Heading into the final stage of the Tour de Beauce, Montreal-based Silber Pro Cycling held three jerseys. Alexandre Cowan held the overall general classification leader’s yellow jersey and at 20-years-old always was the best young rider. Nigel Ellsay lead the mountains classification. With two stage wins, the team had a phenomenal start to the race with Émile Jean winning Stage 1 and Cowan taking the individual time trial on Stage 3a.
Rob absolutely smashing it on the Ste George stage in Beauce! The field is in tatters behind. pic.twitter.com/aBASjGxJWG
— Matteo Dal-Cin (@matteoadalcin) June 18, 2017
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Stage 5 was held on a hilly 10-km circuit in Saint-Georges. It promised to pose a real challenge for the young team . With 20-km to race, Rob Britton of Rally Cycling was solo off the front. Most of the Silber team were in a reduced peloton over six minutes back when Britton attacked the front group.
— Gord Fraser (@GordFraser) June 18, 2017
As Britton powered his way to victory, Silber were unable to defend the jersey. When the dust settled, around 40 riders of the 83 riders who started the stage finished. Ellsay held onto the polka dot jersey. Cowan dropped to 11th, over 14 minutes behind the winners time and finished 6th in the young riders classification. A testament to the strong group of young North American riders competing at the race. Despite the disappointing result, Silber’s young squad will surely walk away with a valuable learning experience and can be pleased with their results in the UCI stage race.
Over the course of the race, four of the six stages were won by Canadians with Matteo Dal-Cin and Britton (Rally Cycling) adding to Silber’s two. The last Canadian to win the overall at Beauce was Svein Tuft in 2008.
How the race unfolded
In the first lap a breakaway formed. As the race evolved a number of strong riders joined it but no major GC threats. The yellow jersey of Cowan was quickly in trouble and was losing time. Ahead of the peloton, a chase developed. The race for yellow was changing with every lap. Silber started the day defending the jersey but Jelly Belly powered by Maxxis took it up trying to set it up for Jordan Cheyne who sat second overall. With Cheyne unable to hold the pace it was the Holowensko-Citadel team that took up the task of setting up Latvian Andzs Flaksis for the overall victory when the dust settled.
Cheyne would finish third overall with Burke in fourth. Robin Carpenter won the points classification and Canyon bikes won the team classification.