June 15, 2013 (Quebec, QC) – The fifth stage of the Tour de Beauce, a classic stage in the streets of Quebec, took place on Saturday, and the Spaniard Francisco Mancebo of Team 5-Hr Energy, the Tour leader entering the race 126km, maintained his overall lead and keep the pole position.
In the fifth stage, Marc De Maar of the UnitedHealthcare cycling team won the top honors and the Ville de Québec Blue Jersey, crossing the finish line to win the final sprint of the small breakaway group.
“I’ve done this race before. I knew what to expect, and that this would be a hard race. We had a meeting last night, and we wanted to have a GC guy up there. The original plan was to put some pressure on Mancebo and his team. The only way to do it was to put our GC guys on the attack. I was in the break, which worked out pretty well for me. I kept on going, and my director came and told me to go for the win,” expressed De Maar, winner of the difficult stage which uses a section of the route used by the Grand Prix cycliste de Québec, a UCI WorldTour race.
“It’s a beautiful city. I’ve won here before, this is the second time. I always like to come here. There are lots of crowd out there, and the ambiance is very nice. Perhaps I should buy an apartment here for next year,” added De Maar.
De Maar won the final sprint at the finish line in front of Quebec rider Antoine Duchesne of the Bontrager Cycling Team, and Oscar Clark of Hincapie Sportswear Development Cycling Team.
From the outset, and as expected by many, the peloton went out with a fast tempo, forcing the abandonment of several cyclists in the early laps. A breakaway of seven riders was formed in the second lap, and remained stable the entire race. The breakaway never had a strong lead, showing a maximum gap of 3:15, in the fourth lap.
Without aspiring racer in the General classification in the main breakaway, the peloton was not in any position to bridge the small group, and control the break to keep it at a reasonable distance.
“The team worked really well for me today. The Canadian team attacked a lot again today. Tomorrow will be the same, everybody will attack, and it will be tough once more to keep the jersey. Today, I am still leading.” described Mancebo, who will arrive tomorrow for the last stage wearing the yellow jersey.
“I am confident for tomorrow. If I race tomorrow like I did today, I am confident for the stage. Teamwork will once again be critical to keep the jersey tomorrow,” continued Mancebo.
The general classification remains really tight with one stage left in the 28th edition of the Tour de Beauce, with Mancebo showing a slight five-second lead on his closest rival, Nathan Brown of Bontrager, and eight seconds on Matthew Cooke of the Century Road Club Association.
Tomorrow, the Tour de Beauce concludes with a 107 km stage on an urban circuit in St. George.
Full results here.