June 13, 2013 (Megantic, QC) – Francisco Mancebo of the 5-hr Energy team won the very difficult third stage at the Tour de Beauce, on Wednesday, which featured a steep 6,8-kilometre climb averaging 7.7% grade.
With the stage win, Mancebo grabs hold of the Desjardins Yellow Jersey as the race leader, a jersey worn by Canadian cyclist Guillaume Boivin of Longueil, QC. Mancebo is no stranger to the yellow jersey at the Tour de Beauce, he who won the overall Tour in 2011.
With the opening two stages won by a bunch sprint, the General Classification of the 28th Tour de Beauce was completely shuffled today. Mancebo grabs the yellow with a five second lead over his closest competitor, Matthew Cook of Century Road Club Association. Guillaume Boivin kept the Hydro-Québec White Jersey as the Points Classification leader.
The race started up with many breaks from the Canadian National Team, who each took their turn to attack the peloton. A breakaway of three riders – Rob Britton of the Canadian National Team, Javier Megias Leal of Team Novo Nordisk and Jason McCartney of Bissel Pro Cycling – was the most serious of all the breakaways, taking a maximum lead of 3:35 on the peloton before the second of three categorized climbs 120 kilometres in the race.
The break was eventually caught near the top of the second categorized climb, and the peloton rode together until the bottom of the Mont-Mégantic National Park. With an extremely fast average speed, the cyclists arrived at the base of the last of three categorized climb.
Then, a group of approximately 10 riders broke away from the peloton. Midway through the climb, the group was narrowed down to six. It was only a matter of time to see attacks as the finish line was nearing, and Mancebo took the opportunity of a tired peloton.
With only a few meters left in the race, Mancebo passed Matthew Cook of the Century Road Cycling Association for the victory. Carter Jones of Bissel Pro Cycling Team came third, shortly after.
For the Canadian National Team, Christian Meier was the top rider, taking the tenth place of the day, crossing the line 1:12 after the stage winner. In the general classification, Meier becomes the top Canadian National Team rider, sitting in 10th place.
Tomorrow, the time trial race will be held at St-Benoit-Labre over a distance of 20km, and the General classification could very well be reshuffled once more.
Full results HERE.