July 21, 2016 (Rouyn-Noranda, QC) – Wednesday’s race took place under a scorching hot sun in Val-d’Or, where the second stage of the Tour de l’Abitibi was set to start. However, racers Mielke, from Denmark, and Staples, from Canada, did not let the weather slow them down, as they succeeded in making a break for more than thirty kilometres, thereby gaining a lead of up to one minute and thirty-five seconds over the pack. The remainder of the stage was uneventful and ended with a sprint to the finish line between Americans Stites and McNulty who won the gold and silver. They were followed by French racer Lucas Grall. The top Canadian was Thierry Kirouac Marcassa (Team Canada) in 9th.
Although they rank sixth on the overall team rankings, the Danes distinguished themselves during the two sprints by winning both events with time bonuses. As for the King of the Mountain Challenge, it is the New Zealand racer Ethan Batt and the American racer Gilliam who stood out as best climbers. However, it is Hayden Strong from New Zealand that won the polka dot jersey for best climber. Stage winner Tyler Stites also took the brown jersey, and it is the French racer, Grall, who earns the orange jersey. Following a crash during the course of the stage, Amos racer Charles-Étienne Chrétien loses his blue jersey to his teammate Noah Simms.
The Americans Are Bumped Back in the Overall Rankings
While the American team topped the overall team rankings yesterday, Barney King’s team has now dropped to second place. As for the teams from Canada and from Québec, both gained one spot in the rankings, making them third and fourth, respectively. According to Bruno Gauthier, technical director, “the finishing circuit proves to be a great challenge. The battle for the rankings leaves its marks, and only the best trump cards succeed in positioning their sprinters in the last turn that leads to the finish line.”
Two Half-Stages Planned for Tomorrow
Tomorrow, the racers will begin the race in the morning with the individual time trial event, which consists of one lap of the bike path for a total of 9.6 kilometres. Afterwards, the teams will be on their way to Malartic for the Canadian Malartic Stage. During this race of 52.5 kilometres, the racers will first run all the way to Rivière-Héva, and then complete two laps of the chemin du Lac Malartic before coming back to Malartic.
1. Tyler J. Stites (USA) Team USA 02:55:12
2. Brandon A. McNulty (USA) Team USA
3. Lucas Grall (Fra) Team France
9. Thierry Kirouac-Marcassa (Can)
GC after Stage 2
1. Tyler J. Stites (USA) Team USA 5:34:19
2. Brandon A. McNulty (USA) Team USA 0:04
3. Hayden Strong (Nzl) Team New Zealand
6. Noah Simms (Can) Team Canada 0:07
Full results here.