June 2, 2011 (Saguenay, QC) – A massive sprint determined the winner of Stage 1, the first of four stages presented at the Coupe des Nations – Ville de Saguenay. France’s Arnaud Demare emerged victorious out-sprinting Italy’s Sonny Colbrelli by a narrow margin with Canadian Hugo Houle following closely in third.
“I knew people were expecting this of me, and I was there,” declared the winner while he was still catching up his breath. Visibly delighted by his performance Demare, winner of stage four last year added, “It is with great pleasure that I’ve captured the yellow jersey.” Taking the best young rider jersey as well Demare added to France’s overall lead in the Nations’ Cup ranking.
It is under an uncertain sky that the 67 riders started the 140.7 kilometers race taking Jonquiere’s streets. Early in the race, a breakaway of four cyclists saw the day. The fugitive quartet was however caught before completing the first lap. A few attacks were conducted during the two first laps, but none were successful.
Half way into the race, three competitors took out from the peloton. Two cyclists who had gone to their pursuit soon joined them. The lead group however lost one of its links. On the sixth lap, a chasing group organized itself behind. The squad of eight never made the junction. On the seventh and decisive lap, all deserters had reintegrated the bunch. The event’s issue was therefore determined in the final sprint.
Quote from CCA Head Coach Vincent Jourdain
“Good first stage. The guys reacted really well and worked really well as a team. David Boily showed a lot of character coming back to the peloton from his crash, despite his injuries and the fact he was riding on a replacement bike. We can definitely say that David made his part to position Hugo for the final.”
Quote from Hugo Houle
“Everyone worked really well today, all across the race, but especially near the end when the team did all the work to get me into the Danish wheel. French rider Demare attaqued, and I followed. I am really happy with my third place, and a big thank you to all my teammates.”
The second stage, 148.4 kilometers long, will be presented on Friday in La Baie.
Stage 1 results HERE.
1. Arnaud Demare (Fra) France 03:21:46
2. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Italy
3. Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10
4. Armands Becis (Lat) Letonie
5. Yauheni Patenka (Blr) Mixte UCI
41. Stuart Wight (Can) Cr4C Roanne
46. Antoine Duchesne (Can) Garneau–Club Chaussures–Norton Rose
51. David Boily (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10
56. Simon Lambert-Lemay (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10
62. Owen Harrison (Can) Team Canada +01:26