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Tour de Beauce Stage 4 Reports and PHOTOS

by pedalmag.com
June 15, 2012 (Saint-Benoît-Labre, QC) – As expected the GC order was shuffled following today’s 21.4km ITT on Stage 4 as Svein Tuft (Can) Équipe Nationale du Canada roared to victory putting himself in contention for the overall. Tuft, who won in 2008 and was 3rd last year, was not alone as Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling Team rose to the challenge for the top spot placing second on the day to claim the race lead and the yellow jersey.

Chasing his own dream is Canada’s Hugo Houle (Spidertech p/b C10) who followed up his stellar ride up Megantic yesterday with a superb breakthrough  TT performance landing third on the podium to sit second overall. Another contender is Orica GreenEdge pro Christian Meier in third on GC making for exciting racing over the next two days to decide the final podium at the 27th annual Tour de Beauce – full results HERE.

HOULE HAS BREAKTHROUGH TIME TRIAL RESULT
SpiderTech rider now second overall in Tour de Beauce

(St-Benoît-Labre, QC) Hugo Houle wanted to show that he could rival the best riders on the continent, and he got his wish Friday with a third place in the time trial stage of the Tour de Beauce.

The 21-year-old Team SpiderTech powered by C10 has already proved that he is the best Canadian in the U23 category by winning the national championships in that age class for two years running. But his result Friday came against much older, more experienced riders after three tough days of racing.

The stage winner was former seven-time Canadian Champion and former worlds medalist Svein Tuft, 35, who races on the WorldTour with Orica-GreenEDGE.

Tuft posted a time of 27 minutes, 8 seconds, 30 seconds faster than 30-year-old Australian Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthCare), and 46 seconds faster than Houle.

“I’m very happy,” said Houle after the race. “The team had confidence in me, and the pressure was on me to perform today.”

After Houle’s fourth-place finish at the summit of Mont-Mégantic on Thursday, he now sits just 19 seconds behind Sutherland in the overall standings, with another Orica-GreenEDGE rider, Christian Meier, in third place at 43 seconds.

“This was a breakthrough race for him,” said team director Michael Carter, who praised Houle’s professionalism in bouncing back from a fall on Tuesday. “Had he not crashed on the first stage, who knows. That always takes it out of a rider.”

Team SpiderTech had a strong showing in the time trial, with Ryan Roth finishing fifth and Zach Bell ninth.

The focus now turns to the final two stages of the tour, a tough circuit race in Quebec City on Saturday and another one in Ville St-Georges on Sunday.

Sutherland has a very strong team to lean on as he defends his overall lead, but they have a hard job ahead of them as several teams are poised to go on the attack, and it will be up to Houle to look for opportunities to play off some other riders, such as Tuft and Meier, to gain some time.

Houle continues to lead the best young rider classification, and SpiderTech is second in the team standings as well, just 53 seconds behind UnitedHealthCare.

“This has been such a team effort all week, and here we are in second place on the team classification with a very good chance as UnitedHealthcare burns off their riders defending the lead,” said Carter. “It’s a second priority, but it’s a target for sure.”

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team’s Rory Sutherland Moves Into Overall Lead at Tour de Beauce
Saint-Benoit-Labre (Quebec) – The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team’s Rory Sutherland (AUS) took hold of the overall lead in the 2012 Tour de Beauce following his second place finish in the Stage 4 Individual Time Trial (ITT) earlier today, Friday, June 15. Teammates Marc de Maar (CUR) and Ben Day (AUS) also finished in the top 10, taking 7th and 8th place respectively and putting three UnitedHealthcare Team riders in the top 10 for the stage.

Sutherland, who won the overall at last month’s 26th SRAM Tour of the Gila in New Mexico, was able to grab the yellow jersey today and move into first overall after his second place time trial run through a hard out and back, undulating course. Svein Tuft (Team Canada) was the winner on the day in 27 minutes and eight seconds, 30 seconds in front of Sutherland’s time. Hugo Houle (Team SpiderTech p/b C10) secured third place, coming in 16 seconds behind Sutherland.

A leader throughout his tenure thus far with Team UnitedHealthcare, Sutherland was pleased with his result as well as the efforts from his Teammates. Sutherland said, “I think the course today was made for the bigger, stronger guys. This was a day where we could make our mark and put ourselves in a good position. Marc and Ben had good rides, as did I, which put is in a good spot for the coming days. It will be a hard few days of racing ahead, but putting ourselves in a good place with cards to play was the plan and we have achieved that.”

The Team heads into Stage 5 tomorrow, Saturday, June 16, with both Sutherland and de Maar standing in first and sixth in the General Classification.

 

 





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