July 20, 2016 (Rouyn-Noranda, QC) – Ideal weather awaited the racers for the start of the first stage of the 48th Tour de l’Abitibi. Aside from three crashes that occurred during the first ten kilometres, the race unfolded without any major incidents. Thierry Kirouac Marcassa of the Canadian team, along with an American racer, succeeded in making a break over ten kilometres, thereby creating a gap of up to fifty seconds with the pack. In the end, it is the French racer, Clément Bétouigt-Suire, a recruit of the André Cycle Kaycan RDS team, who crossed the finished line first. He was followed closely by the Amos racer, Charles-Étienne Chrétien, membre of the Canadian team, who had finished fourth in yesterday’s Challenge Sprint Abitibi.
The French racer, Bétouigt Suire, who is trying to win back his place on the French team for the World Championships, succeeded in playing his cards well today, thereby allowing him to win the brown and orange jerseys. As for the blue jersey, it was won by Chrétien, who also took the silver medal; Hayden Strong of New Zealand won the polka dot jersey for best climber in addition to the bronze medal. Kirouac Marcassa of Team Canada finished in fifteenth position, followed by the Quebecker, Olivier Hamel, who finished seventeenth.
Teams to Keep an Eye Out For
Although France currently ranks at the top of the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) rankings, the teams from Canada, New Zealand, and Denmark also stood out during this stage. Today, the American racer, McNulty, who dominated the 47th edition of the Tour de l’Abitibi, had to make do with a seventh position. Together with Ian Garrison, they are the only two racers of the American team to have finished among the top ten positions. Now, Team New Zealand, having demonstrated its climbing skills, won the polka dot jersey after taking the first, second, and third positions of the three King of the Mountain challenge of this stage. The Moroccans, who had dominated last year’s KOM, did not distinguish themselves on that level today.
Tomorrow, the Ville de Rouyn-Noranda Stage
Tomorrow racers will take off in front of Val-d’Or’s city hall at 4:45 p.m., and will run all the way to Rouyn-Noranda. Following 105 kilometres of race along the road, racers will run 3 laps of the 3.7 km urban circuit, and will finish the race in front of the city hall around 7:25 p.m.
1. Clément Betouigt-Suire (André Cycle Kaycan RDS) 02:39:17
2. Charles-Étienne Chrétien (Canada)
3. Hayden Strong (Nouvelle-Zélande)
Full results here.