June 09, 2013 (Chicoutimi, QC) – Norway’s Sondre Holst Enger was finally crowned champion of the Coupe des Nations – Ville de Saguenay. In addition to defending the green jersey, he stripped France’s Alexis Gougeard of the coveted yellow jersey. Only three seconds behind the overall leader when he saddled up on Sunday, he skilfully played his cards during the event held in Chicoutimi. Helped by his teammates, he crossed the finish line in second and collected precious time bonuses.
“I am very happy. I have to thank my teammates for their amazing work. I couldn’t have done it without them. It is a team win,” commented the 19 years-old rider.
The stage victory was however claimed by Italian Federico Zurlo. As a result, he confirmed is status of best young rider and retained the white jersey that he claimed on Friday. “The defense of the jersey was secondary. The goal was the general. But I am obviously pleased to keep it and to have won today.”
Right from the beginning of the 128.4-kilometre race, many attacks occurred, but were all neutralized. After the third lap, a cyclist went solo. At mid-race, he was joined by a chasing group of six riders, bringing to seven the number of breakaways. The break worked together gaining about two minute by the 60-kilometre mark, but then slowed and was reintegrated by the peloton.
A daring athlete attempted to roll to victory, but in vain. He was swallowed by the main pack at a few hundred meters of the finish line. It is finally at the sprint that the event’s outcome was determined. Federico Zurlo passed Norwegian Sondre Holst Enger and Italian Alberto Bettiol. Pierrick Naud registered Canada’s best performance in 7th.
At 16 seconds from the winner and 9s from the podium, Antoine Duchesne, the best Canadian of the competition, finished in 8th place of the overall. Colombian Ever Alexander Rivera Guerrero claimed the polka dot jersey awarded to the best climber.
From August 24-31, riders will meet in France to compete at the U23 Nations’ Cup finale. The outcome of the 2013 edition of this World Cup type circuit will be known at the end of the 50th Tour de l’Avenir.
1. Federico Zurlo (Ita) Italian National Team 3:04:07
2. Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) Norwegian National Team
3. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Italian National Team
4. Carlos Barbero Cuesta (Esp) Spanish National Team
5. Aljaz Hocevar (Slo) Slovenian National Team
6. Tanner Putt (USA) US National Team
7. Pierrick Naud (Can) Canadian National Team
8. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Italian National Team
9. Mark Dzamastagic (Slo) Slovenian National Team
10. Hiroki Nishimura (Jpn) Japan National Team
1. Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) Norwegian National Team 9:59:36
2. Alexis Gougeard (Fra) French National Team 0:04
3. Diego Antonio Ochoa Camargo (Col) Colombian National Team 0:07
4. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Italian National Team 0:08
5. Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Kazakhstan National Team 0:11
6. Romain Guillemois (Fra) French National Team 0:14
7. Maxat Ayazbayev (Kaz) Kazakhstan National Team 0:16
8. Antoine Duchesne (Can) Canadian National Team
9. Nathan Brown (USA) US National Team
10. Ever Alexander Rivera Guerrero (Col) Colombian National Team 0:28
Full results HERE.