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Mardis Cyclistes Stage 10 Finale Report, Results, Photos – Laroche Wins Overall UPDATED

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August 16, 2011 (Lachine, QC) – Miguel Agreda Rojas (Garneau-Club Chaussures- Norton Rose) took the tenth and final stage of the pro elite men’s race at the Mardis Cyclistes de Lachine. The 34-year-old cyclist originally from Peru rode the 50km course in 1:0:50 for an average speed of 49.3kmh. Pierre-Étienne Boivin (Amical Cycliste Thann) finished second while Jean-François Laroche (Fantino Mondello – Cycles Régis) finished third this evening.

The Garneau team turned out in force with 10 cyclists in the field of 109. Their original plan was to beat the all-time course speed record and pick up $10,000 in prize winnings, but about halfway through the race they realized that this was not possible and changed strategies.

“We decided instead to go with our plan B, that is to conserve our energy at the back of the pack and then to move forward close to the finish. This strategy worked magnificently thanks to impeccable team work, just as we have done all season. We were exhausted by the 243km Montréal–Québec City race on Sunday, so it’s fantastic to win here this evening,” explained Rojas. Sunday’s race was won by his team mate, Brett Tivers of New Zealand.

Rojas won the evening, but Laroche won the season title by accumulating 980 points over the ten weeks of Tuesday evening races. Mathieu Roy (Gaspésien/Passion Vélo) finished second in cumulative points (790) while Dominic Chalifoux (Trek-Bontranger) finished third (632). There was not much doubt this evening that Laroche would win the title but his Fantino Mondello team mates nonetheless chased down Roy and Chalifoux when these two broke away from the pack. Laroche, who was also the series champion in 2010, now has four pro elite Saputo cups to his credit.

“It feels good to equal my great rival, Martin Gilbert (Spidertech) in winning four season titles,” declared Laroche with a big grin before uncorking a bottle of champagne. While Gilbert is a professional cyclist, Laroche is an amateur and earns his pay as a lawyer at Stikeman Elliott.

In the awards ceremony, Chalifoux picked up the ‘best master’ (30 years and over) jersey while Félix Côté-Bouvette (Prud’Homme IGA) won the ‘best junior of the season’ jersey. Hugues Lapointe (Nativo Devinci) was declared the ‘most aggressive’ cyclist. Former Montreal Canadien player Yvon Lambert was on hand for most of the podium presentations together with Lachine politicians, officials from Saputo, Quilicot Bicycles, etc.

Women’s and Junior races
Among the women, Elisabeth Albert (Rocky Mountain) won both the evening’s stage race and the season’s Mozzarellissima cup. Véronique Drapeau-Zgoralski (Juvederm-Specialized) finished second in the race for the season title, followed by Audrey Labrie (Piste.ca). Caroline Brunet (Garneau), an Olympic medal winning kayaker reportedly crashed this evening and walked to a nearby hospital with an injured shoulder.

Olivier Brisebois (Cycles Bernard Hynault) won this evening’s stage among the junior men, but his rival Shawn Turcotte (Prud’Homme IGA) ended up as the season winner in the Lait’s Go Cup.

Keltie Campbell (Cuisses d’Or) won the minime girl’s race but it was Melyssa Fortin (VC Longueuil) who won the Ultime Cup season title. The story was similar among the minimes boys where Charles Côté (VC Longueuil) won the evening’s stage race but fell four points short of taking the Hop&Go season title which he ceded to Édouard Laparé-Morin (Espoirs Laval).

Some 150 people filled the V.I.P. tent including Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay and Lachine Mayor Claude Dauphin. Dauphin and Mardis Cyclistes founder Tino Rossi unveiled a statue of two bicycles which underline the paramount place that the sport of cycling occupies in the borough of Lachine. Despite heavy downpours in late afternoon, weather conditions were good for the evening’s races.

Results (brief) – full results HERE.

1. Miguel Agreda Rojas (Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton)
2. Pierre-Etienne Boivin (Team Spirit G.T.H. Cannondale)
3. Jean-François Laroche (Fantino Mondello)
4. Mathieu Roy (Gaspésien)
5. Sam Witmitz (Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton)

Final Overall Classification after 10 events
1.   Jean Francois Laroche (Fantino Mondello Cycles Regis)
2.   Mathieu Roy (Gaspesien –Passion Vélo)
3.   Dominic Chalifoux (Trek-Bontrager)
4.   Erik Lyman (Team Spirit GTH Cannondale)
5.   Benjamin Martel (Team Spirit GTH Cannondale)
6.   Martin Gilbert (SpiderTech p/b C10)
7.   Pierre- Etienne Boivin (Team Spirit GTH Cannondale)
8.   Jean- Michel Lachance (Rocky Mountain- Desjardins)
9.   David Veilleux (Europcar)
10. Miguel Agreda Rojas (Garneau-Club Chaussures)

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