Posted by Editoress on 06/23/12
After three days of intense heat, a thunderstorm moved through Mont-Ste-Anne last night and heavy rain has drenche the course.
The woods are now very treacherous so the organizers have decided to change the early part of the course adding the long traditional gravel climb and omitting some of the woods at the beginning this allows the field to spread out before entering the new singletrack section.
Canadians are by far the largest contingent today, headed by newly minted National Champion, Leandre Bouchard. Others are: Mitchell Bailey, Evan McNeely, Evan Guthrie, Jeremy Martin, Antoine Caron, Andrew L'Esperance, Steven Noble, Alex Lavertu, Philippe Depault, Patrick Chartrand, Samuel Tremblay, Felix Wilberg and Daniel Varga
The U23 men are on course and have completed their first full lap of 4.
Evan Guthrie is the first Canadian sitting 14th and Mitchell Bailey sits 16th, both over 2 min back of the current race leader Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Tx Active Bianchi). Ondrej Cink (Merida Biking Team) had been the leader during most of the first lap, but seems to hae run into some problem, as he has not come through to start the next lap.
Partway through the 2nd lap and Michiel van der Heijden (Rabobank Giant Offroad Team) has taken over the lead with Kerschbaumer now 2nd at 7 sec back. Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Focus MIG Team) 3rd at 35 sec.
USA's Russell Finsterwald (Subaru - Trek) is top N American in 13th, but Guthrie is moving on him sitting 14th just 8 sec back
Up the climb on the 3rd lap, van der Heijden is extending his lead, now 15 sec over Kerschbaumer. Guthrie has moved into the top 10.
Midway, into the lap. van der Heijden leading with Kerschbaumer managing to hold the gap to under 20 sec. Schulte-Luenzum still 3rd but falling back
Guthrie is riding with a group of 5, who are all battling it out for 10th spot. Also in that group is Finsterwald, Julian Schelb, Matthias Stirnemann (Thoemus Racing Team), Olof Jonsson (Team Fujibikes Rockets)
van der Heijden leading with Kerschbaumer still 2nd, and he has closed the gap to just 12 sec. Schulte-Luenzum still 3rd at 46 sec.
The group of 5 has now spread out, and Finsterwald claims the 10th spot, but Guthrie is 11th.
Bailey 17th, , Bouchard 22nd, Caron 23rd
1 Michiel Van Der Heijden (Rabobank Giant Offroad Team)
2 Gerhard Kerschbaumer (Tx Active Bianchi)
3 Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Focus MIG Team)
4 Ruben Scheire (BH - SR Suntour - Peisey Vallandry)
5 James Reid
10 Russell Finsterwald (Subaru - Trek)
13 Evan Guthrie
17 Mitchell Bailey
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