Posted by Editor on 06/2/08
German Regina Schleicher wins the first stage
Despite a fall, Clara Hugues continues the Tour
For a second straight year, the town of Châteauguay hosted the world women's cycling elite for the first stage of the Tour du Grand Montréal.
The new 5.7 km circuit was covered 15 times to total 85.5 km in all. The flat course meant riders were able to average 42 km/h and then finish in a pack. German rider Regina Schleicher (Nurnberger Versicherung team) took the win and GC lead (for the second time in a row) in 1:59:41, followed by Australians: Oenone Wood (Team High Road) and Rochelle Gilmore (Menikini Selle Italia Master Colors).
Four jerseys are on the line for the Tour du Grand Montréal. Apart from the yellow jersey (Quebec) now worn by Schleicher, the Netherland's Suzanne De Goede (Nurnberger Team) will wear the Sprint leaders's jersey (Natur-a). Tanja Hennes (Specialized Designs for Women) nabbed the jersey for the best cyclist over 35 years old (Argon 18). The queen of the mountain (QOM) jersey (Swiss International Air Lines) will be handed out for the first time at the next stage.
Canadian Clara Hughes fell just three laps from the finish. Despite scratches on her left side (knee, hip, elbow, hand), the cyclist, who has been living in Estrie for several years, was able to finish the race. The medical team is confident she will be on the start line tomorrow for the Granby stage.
The Tour du Grand Montréal is a five-stage race being held from June 2 to 5, 2008. The second stage will take place tomorrow in Granby at the Daniel-Johnson Park at 5:00 p.m.
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