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Mardis Cyclistes Stage 8 Report, Photos – Passeron Wins

by John Symon

August 3, 2010 (Lachine, QC) – It was France’s Aurélien Passeron (Garneau) who crossed the finish line first this evening, followed by Pierrick Naud (Rocky Mountain-CIBC) in second and Mathieu Roy (Team Spirit-Cannondale) in third. Passeron stopped the clock at 63:25 in the Senior men’s 50km race.

Jean-Francois Laroche (Cycles Regis) was favoured to win while defending champion Martin Gilbert (SpiderTech p/b Planet Energy) is off racing in Europe, but Laroche flatted three times and had major equipment problems forcing him to DNF.

Passeron, who was the French road champion in 2005 and raced at the 2008 TdF, was happy with his win. “But Aurelien didn’t want to race in the heavy rain,” joked his coach, Louis Garneau. “I had to coax him to come down here from Quebec City.” Passeron spoke about how “The rain is in your head. You can adapt to any [metereological] conditions.” Passeron also won the Tour of the Catskills stage race this past weekend with three stage victories there. Passeron spoke to Pedal about how cycling is more part of the tradition in his native Europe, but still in development in North America. “It’s another cycling culture here.” Passeron rode with the Saunier Duval-Scott UCI ProTeam before signing with Garneau.

Naud said this evening was happy with his second place finish, “But it was a very particular race this evening.” He referred to the epidemic of flats, numerous crashes, heavy rain, and a fire in a nearby apartment that forced fire fighters to close the race down for 10 minutes. One of the mechanics suggested that somebody had thrown a bottle onto the circuit just before the senior men’s race as most of the flats were caused by broken glass.

“Yes, I had bad luck this evening,” commented Laroche. “Not only did I flat three times, but I ended up with a cadet wheel and couldn’t even get that into high gear.” Laroche was seen pedalling madly to try and keep up with the pack before he bailed out.

A total of 50 riders were on the start line while police estimated only 100 or so spectators, all equipped with umbrellas, lined the course. Gilbert still leads the series with 627 points versus Laroche with 583.

Results (brief)

Senior Men – 50km

1. Aurélien Passeron (Garneau)
2. Pierrick Naud (Rocky Mountain-CIBC)
3. Mathieu Roy (Team Spirit-Cannondale)

Overall after 8 Events

1. Martin Gilbert (SpiderTech p/b Planet Energy) 627
2. Jean-Francois Laroche (Cycles Régis) 583

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