Félix Côté-Bouvette (Ekoï-Devinci) won the Pro-Élite 50km race Stage 2 of the Mardis Cyclistes de Lachine presented by Jean Coutu in the cold and in the rain. Bouvette stopped the clock at 1:07:53 with a slower average speed of 44.1kmh. Water on the road rendered corners slippery and visibility was poor; of the 42 men who started the race, only 22 finished.
Bouvette made his break with 20 laps left to go but was nearly caught by the pack at the finish line. Simon-Pierre Gauthier (Garneau-Québecor) ended up in second while Dominic Chalifoux (Trek-Fiera) took third place.
“It was only 10°C at the end of the race,” noted Mardis Cyclistes founder and president, Joseph “Tino” Rossi. “This was the coldest evening [since we stared the Mardis series in 1978] and I congratulate all the cyclists for their determination. Apart from heavy rain, the cyclists had to face winds of up to 60kmh. We therefore decided to cancel the awards ceremonies after the races, a decision that we have only ever made once before in 35 years.”
Meteorological conditions and the absence of podium ceremonies also complicated taking photographs of the races.
Côté-Bouvette is now leading in terms of cumulative points, squeezing out Pierrick Naud (Garneau-Québecor), who won Stage 1 on June 4. Defending series champion Jean-Francois Laroche (Fantino Mondello/Cycles Régis) missed the podium on June 11, coming in fourth, nonetheless he picked up enough points with his strong finish, and from intermediate sprints, and now sits in third place overall. There are eight more races in the Mardis series through to August 6.
Simon-Pierre Gauthier (Garneau-Quebecor) won the title for being the most aggressive rider of the evening, picking up 8 points. Hugues Lapointe (Opus/OGC) was second with six points.
The women’s 24.15km race, run earlier with the cadet men, saw Catherine Ouellette (André Cycle-Kaycan-RDS) winning with a time of 33:54, followed by Catherine Couture (GSD Gestion-Kallisto-Specialized) in second. Audrey-Anne Blais (André Cycle-Kaycan-RDS) was the third place finisher. Thierry Kirouac-Marcassa (VCL-André Cycle) won among the cadets with a time of 36:20, followed by team mates Antoine Cote and Felix Dolbec.
Among the minims, Griffin Schwartz (Independent-RP) won the 16.1km stage race on June 11 and also leads in cumulative points with 120 points, 22 more than Gabriel Drapeau-Zgorlaski (VCL-André Cycle). Among the girls, it was Charlotte Tousignant (Espoirs Laval Primeau Vélo), who won, followed by her teammate Emilie Fortin and Sandrine Heroux (VCL-Andre Cycle). Tousignant also leads in cumulative points in her category.
Tuesday, June 18 sees the next stage of the 10-stage series through Tuesday, August 6 around LaSalle Park in the Montreal borough of Lachine. The races begin at 5:30 p.m. and the Pro-Elite men’s race starts at 7 p.m. All of this is free for spectators.
1. Felix Coté-Bouvette (Ekoi-Devinci)
2. Simon Pierre Gauthier (Garneau-Quebecor)
3. Dominic Chalifoux (Trek-Fiera)
Full results HERE.