June 15/07 8:46 am - Tour de Beauce: Stage 4a
Posted by Editor on 06/15/07
For the second consecutive day, the Tour de Beauce saw a change in the lead, with Australian Ben Day (Navigators) taking over the yellow jersey from Gregorio Ladino Vega (Tecos) after scorching the competition in the individual time trial. Danny Pate (Slipstream), the defending time trial champion at Beauce finished second and Svein Tuft (Symmetrics) was third. Tuft moves into second overall (33 seconds behind Day, with Pate taking over third at 1:04.
The 20 kilometre out-and-back time trial was held under near perfect conditions - mid-20's (Celsius) temperatures, almost no wind or humidity. Starting along a boulevard, the riders zig-zagged out of the town of St-Georges for the first two kilometres, before hitting a steady (but not steep) grade for the next four kilometres. The remaining four kilometres before the turnaround were flat.
Canadian cyclo-cross champion Greg Reain (Calyon-Litespeed) set the first sub-28 minute time, eventually finishing sixth at 27:29. It took Glen Chadwick (Navigators), winner of the previous two stages, to lower the time by one second.
After this, Pate came through over a minute faster, with Tuft two seconds behind him. But it was Day who rode in after Tuft, second from last on the start list, and the former Australian time trial champion was the only rider to go under 26 minutes, recording a very quick 25:58. Ladino Vega could only manage 27:38 (ninth best), and dropped to fourth overall.
Afterwards, on a cellphone, Day was overheard saying "I'm going pretty good; I beat him by 30 seconds - how's that!"
Day also said "I always have confidence in a time trial, but today I was on top of it; today was a very good day for me."
Tuft was visibly disappointed with seceding over 30 seconds to his rival. "I just didn't have the full zap after yesterday at Megantic. Going up the climb so hard took a lot out of me, I guess. I knew the legs weren't there even during the warmup, so I wasn't in top form, but I also think Day had an exceptional ride. Some days you feel like you can push a gear, other days not so much ... this was an 'other' day for me."
- Tuft pointed out that Beauce isn't over, with two more days of tough circuit racing. he should know - he lost the lead two years ago to Nathan O'Neill on one of those final days; the circuit that is going to be used tomorrow. "I still think the possibilities are good. Anything can happen at Beauce; I saw it the last time trying to protect my lead on the Quebec stage."
- Day revealed that this year, for the first time, he had a chance to do some wind tunnel testing to improve his time trialling. "We were at the wind tunnel before the Tour of California. The time trial has been my specialty for a few years (he was 10th at Worlds in 2003, in Hamilton), but this year is the first chance to try out the wind tunnel. We changed a few small things on the position at the front of the bike, and it has made a difference."
"This race is definitely not over. It seems to me like the kind of race where it is easier to race from behind then defend from in front. But, I have confidence in the team, that we'll get it done."