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Canada’s Houle 3rd on Stage 3a TT – Only 7 Seconds Out of Yellow @ Tour de Beauce

by pedalmag.com
Hugo Houle  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
June 17, 2016 (Saint-Prosper, Que.) – Gregory Daniel (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman held on to the yellow jersey at the Tour de Beauce by a slim seven-second margin over Team Canada’s Hugo Houle on Friday after the 19.4 kilometre time trial. Daniel’s teammate Neilson Powless (USA) won the stage.

Neilson Powless  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

The rolling out-and-back course with a headwind return came a day after riders had faced the Mont-Megantic mountain top finish, so legs were heavy. American Geoffrey Curran, another young Axeon Hagens Berman rider, set the first fast time of 24:44, and it would prove to be good enough for fourth place.

Robin Carpenter  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

Powless knocked five seconds off that time and then had to wait for the top GC contenders to finish. Robin Carpenter (USA) Holowesko/Citadel p/b Hincapie came within one second, while Houle, the reigning Canadian time trial champion had to settle for third. Daniel finished eighth at 17 seconds back but, more importantly, only 12 seconds behind Houle to keep the leader’s jersey.

Gregory Daniel  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

While his ride wasn’t enough to take yellow, Houle moved that much closer. “I wasn’t surprised at how well [Daniel] rode, I’ve known him for a few years and he is strong. I had a strong ride, and put out the power that I could on this type of course, so I’m satisfied. For sure, I had it in my mind to win the stage, but third is good and I’m not too far away from the lead. It’s not a bad situation to be seven seconds down with three stages to go.”

Podium (l-r) Carpenter 2nd, Powless 1st, Houle 3rd  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

This evening riders face Stage 3b, Friday’s second stage, a 78-kilometre race on a circuit that finishes with a 300-metre climb the hits 21% before the finish line, and could open a few time gaps.

Full results here.

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