June 16, 2014 (Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, Quebec) – Pro rider Antoine Duchesne (Europcar) won the inaugural Grand Prix Cycliste de Lanaudière on Sunday, crossing the finish line alone after 135km. Duchesne stopped the clock at 3:19:54.11, according to the unofficial results, approximately 4.2 seconds ahead of William Goodfellow (Silber Pro Cycling) and teammate Derrick St. John who was a little further behind.
This was St. John’s first race back since he was caught up in a big unfortunate crash at the Tour of the Gila in late April. He suffered a compound fracture of his left wrist and had to be airlifted the hospital in Tucson. As many as 10 riders were hospitalized including his Silber teammate Nicolas Masbourian – read about St. John’s recovery here.
The road race took place on a 27.1-km loop approximately 100km NE of Montreal, involving several climbs, and a gravel patch which took the riders out to St. Beatrice and Saint-Jean-de-Matha and then had them returning through the village of Sainte-Beatrix along Lake Cloutier back to Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez.
The weather was 25 degrees Celsius and sunny throughout the entire race which was marked by many early breaks and countless attacks but nothing would stick. Both Hugo Houle (AGR La Mondial) and Duchesne (Europcar) sat patiently in the peloton until the final lap when the two riders became active in the small group that got away including Geoffroy Dussault (Garneau-Quebecor), Simon Pierre Gauthier (Ind), Duchesne, Houle, Goodfellow and St. John.
As riders slowly dropped off the main break, Duschesne waited until the very end to launch an attack which propelled him to the finish line comfortably ahead of his nearest rival. “At one point he was pulling so hard I almost lost his wheel,” St. John told us post-race.
Adriane Provost (SAS-Mazda-Macogep p/b Specialized) topped the field in the women’s 81km road race while team-mate Kristi Giroux was taken to hospital following a mid-race crash.
Duchesne is back home a bit earlier than planned as his team Europcar decided to go with Romain Sicard at the recent Criterium du Dauphine instead. He’ll be here racing and resting for the next five weeks until the Tour of Wallonie in late July and we caught up with the young Pro post-race – see interview below.