Posted by Editor on 06/17/00
The criterium this evening in St Georges de Beauce, stage 4b in the GP Beauce, began as a deja vu experience. Peter Wedge (Canadian National) off the front, Mark Walters (Navigators) trying to bridge up. Didn't we see this last year in the same stage?
However, from that point on it unfolded a little differently. Walters dropped back and instead Trent Klasna (Saturn) and Duane Dickey (Grand Performance/Bianchi) bridged up. By the 5th lap of the 31 lap race (50 kilometres) the trio had a 15 second gap. It looked like it was going to stick, since Mercury wasn't chasing too hard (Dickey was the highest placed rider, and he was 2:45 down), so Navigators sent Vasilly Davidenko after them. Davidenko made it look easy, taking less than a lap to catch the frontrunners.
At this point, the break really settled down to put some time on the field, reaching a maximum gap of 44 seconds before stablizing at approximately 40 seconds for the latter half of the race. ZVVZ made a stab at bringing things back together, but every time they went to the front the speed of the pack dropped. The Mercury machine was content to let the four at the front battle it out for stage honours, while concentrating on protecting the yellow jersey of leader Scott Moninger.
Wedge knew that he would have no chance in a sprint against Klasna or Davidenko (who has already won two stages at Beauce). "I talked to Trent about working together (against Davidenko), but he liked his chances, so I started launching attacks with about three laps to go." Dickey was quickly dropped at this point, leaving the three to battle it out in the final lap. Wedge tried one last attack in the final half lap, but was quickly brought back. Klasna tried to go early, but Davidenko easily came around him in the last 25 metres to take the stage.
The break won't affect the general classification of the top riders, but will shuffle 8th through 12th (results were not available at the time of this report). Tomorrow Beauce finishes with a final road stage that ends on a tough circuit, and could provide a further rearrangement of the standings. Our coverage begins at approximately 9:00 am.
Peter Wedge initiated the break.
Klasna leads Wedge and Davidenko.
The Mercury train.
Davidenko beats Klasna in the sprint.
Tomas Konecny takes the field sprint for fifth.
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