June 17, 2009 (Lachine, QC) – Planet Energy’s Keven Lacombe won round #2 at the Mardis Cyclistes Saputo series taking the elite men’s 50km race on Tuesday evening with a time of one hour, one minute and 16 seconds. The weather was beautiful in Lachine for the competitions and an estimated 10,000 fans crowded the sidelines to see a lively race with a guest appearance by Floyd Landis (OUCH) and his team mates including John Murphy, Tim Johnson and Canadian Andrew Pinfold. Fellow Canuck Cameron Evans was unable to make the race.
Lacombe’s team mate Martin Gilbert was second with Guillaume Boivin (VW-Specialized) in third and Pinfold in fourth while Landis finished in the pack. Last week’s surprise winner, Hugo Houle (Garneau-Club Chaussure Ogilvy) placed sixth. The 2008 Mardis series overall victor, Jean-Francois Laroche, (Pro Bike Pool Kuota), did well in some intermediate sprints but was not among the top ten finishers. On the podium Lacombe spoke about how teamwork paved the way for his victory.
A total of 119 starters competed, more than double the field for last week’s round #1 which was a fast and dirty race in the rain. On overall GC, Houle increased his cumulative lead (243) over Laroche (178) while Maxime Vives (Pro Bike Pool Kuota) follows in third at 147.
Preceding the senior men’s race in Lachine on Tuesday evening were the junior men’s Lait’s Go Cup, the junior women’s Shape Cup, the boys’ minime Hop&Go Cup, and the girls’ minime Ultime Cup.
Before the race, Landis posed for photos with Mardis founder Tino Rossi, Lachine Mayor Claude Dauphin, and with ex-Canadiens hockey captain, Henri Richard. Landis raced with bib number 16, commemorating the number that Richard wore on his back playing hockey from 1955 to 1975 during which time his team won 11 Stanley Cups.
Pedal also spoke with Carl Grenier of Pro Bike Pool Kuota, the man who arranged for Landis to be in Montreal. “I’ve known Floyd for three years and we sponsor his team OUCH. He’s a very smooth guy and it was easy to arrange for him to be here.”
The invitation was initially organized for a charity ride on Wednesday, June 17 in benefit of the FranÃ§ois-Michelle Centre for students with slight intellectual impairments. Some 60 participants have paid $250 to ride with Landis, Dominique Rollin (Cervelo Test Team), Lyne Bessette and other top riders. Grenier’s wife is associated with the charity and as she put it, “Carl is helping us a bit this year.”
Former Canadian great and Mardis racer himself, Steve Bauer, Planet Energy Director was a happy man to see two of his riders on the podium.
1. Keven Lacombe (Planet Energy)
2. Martin Gilbert (Planet Energy)
3. Guillaume Boivin (VW-Specialized)
4. Andrew Pinfold (OUCH)
5. Maxime Vives (Kuota)
6. Hugo Houle (Garneau)