at the Jeux de la Francophonie in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Her compatriot Félix Côté Bouvette, meanwhile, stopped at the foot of the podium in fourth place.
It was in an overwhelming heat that the 21 competitors competing on the course consisted of a 54 km road circuit and an 8 km loop, which had to be completed several times.
“The game plan was to harden the race from the start, and that’s what the girls did,” said coach Pascal Morin.
In the first kilometers, the peloton exploded and several competitors were dropped. Just 10 kilometers after the start, five runners, including two Quebecers and two French women, escaped. The leading group, where Elisabeth Albert and Frédérique Larose-Gingras were, maintained their lead, but did not exceed one minute. On the hunt, another runner from France joined the fugitives, bringing their number of representatives to three.
“We were handcuffed in the breakaway. So, one by one, the girls tried to join them, and they almost all succeeded. There was another attempt to escape made by Frédérique and a French woman, the eventual winner. But the peloton came back and Frédérique got caught in the final sprint, “he continued.
Elisabeth Albert, Frédérique Larose-Gingras and Alizée also broke the top-10, earning fifth, sixth and eighth places. Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin and Adriane Provost, two other athletes from the Belle Province, entered the 11th and 13th rungs.
The story of the men’s event with 82 cyclists is quite different. “The peloton arrived grouped on the circuit. About 80 kilometers away, two Frenchmen, one Swiss, one Moroccan and Felix [Côté Bouvette] left. They rolled to the finish without being joined. The gap reached almost three minutes at some point. One of the French went off in the break with two laps to go. Felix worked hard to plug the hole, but it did not work. He gave everything he had to try to make a podium, “said the president of the Fédération québécoise des sports cyclistes (FQSC), André Michaud, who is in charge of this project.
Four other standard bearers of the fleur-de-lis were the starters; Olivier Brisebois, Simon-Pierre Gauthier, Elliott Doyle and Jean-François Soucy finished 6th, 14th, 16th and 26th respectively.
At the end of the road race, the only cycling event presented as part of the multi-sport event, Quebec was second in women and third in men.
“There had to be about 10,000 people around the urban circuit. It was impressive. I’ve never seen that before, “Morin said of the impressive crowd that attended the cycling events.
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1. Pauline Allin (Fra) France 2:00:29
2. Soline Lamboley (Fra) France 0:28
3. Lex Albrecht (Can) Team Quebec
4. Laura Asencio (Fra) France
5. Elisabeth Albert (Can) Team Quebec
6. Frédérique Larose-Gingras (Can) Team Quebec
7. Ana Maria Covrig (Rom) Romania
8. Alizée Brien (Can) Team Quebec
1. Pierre Idjouadiene (Fra) France 3:03:35
2. Soufiane Sahbaoui (Mor) Morocco 1:20
3. Bruno Armirail (Fra) France
4. Felix Cote-Bouvette (Can) Team Quebec
5. Justin Paroz (Sui) Switzerland 1:24
6. Olivier Brisebois (Can) Team Quebec 3:37