Posted by Editoress on 06/28/12
Mardis Cyclistes, June 26th
It was Jean-Michel Lachance (Latino Cycling Team) who used his head as much as his legs to win the fourth stage of the weekly Mardis Cyclistes presented by Jean Coutu here in the Montreal suburb of Lachine. Lachance’s victory in the senior men's race was all that more impressive because he had no team mates to support him amongst the 58 cyclists on the start line.
In rainy conditions, Lachance risked everything and took off like an 'express train' on the very last corner of the 50km circuit. His more cautious rivals were caught dumbfounded by the manoeuvre and unable to catch up. With this move, Lachance stole the victory away from series leader Jean-Samuel Deshaies (Ekoi-Gaspesien) and from pro rider Martin Gilbert (SpiderTech p/b C10) who completed the podium in second and third ranks respectively. Following closely in fourth was Jean-François Laroche (Fantino-Regis) while Remi Pelletier-Roy (Garneau-Québecor) rounded out the top five.
Only 30 cyclists finished the men’s race in wet and slippery conditions, but there were (apparently) no crashes.
“There were many attempted breakaways this evening, but the teams here wanted things to finish in a bunch sprint. I decided to launch my sprint as soon as possible, just coming out of the last turn. My strategy worked and I caught the others by surprise,” said Lachance, 21. Lachance also probably had something to prove this evening after a crash at the Canadian crit championships on Sunday in Lake Megantic which left him off the podium there.
This was his first win in the senior races, but Lachance scored a victory a few years ago in another age category while riding as a 15 year old. The Mardis series have been going continuously since 1978.
But while Lachance won this evening’s race, Jean-Samuel Deshaies is still leading in cumulative points after the first four of 10 weekly races. "It’s too bad I didn’t win," said Deshaies, “but our team picked up many of the intermediate sprints and we worked solidly to prevent our rivals from picking up precious points.”
Veronique Drapeau-Zgoralski (Specialized-Mazda SGC) won for the women, followed by Florence, Laplante-Lamarche (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery) in second with Elisabeth Albert (Rocky Mountain Forget Aubin) in third of the 15 women who raced. Among those presenting awards to the cyclists this evening was Bernard Trottier, former owner of the sporting goods retail chain that still bears his name.
1 Jean-Michel Lachance (Latino Cycling Team)
2 Jean-Samuel Deshaies (Ekoi-Gaspesien)
3 Martin Gilbert (SpiderTech p/b C10)
4 Jean-François Laroche (Fantino-Regis)
5 Remi Pelletier-Roy (Garneau-Quebecor Norton Rose)
1 Veronique Drapeau-Zgoralski (Specialized-Mazda SGC)
2 Florence Laplante-Lamarche (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery)
3 Elisabeth Albert (Rocky Mountain Forget Aubin)
Men's GC after 4/10 races
1 Jean-Samuel Deshaies (Ekoi-Gaspesien) 405 pts
2 Jean-François Laroche (Fantino-Regis) 270
3 Hugues Lapointe (Cycle Neron LaPrairie) 257
4 Maxime Vives (Garneau Quebecor) 240
5 Martin Gilbert (SpiderTech p/b C10) 215
6 Stephen Keeping (Steven Racing p/b The Cyclery) 214
7 Dominic Chalifoux (Trek-Bontrager) 179
8 Michel Henri (Archibald / EIC) 160
9 Pierrick Naud (Ekoi-Gaspesien) 150
10 Hugo Houle (SpiderTech p/b C10) 144
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