Posted by Editor on 09/7/99
New Leader - Same Team at Trans Canada Tour
Francaise de Jeux kept it in the family today, with Jean-Cyril Robin taking over the leader's jersey from team mate Lars Michaelsen after winning the crucial Mont Royal circuit race. North Americans figured prominently in the stage, with Levi Leipheimer (Saturn) finishing 3rd, Mike Barry (Saturn) 5th, Chris Horner (Francaise de Jeux) 7th and Dominique Perras (Canadian National) 10th.
Mont Royal was expected to be a pivotal stage in the Trans-Canada Tour, and it did not disappoint. The riders rode 8 laps of the 15.4 kilometre circuit through Montreal, including the 3.2 kilometre climb up Mont Royal.
The race began relatively slowly, as the riders warmed up, and also waited for the big move to happen. A few attempts were made in the first couple of laps (with Barry and Perras present), but it wasn't until the fourth lap - the halfway mark - that a serious breakaway formed. All the major teams were represented in the 16 rider breakaway that developed, and which quickly went two and a half minutes clear of the disintegrating pack. The break was helped by a brief, but violent rainstorm that passed through the area.
With 2 laps left in the race, the ante was upped again when Leif Hoste (Mapei Quick Step) and Vincent Cali (Home Team) broke away from the lead group and were able to put some serious space between themselves and the chasers. Cali was very dangerous to Francaise de Jeux, since he was within a minute of the leader's jersey.
FdJ went to work at the front of the chase group to bring the lead duo back - Robin was seen in the group exhorting his team mate Horner to pick up the pace. However, in a break for FdJ (and some bad luck for Cali), Cali flatted at the base of the final climb. Robin accelerated sharply on the climb, taking Guido Trentin (Vini Caldirola) with him and passing Hoste as if he were standing still.
Robin and Trentin played cat and mouse for a while, before Robin rode away to take both the stage and the red leader's jersey.
Levi Leipheimer, showing that his elbow injury is no longer a factor took the sprint for third from a group of 4 chasers, with team mate Barry finishing in the same group, in 5th. Remarkably, Cali managed to come back after his flat to finish 6th on the stage.
Robin now has a 28 second lead on Trentin, with Cali in third at one minute. Horner moves into fourth, Barry in 7th, Fred Rodriguez in 8th and Perras in 10th.
- 3 riders finished outside the time limit (including Canadians Rodney Henderson and Erik Lyman (both Canadian National), who has a broken wrist), one rider did not start, and one rider abandoned - Axel Merckx (Mapei Quick Step).
- crowds were large until the rain began, at which point many ran for shelter.
- Gord Fraser (Mercury) holds the green Sprinters Jersey and New Zealander Scott Guyton (Linda McCartney) the Climbers Jersey. Chris Horner wears the orange jersey identifying him as the top North American in the race.
|2||Guido TRENTIN||VIN||ITA||at 0:04|
|6||Vincent CALI||HDM||FRA||both s.t.|
|10||Dominique PERRAS||CAN||CAN||all s.t.|
|35||Mat ANAND||SAT||CAN||all s.t.|
|84||Derek BOUCHARD HALL||MCT||USA|
|90||Andrew RANDELL||JET||CAN||all s.t.|
|Erik LYMAN||JET||CAN||outside limit|
|Rodney HENDERSON||CAN||CAN||outside limit|
|2||Guido TRENTIN||VIN||ITA||at 0:28|
|74||Derek BOUCHARD HALL||MCT||USA||53:44|
|84||Matt HANSEN||JET||CAN||all s.t.|
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