June 28, 2011 (Lachine, QC) – David Veilleux (Europcar), the freshly-minted Canadian criterium champion, won this evening’s fourth stage of the 2011 Mardis Cyclistes bicycle races. Veilleux was part of a breakaway of three riders who escaped from the pack on the 21st lap of the 31-lap race. Many of the 67 competing cyclists were tired after an intermediate sprint and that was the moment that Veilleux, Jean-Michel Lachance (Rocky Mountain) and Antoine Duchesne (Garneau) chose to attack.
Lap after lap, the breakaway group built up their lead to finish some 36 seconds ahead of the pack. On the last lap, Veilleux surprised his two breakaway companions with an explosive attack. Duchesne was dropped while Lachance was barely able to hang on. Veilleux finished with a clear victory.
“It was not easy to win here. I tried to breakaway earlier in the race, but everyone else was on my wheel so I waited. When Jean-Michel attacked, I went forward with him,” said Veilleux, a 23-year-old from Quebec City. “With the wind, I had to give it all I had to win. We kept up a good pace to keep the pack behind us.”
Veilleux finished the 50km race in 1:02:04 with an average speed of 48.3 km/h. His breakaway companions were happy to share the podium with a cyclist of Veilleux’s calibre. His team, Europcar, is racing in the 2011 Tour de France from July 2-24 although Veilleux did not make the cut for that event.
“I have no regrets about finishing second,” commented Lachance, 24, of Quebec City. “It’s great to finish on the podium,” added Duchesne, 19, of Blainville.
Canada’s top men’s team, SpiderTech p/b C10, was largely absent this evening’s Mardis race. “Most of my team mates are now on vacation now that the national championships are over,” explained Bruno Langlois, one of only two SpiderTech riders on the start line. “Most Tuesdays we’re fighting over who can be here, but not this week. My legs are still tired from the nationals this past weekend.” Guillaume Boivin was the other team member present; Olympic cyclist Martin Gilbert (Spidertech) who usually ends up on the podium was away.
Defending champion Jean-François Laroche (Fantino Mondello) finished fourth this evening, but increased his cumulative points because of the absence of Gilbert. Laroche now leads the series after four of ten stages and will be wearing the coveted yellow jersey at next Tuesday’s race. Veilleux is now third overall behind Gilbert.
Junior Men’s race
Shawn Turcotte (Prud’Homme IGA) scored a convincing win in the junior men’s race. The win has increased his cumulative points to 48 points over rival Olivier Brisebois (Cycles Bernard Hinault) who finished second at this evening’s stage race.
Among the women, Elisabeth Albert (Rocky Mountain) scored another victory with Audrey Labrie (Piste.ca) finishing second and Veronique Drapeau (Juvederm) in third. With this evening’s win, Albert also increased her cumulative lead.
“It was not a hard race this evening which is good,” said Albert. “I didn’t have too much energy this evening after coming off the nationals in Burlington Ontario this past Sunday. We’ll see how it goes next week.”
The Minime boys’ victory went to Charles Côté (VC Longueuil) with the girls’ win going to Keltie Campbell (Cuisses d’Or). But Édouard Laparé-Morin (Espoirs Laval) and Melyssa Fortin (VC Longueuil) remain the series’ leaders among the Minimes.
1. David Veilleux (Europcar)
2. Jean-Michel Lachance (Rocky Mountain)
3. Antoine Duchesne (Garneau Club Chaussures Norton Rose)
Mozzarellissima Women’s Cup
1. Elisabeth Albert (Rocky Mountain)
2. Audrey Labrie (Piste.ca)
3. Veronique Drapeau (Juvederm)