Halfway through the Andalucía Bike Race, a six-day UCI HC mountain bike stage race, Leandré Bouchard has barely been off the podium. With three days of racing left, the Canadian 2016 Olympian is now within sight of the a top GC finish.
Podium Elite Men | STAGE 3
— Andalucía Bike Race (@AndBikeRace) February 27, 2020
Canadian chasing the leaders
While Bouchard (Pivot Cycles-OTE) is currently fourth overall, he has been on the podium in two of the three stages. On Tuesday’s first stage of racing, Bouchard was 11th. The stage, and individual time trial format, saw him drop 90 seconds to Francesco Failli (ASD Cicle Taddei).
The tall Canadian was then third in the next two stages of Andalucía Bike Race. Those two podium finishes brought him up through the GC standings to sixth, then fourth. He now trails race leader Fabian Rabensteiner (Trek-Pirelli) by 3 minutes 21 seconds. He is less than 1 minute behind the current third-place rider, Ben Zweihoff (Team Centurion-Vaude).
You can see Bouchard (Race bib #1 in Pivot Cycles-OTE) leading the front group of riders through “Los Caracolillos” below:
All to play with three big days remaining
Bouchard’s three-minute gap to Rabensteiner may seem large but, with three days of racing left anything could happen. Friday’s fourth stage of the Andalucía Bike Race will see racers gain over 2,000 metres of elevation before they cross the finish line. That massive elevation gain is divided between three long climbs surrounding Priego de Córdoba.
If Bouchard can maintain his upward trajectory from the first three days of racing in the second half of Andalucía Bike Race, he could end up on the final podium.