September 7, 2007 (Saint-Jean-la-Poterie, France) — It was a tough day in the saddle for the Canadian team in the second stage of the Tour de l’Avenir today.
The 163-km stage from Quiberon to Saint-Jean-la-Poterie was less nervous than the day before, but was still marked with a number of crashes. Canada’s Christian Meier was one of the riders to fall, but he was able to rejoin the peloton with only some minor scrapes and bruises.
The stage was animated by several breakaways, but none of them were able to gain much more than two minutes on the pack, which was controlled by the French team, who successfully defended StÃ©phane PoulhiÃ¨s’ yellow jersey. In the final kilometres, the riders tackled the 900-metre climb to the finish line four times, and the pack soon fragmented under pressure from eventual stage winner, Dario Cataldo of Italy.
Christian Meier (35th) and Ryan Anderson (39th) both finished in the main field, though they lost a handful of seconds on the final climb, while Brad Fairall finished 75th, 42 seconds down.
Eric Boily spent the day pacing teammates back into the pack and fetching bottles from the team car, and even found the energy to cover several attacks. He paid for his efforts in the final kilometres, though, and crossed the line 15 minutes down.
Both Keven Lacombe and David Veilleux lost time on the finishing circuit as well.
The Canadians’ day was made a little tougher when their rental van gave up the ghost after a minor traffic accident. The race organizers provided the broom wagon to drive the riders to the hotel, an ignominious way to end the day. Meanwhile, team staff had to drive three hours to Nantes and back to fetch another vehicle.
Tomorrow’s short, 138-km stage takes the riders from Pipriac to Cholet.
1. Dario Cataldo (Ita) 4:05:47
2. Kristjan Koren (Sloe) 00:04
3. Ivan Rovny (Rus)
4. Bauke Mollema (Pays-Bas)
5. Nikolas Maes (Bel) 00:06
6. Rafaa Chtioui (Mixed)
7. Tom Leezer (Pays-Bas)
8. Pawel Cieslik (Pol) 00:09
9. Tony Martin (Ger)
10. Andre Steensen (Den)
35. Christian Meier (Can) 00:14
39. Ryan Anderson (Can)
75. Bradley Fairall (Can) 00:42
105. David Veilleux (Can) 03:47
118. Keven Lacombe (Can) 07:26
120. Eric Boily (Can) 15:24
GC after Stage 2
1. StÃ©phane Poulhies (France A) 7:46:03
2. Aleksey Kunshin (Russie) 00:06
3. Marcel Wyss (Sui) 00:12
4. Gatis Smukulis (Let) 00:26
5. Steven Kruijswijk (Pays-Bas) 00:28
6. Dario Cataldo (Ita) 00:49
7. Ivan Rovny (Rus) 00:59
8. Bauke Mollema (Pays-Bas) 01:03
9. Nikolas Maes (Bel) 01:05
10. Rafaa Chtioui (Mixed) 01:05
26. Christian Meier (Can) 01:13
62. Ryan Anderson (Can) 01:37
63. Bradley Fairall (Can) 01:41
96. David Veilleux (Can) 05:14
104. Keven Lacombe (Can) 08:25
119. Eric Boily (Can) 36:58