June 3/02 9:52 am - Demet-Barry Takes Lead in Tour of Montreal
Posted by Editor on 06/3/02
Demet-Barry Leads Tour of Montreal
American Dede Demet-Barry (Talgo America) has followed her stunning victory at the Montreal World Cup race on Saturday by taking the lead of the Tour of Montreal after two stages of racing. Local Lachine favourite Genevieve Jeanson, riding for Team Rona, won the first stage and sits in second place overall, a handful of seconds back.
The Tour of Montreal began Monday morning with a fast and difficult 3 kilometre time trial that followed along beside the Lachine Canal. The out and back race gave a few riders difficulties at the start, with a sharp left-right combination that put a some riders onto the grass verge of the road. However, the top riders had no difficulty, with Jeanson posting the fastest time, a bare seven-tenths of a second ahead of Demet-Barry.
Winnipeg's Erin Carter set the early standard of four minutes and three seconds, but Clara Hughes (Equipe Quebec), who has returned to cycling after winning a speedskating bronze medal at Salt Lake City, knocked 5 seconds off Carter's time. Lyne Bessette (Equipe Quebec), Hughes' friend and former team mate on the professional Saturn squad came within three and a half seconds of the lead, but it wasn't until Jeanson came flying through the finish that Hughes was dethroned by one second.
It seemed assured that Jeanson, the former World Champion in the time trial discipline, would be the winner, but there was still Demet-Barry to finish and, after her victory on Mont Royal on Saturday, no one was willing to count her out. Jeanson managed to hold onto the victory by the slimmest of margins, with Demet-Barry actually riding the race on a bike she had borrowed from Hughes.
"Clara rode early enough that she was actually able to lend me her special time trial bike. It helped make the difference."
Just over six hours later the riders lined up again for a fast circuit race - the Petit Italie criterium along St Laurent, Mozart, Casgrain and Saint-Zotique. The riders would cover the one kilometre course 50 times in just over an hour, with Laura Van Gilder (Trek Plus-VW), the former U.S. criterium champion, taking the sprint victory ahead of Anna Millward (Saturn) and Demet-Barry. Time bonuses put Demet-Barry into the leaders jersey.
"I realized that on such a tight course as this that a breakaway couldn't stay away, so I went for the bonus sprints through the race." explained Demet-Barry. "I don't know if my team can protect the jersey tomorrow, but we are going to try."
Andre Aubut, manager of the Rona team, was not worried about losing the jersey after the first stage. "It actually helps Genevieve (not to be in the jersey), because now the other team has to work to protect the jersey, and it takes the pressure off us a bit." Jeanson holds the Best Canadian and Best Young Rider jerseys.
Tuesday's final 113.5 kilometre stage takes place around Terrebonne, and for the Canadian racers had the added feature of being used as the selection race for the Commonwealth Games team.