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Mardis Cyclistes Stage 8 Report, Results, Photos – Laroche Wins

by pedalmag.com

August 02, 2011 (Lachine, QC) – Jean-François Laroche (Fantino Mondello-Cycles Régis) earned a convincing victory in the senior men’s race this evening, stopping the clock at 1:02:17 in the 50km race for an average speed of 48.1kmh. He was followed closely in a group sprint to the finish by Maxime Vives (Powerwatts) in second and Erik Lyman (Team Spirit Cannondale) in third.

Junior racer Félix Côté-Bouvette (Prud’homme-IGA) and master racer Dominic Chalifoux (Trek-Bontrager) distinguished themselves by finishing fourth and fifth respectively. The Rocky Mountain team, despite many attacks all through the race, had to content itself with merely a sixth place finish by Jean-Michel Lachance.

Laroche, 31, joked that his victory was easier in the absence of his main rivals. These include Mathieu Roy (suffering a gastro), Martin Gilbert and David Veilleux (both in Europe).  “It makes a difference when the big guns like Martin or David are not there. Nonetheless, my team mates worked splendidly for me here. Even if my rivals had been here, I think we would have beaten them in that sprint,” said Laroche. In particular, he praised team mate Pierre-Olivier Boily.  The Fantino team seemed in control during the entire race, quickly hitting the gas to catch anyone who tried to break away from the pack.

Vives was more than happy to end up in second. “To finish behind Jean-François, that’s always good.” He admitted that there was some elbowing among the riders to see who could follow Laroche’s wheel. Vives also claimed to have not been feeling in top form at the beginning of the evening, “But I feel better now,” he added.

Lyman, 38, was pleased to see the race end in a bunch sprint rather than a breakaway as on previous Tuesday evenings giving the sprinters a chance to talk. “For my part, I’m happy to end up on the podium. The Fantino team worked well and Laroche had a tremendous sprint.”

With his win in this evening’s eighth race of the season, Laroche increased his overall lead and looks unstoppable at 670 points with only two more stage races left in the season. Chalifoux is a distant second at 457.

Women’s and Junior Races

Among the women, Elisabeth Albert (Rocky Mountain), won the eighth stage and also secured the yellow leader’s jersey.  Albert also won Sunday’s Quebec Criterium championships in Ste Agathe.

The junior men’s race, run simultaneously with the women’s race, saw Marc-Antoine Soucy (D’Amos) take the win. Shawn Turcotte (Prud’Homme IGA), who finished fourth hangs onto the leader’s yellow jersey.

The Minime races saw Melyssa Fortin (Vélo Club Longueuil) win among the girls and remain the leader in the series. Meanwhile brothers Charles and Antoine Côté (Vélo Club Longueuil) finished first and second among the boys. Édouard Laparé-Morin (Espoirs Laval) finished third and also keeps the yellow jersey.

The evening saw 17 Quebec Cycling Hall of Famers attend the race including René Cyr, 91, who began racing on an amateur level in 1935 and competed in many six-day track races in the 1940s before retiring in 1950. The spry-looking Cyr was given the honour of presenting the top prize in this evening’s pro-elite Saputo cup race to winner Jean-Francois Laroche (Fantino).

Results (brief)
1. Jean-Francois Laroche (Fatimo Morello Cycles Regis)
2. Maxime Vives (Powerwatts-FITTIME)
3. Erik Lyman (Team Spirit GTH Canondale)
4. Felix Cote Bouvette (Prud’Homme-IGA)
5. Dominic Chalifoux (Trek-Bontranger)

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