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Mardis Cyclistes Saputo 2006 – Stage #8

August 4, 2006 – Despite oppressive heat, it was the usual packed house for the eighth race in the Mardis Lachine Saputo that saw Alexandre Lavallee (Louis Garneau Optik) pulled off his first win of the season at Lachine on Tuesday, August 1.

A break formed in the first third of the race and, with all the series leaders back in the pack and more concerned about their rivals than the win, it was never caught. Lavallee notched the win ahead of Yann Deville (CIBC Wood-Gundy), Jean-Francois Laroche (Sleeman Clear Energie) and Mathieu Roy (Louis Garneau Optik). Just outmatched, Deville nonetheless scored the most points on the evening, winning four of five intermediate sprints.

Lavallee was clearly not surprised by the win against his companions in the break. “I’m a break sprinter, not a pack sprinter,” he said. “I was pretty confident in my abilities, especially since I’m just back from China where I trained at altitude, which gave me a big advantage today.”

Sebastien Moquin (Sleeman Clear Energie) stills sits atop the series leaderboard, and seemed perfectly satisfied with the result, including his own 7th place finish. “The game plan was to form a break with none of the favorites, and it worked out great,” he commented. “The idea was to deprive Martin Gilbert (kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada) of points, given that he’s the biggest threat in the series standings.”

“I want to finish off in style,” said Gilbert. “I’m only going to be at one more Lachine, so I’ll definitely be going for the win.” Gilbert will race next week but his schedule takes him to U.S. races after that.

In the Coupe des Jeunes Lait S’Go, Cedrik Dion-Poitras (Estricycle) broke away alone and was joined by a three-rider bridge group two laps later, and the four riders benefited from some pack apathy to push their lead to over a minute and a half.

Mikael Bilodeau (Espoirs Laval) took the win, with Dion-Poitras in second and Pierre-Etienne Boivin (Velo Club Longueuil) in third. Series yellow jersey Simon Lambert-Lemay (Andre Cycle id/Cad) won the pack sprint for fifth place.

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