June 08, 2013 (Jonquiere, QC) – A massive sprint finish determined the winner on the second stage of the Coupe des Nations – Ville de Saguenay, Saturday. Italy’s Niccolo Bonifazio crossed the finish line first beating two Norwegians, Sondre Holst Enger and Daniel Hoelgaard by a narrow margin. Canada’s Pierrick Naud was the top Canadian in 16th.
It is under an uncertain sky that the 79 athletes started the 147 kilometers race on Jonquiere’s streets. Early in the race, a breakaway of four riders got clear. Harmless to the peloton, the escapees were able to increase their lead, which reached four minutes at some point. However, the leaders were caught by the charging peloton. On the decisive lap and with less than 10 kilometers to go the pack was together and the outcome of the race was determined in the final sprint.
Frenchman Alexis Gougeard maintains his hold on the jersey of leader. “The goal was to protect the yellow jersey. Today, I wasn’t feeling great. So, I did what I could. Now, we will try to retain the jersey until the end. We will battle all the way,” he commented.
Enger, the new owner of the green jersey, is dangerously close to the overall lead. In virtue of time bonuses, he is only three seconds behind the actual leader.
Columbian Ever Alexander Rivera Guerrero (polka dot jersey) and Italian Federico Zurlo (white jersey) both successfully defended their jerseys. The top Canadian overall is Antoine Duchesne in 9th.
The 2013 Coupe des Nations – Ville de Saguenay will come to an end Sunday, with the presentation of the last stage, which will totalize 128.4 kilometers.
1. Niccolo Bonifazio (Italy) 3:19:01
2. Sondre Holst Enger (Norway)
3. Daniel Hoelgaard (Norway)
16. Pierrick Naud (Canada)
GC after Stage 2
1. Alexis Gougeard (France) 6:55:33
2. Sondre Holst Enger (Norway) 0:03
3. Diego Antonio Ochoa Carmago (Colombia)
9. Antoine Duchesne (Canada) 0:12
Full results HERE.