July 23, 2016 (Rouyn-Noranda, Que.) – Canada’s Quinton Disera (Centurion Next Wave) won the 108.1km Stage 6 through Mont-Brun while fellow Canuck Nickolas Zukowsky (Team Canada) finished 13th and captured the race leader’s Brown Jersey as the penultimate stage proved to be a game-changer at the 48th annual Tour de l’Abitibi. Three of the four jerseys changed hands as Canada’s Antoine Ippersiel also took over the Polka Dot climber’s jersey. In addition, Team Canada moved into the overall lead in the Team Classification.
Team Canada’s Zukowsky Takes Lead at Tour de l’Abitibi
Team Canada had a strong day on the penultimate sixth stage of the Tour de l’Abitibi Junior race, with Nickolas Zukowsky of St-Agathe, Quebec, moving into the overall race lead.
The Tour de l’Abitibi is the only internationally sanctioned stage race for Junior men in North America, and attracts national teams from around the world.
Zukowsky and team mate Matthew Staples of Barrie, Ontario, initiated a 25 rider breakaway on the 108.1-kilometre stage, which rode away from the peloton, including race leader Brandon McNulty (Team USA). The group eventually finished the stage 1:27 ahead of the peloton, which put Zukowsky into the overall lead by 19 seconds, up from 12th place at the start of the day. Staples moved up to fourth in the overall standings from 15th, 34 seconds back.
Team Canada also moved into the overall lead in the Team Classification.
“We were just going for some bonus seconds,” explained Zukowsky. “I think they [Team USA] weren’t expecting this, and it took quite a while for them and the Danes to figure it out, so we were able to gain quite a bit of time on them. I think it worked out pretty good. Team USA and Denmark … that’s a lot of firepower, but we’ll do our best to keep the Brown Jersey.”
According to Olivier Grondin of radio-Tour, “There will be fireworks during the last stage between the American and Canadian teams, as the Americans will want to win back their title. We’ll see if Team Canada will live up to the challenge of defending its brown jersey.”
The Tour de l’Abitibi concludes on Sunday with a 99.9-kilometre stage from Sainte-Germaine-Boulé to Rouyn-Noranda including 12 laps of a 3.7 km circuit to the finish.
1. Quinton Disera (Can) Centurion Next Wave 2:22:12
2. Eugene Kakizaki (Jpn) Team Japan
3. Michael Carswell (Nzl) Team New Zealand
4. Brian Sciba (USA) Southeastern Regional
5. Matthew Blenkinsopp (Can) Novo Nordisk
6. Phillip Truppelli (USA) E.C. Devo
7. Ian Clarke (USA) Washington Spin Development
8. Trey Hedgecock (USA) Arizona Select p/b Santini
9. Nathaniel Schoonover (USA) Flagstaff Team
10. Guillaume Davidson (Can) Team Quebec 0:04
11. Eric Brunner (USA) Washington Spin Development
12. Gabriel Guay (Can) Télécom Desjardins Ford
13. Nickolas Zukowsky (Can) Team Canada
14. Jean-Denis Thibault (Can) Team Quebec
15. Antoine Ippersiel (Can) Stingray Trek Lacasse 0:10
16. Mamoru Yoshioka (Jpn) Team Japan 0:15
17. Isaac Porterfield (USA) IAMGold 0:16
18. Matthew Staples (Can) Team Canada 0:24
19. Jacob Hoggard (USA) Southeastern Regional 0:38
20. Jonathan Guiza (USA) CT Cycling Advancement 0:55
GC after Stage 6
1. Nickolas Zukowsky (Can) Team Canada 11:32:34
2. Brandon A. McNulty (USA) Team USA 0:19
3. Brian Sciba (USA) Southeastern Regional 0:29
4. Matthew Staples (Can) Team Canada 0:34
5. Eugene Kakizaki (Jpn) Team Japan 0:38
6. Quinton Disera (Can) Centurion Next Wave 0:43
7. Jean-Denis Thibault (Can) Team Quebec 0:46
8. Ian Clarke (USA) Washington Spin Development
9. Ian Garrison (USA) Team USA 0:48
10. Morten Hulgaard (Den) Team Denmark
11. Phillip Truppelli (USA) E.C. Devo 0:55
12. Mikkel Bjerg (Den) Team Denmark 0:56
13. Andreas Kron (Den) Team Denmark 1:07
14. Trey Hedgecock (USA) Arizona Select p/b Santini 1:08
15. Cameron A. Beard (USA) Team USA 1:10
16. Jakob Egholm (Den) Team Denmark
17. Tyler J. Stites (USA) Team USA 1:15
18. Antoine Ippersiel (Can) Stingray Trek Lacasse 1:18
19. Christopher H. Blevins (USA) Team USA 1:20
20. Kevin Goguen (USA) Washington Spin Development 1:28
Full results here.