Posted by Editoress on 06/14/11
Martin Gilbert (Spidertech p/b C10) won tonight's Mardis Cyclistes bicycle race, beating out 94 other cyclists. Gilbert, who finished second at last week’s Mardis Cyclistes, will now wear the yellow jersey (to signify that he is the series leader) at stage 3 on June 21. Martin-an Olympic cyclist--clocked in at 1:02:38 for the 50km race, averaging 47.8 kmph.
The surprise of the evening was Simon-Pierre Gauthier (Espoirs Quilicot), an 18-year-old who finished second, mere inches behind Gilbert. Some 20 long seconds elapsed before the pack crossed the finish line with Jean-François Laroche (Fantino Mondello – Cycles Régis) taking third. Canadian criterium champ, David Veilleux (Europcar), finished close behind in fourth.
Gilbert and his team mate, Keven Lacombe, launched their attack on the 17th of 31 laps. Gauthier seized the moment to move forward with the two seasoned sprinters. Toward the last lap, the three had built up a 32 second lead over the rest of the pack.
“Keven and I looked at each other and decided to go for it. Once we moved, we pushed hard to try and build up the biggest possible gap. And hey, it worked! Simon-Pierre worked well, taking his time at the lead. He had a lot of energy when we took off,” said Gilbert who is very happy with his first win of the Mardis calendar.
The rest of the pack was never able to bridge the gap to the breakaway group despite the presence of Laroche-the defending series champion--and Veilleux who races in Europe with the French-based Europcar team.
“I knew that Lacombe and Gilbert were hatching something up after the intermediate sprint and I made sure that I was ready. Time trials are my specialty so a fast, steady pace like we had this evening was good for me. I had difficulty keeping up with two guys that good. I felt like a junior who jumped up into the national league,” explained Gauthier. The young rider turns 19 in February, 2012.
Keven Lacombe pedalled hard for the last three laps, ensuring that the breakaway group would go all the way. He did not finish in the top five, however. “It would have been good to put two of our guys on the podium, but what we were aiming for was to win this stage,” explained Gilbert.
A little earlier in the evening, Hendrik Pineda (Sprint 2000) scored a convincing win among the juniors. Olivier Miclette (VC Longueuil) who finished third this evening, however, becomes the series leader and will wear yellow next week. Among the women, it was Véronique Drapeau-Zgoralski (Juvederm Specialized) who won her second race in two weeks at Mardis Cyclistes.
The minime race saw Édouard Laparé-Morin (Espoirs Laval) and Melyssa Fortin (VC Longueuil) on top of the podium, repeating their performances of a week earlier. Morin and Fortin both built up their leads in general classification.
The Mardis Cyclistes have been around Montreal for 34 years. Every summer for 10 weeks, stage races (called “criteriums”) are presented on Tuesday evenings. Younger cyclists start at 5:30 and 6:00 pm, while the senior men’s race with cyclists blast off at 7 pm for 31 laps around LaSalle Park in the Montreal suburb of Lachine. It is free to watch these races.
1 Martin Gilbert (Spidertech p/b C10)
2 Simon-Pierre Gauthier (Espoirs Quilicot)
3 Jean-François Laroche (Fantino Mondello – Cycles Régis)
4 David Veilleux (Europcar)
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