Mancebo wins Tour de Beauce Stage 1 - results, report and videoBy Deen Karim - Published June 12, 2012
Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist) made a late-race move that won him the opening stage of the Tour de Beauce being held this week in Quebec. The defending champion attacked with three kilometres to go and barely made it across the finish line before a charging peloton. Ryan Roth (SpiderTech p/b C10) placed second and Matthias Friedemann (Champion System) placed third.
Mancebo is currently leading the overall classification and the points competition.
One hundred and seven riders from 17 teams lined up for the starting stage at Lac-Etchimen. There was little concern about weather as temperatures in the low 20s and sunshine basked riders as they signed in for the 27th edition of the race.
Dozens of school children lined the corral clanging small green bells as riders warmed up. Zach Bell (SpiderTech p/b C10) rode over to where some of the children were standing, leaned on his bike and took a few photos with them.
It didn’t take long after the race began for a breakaway to get organized. The small group included Flavio De Luna (SpiderTech p/b C10), David Williams (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) and Ken Hanson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies).
They built a gap that at one point stretched to slightly over nine minutes. The peloton was unable to reel them in so, De Luna, Williams and Hanson became the only competitors for the Sprint and King of the Mountain (KOM) points bonuses.
Williams won the first sprint bonus early into the break just after the 10 km mark. De Luna took second and Hanson third. Hanson would not settle without a reward for his work, however. At the 67 km mark, he surged, winning the points for the first KOM. De Luna and Williams took 2nd and 3rd.
Even though the peloton was not aggressively chasing down the break, the gap began to wane. At around 88 km, it was down to 5:45 minutes. Despite losing time, however, the breakaway proved resilient.
At the second sprint bonus, De Luna edged out Williams and Hanson. In a surprising twist, Hanson who’s better known more for his sprinting abilities than as a climber, also won the second KOM points bonus. The effort clearly took a tool on him and he fell of the breakaway’s pace.
With Hanson back in the pack, UnitedHealthcare, Team Type 1 - Sanofi and Champion System increased the tempo to try and close down the rest of the gap to the two remaining riders. With less than 25 km to the finish, the gap was down to 30 seconds. Williams and De Luna did not give up easily. They were swarmed by the peloton with 20 km to go.
Over the final roller, two-time Beauce winner Mancebo, Sebastien Salas (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealtcare) attempted a late-race breakaway for the finish line.
However, Salas hit Sutherland’s wheel ad crashed. Mancebo was not affected by the accident and rode to victory. Roth and Friedmann sprinted to the finish line ahead of the remaining peloton and placed second and third.
After the race Competitive Cyclist team director Gord Fraser praised his team and said he knew the last hill near the finish would be interesting and important. Fraser said it’s a climb he knows well having lost the race there in 2004.
Even though Mancebo has the race lead, Fraser was very happy with David Williams’ effort. “It’s a job well done,” Fraser said. He said the young rider’s effort is a launching pad for his team and will definitely motivate other riders, adding, “it’s a fantastic start.”
SpiderTech was also happy with how the race unfolded. Team director Michael Carter says the results give his team a stake in the general classification and the King of the Mountains competition. He noted that Optum’s Hanson is a sprinter and may not be able to hang onto the KOM jersey when the climbing gets tougher.
Roth says he’s motivated to win a stage. But he and De Luna stressed that they are there to help the team win the overall title. “I’m here to ride for the team,” said De Luna. “Whatever sacrifice I have to make I’ll do it.”
As for the race leader, he said today was a good start, but there’s much more racing to go. He’s looking forward to Mont Mégantic, a stage suited to his climbing ability. His loss there two years ago is still in his memory and he wants to make up for that loss with a stage win. He will certainly face a battle with the other top climbers like De Luna, Sutherland and Salas, among others.
Tomorrow will likely be a day for the sprinters as riders tackle the 160 km parcours that starts and finishes at Thetford-Mines.
Top 10 results
1. Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist)
2. Ryan Roth (SpiderTech p/b C10)
3. Matthias Friedemann (Champion System)
4. Christian Meier (Canada)
5. Bruno Langlois (Garneau-Quebecor-Norton)
6. Adiq Othman (Champion System)
7. Thomas Rabou (Competitive Cyclist)
8. Chad Beyer (Competitive Cyclist)
9. Evan Oliphant (Raleigh-GAC)
10. Ben Day (UnitedHealthcare)