GP Beauce – Prologue & Stage 2
– Reported by Ray Cipollini For Team Navigators –
The North American international racing circuit headed north this week to the Quebec Region of Beauce for the 17th edition of the G.P. Cycliste de Beauce. This UCI 2.3 event is one of the most important on the Continent
and features 8-stages over 7-days of racing throughout the demanding, yet picturesque countryside.
A 350 meter two up sprint with actual times recorded to determine GC. The sprint was mostly uphill, making it more than just a pure sprinters event.
1st: Jaromir Friede- Wusteenrot ZVVZ
2nd: Alexandre Cloutier-Volkswagon Trek
3rd: Charles Dionne-7UP
A new course for this year’s expanded GP de Beauce, the race’s first real stage was a 163.5 KM route from the Quebec suburb of Levis to Ste-Marie. Typical of most Beauce road stages, this course featured three KOM and generally rolling terrain on difficult road surface, punctuated by sharp climbs and long power ascents. A relatively flat opening 20 miles saw little action until 7-Ups’ Doug Ziewacz and Marlux-Ville de Charleroi’s
Johan Coenen broke clear as the field sat back. The pair would gain over 6 minutes before the peloton began to take interest. As the field approached the day’s 2nd KOM, at 79km,a series of attacks spurred the group’s aggression, and the leaders rapidly began losing time. At the back, riders were beginning to struggle, and the field continued to thin during the next
50 km of climbing. Most notable of the casualties were the race leader Friede, and the maillot rouge (best young rider) Piere Boily. The two leaders were absorbed at about 110km and a flurry of attacks sent
Nurnberger’s Lubor Tesar and ITeam Nova’s David McEnzie clear. The pair hovered at 10-15 seconds until Navigators’ Tom Leaper jumped across. With Leaper in the mix, the gap quickly opened, soon reaching 1’50”. With 25 kmremaining, the Mercury and 7-Up teams took up chase and slowly started to whittle at the lead. At 10 km to go, Leaper inexplicably faltered, and Tesar took advantage and pushed hard at the front, opening the gap. As Tesar and McEnzie raced to the finish, Leaper struggled to pursue, and the Mercury Team was driving the bunch. A long descent, with grades up to 15%
motivated the Mercury chase, and the gap was dropping rapidly. As the lead pair entered the final 2km, the bunch was under40 seconds, and Leaper was
pushing to hang onto third. At the finish, Tesar edged McEnzie and the field roared in 15 seconds later, catching Leaper in the sprint, as Mercury’s Gord Fraser rewarded his team’s effortstaking 3rd. The finishing
time of 3:57:11 with an average speed of 41.36 km/hr.