Svein Tuft wins Tour de Beace Stage 4 - results, report and videoBy Canadian Cycling Magazine - Published June 15, 2012
Svein Tuft (Team Canada) did what he does best, winning the stage four 21.8 km Saint-Benoit-Labre time trial in 27:08 minutes at the Tour de Beauce on Friday. The time trial specialist out rode Australia’s Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare) in second placed with a time of 27:38 minutes, Hugo Houle (SpiderTech p/b C10) 27:54 in third and Christian Meier (Team Canada) 28:03 in fourth.
There were only ten seconds separating the top three in the overall classification at the start of the time trial. Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist) was leading by three seconds ahead of stage three winner Matt Cooke (Exergy) in second place and by 10 seconds ahead of Sutherland in third place.
Sutherland’s second place performance in the time trial was enough to move into the overall race lead and Houle is now sitting in second place. Mancebo slid into seventh place overall after posting a time of 29:07 in the time trial.
The King of the Mountain and Points competitions will resume at the stage five circuit race in Quebec City. Cooke (Exergy) and Mancebo are tied in the King of the Mountain competition with 20 points each. Mancebo is leading the Points competition and Houle is leading the U23 competition.
After today’s time trial, Svein Tuft says this year he didn’t come to Beauce with big ambitions. He came to support his friend and Orica-GreenEdge teammate, Meier as part of Team Canada. “The next two days we’ll be on the war path for Christian,” says Tuft. He added Team Canada has allies in the peloton and intends to work to get Meier on the podium.
That’s also the ambition of SpiderTech. Race director Michael Carter says even though UnitedHealthcare has the strongest team on paper, he feels that there will be strong attacks from other teams – including Competitive Cyclist, the team of Mancebo who lost the yellow jersey today - which will create opportunities to exploit. “As far as things getting better, we could definitely still win the race; it’s going to be very difficult to do it, but the opportunity is certainly going to be there and we’ll have to capitalize and see if we can’t just seal the deal and capitalize on everything that comes our way,” Carter says.
The rider who’ll now have to take responsibility to exploit those opportunities is Houle. After today’s ride, Houle spent some quiet time driving back to the race hotel with Carter. The 21-year-old has some new things to think about, the responsibility of being a leader. “I will need to be focused and concentrated,” says Houle.
If Houle and SpiderTech are able to exploit those opportunities and the young rider grasps the yellow jersey on Sunday, he’ll be the first Quebec racer to win Beauce since Jacques Landry did it in 1994.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s 125 km circuit race, which takes place in Quebec City.
Unofficial top four
1. Svein Tuft (Team Canada) 27:08
2. Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare) 27:38
3. Hugo Houle (SpiderTech p/b C10) 27:54
4. Christian Meier (Team Canada) 28:03
Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare)
King of the Mountain
Matt Cooke (Exergy)
Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist)
Hugo Houle (SpiderTech p/b C10)