Posted by Editoress on 06/16/05
Tour de Beauce St Georges, QC
Stage 3: St-Joseph to St-Joseph, 140 km
Dominique Rollin (Equipe Quebec) will hold onto the yellow leader's jersey at the Tour de Beauce for a second day, after the field finished together in stage three. Rollin, who won stage two on Wednesday, finished safely in the pack, three seconds behind winner David O'Loughlin (Navigators). Mark Walters (Navigators), who is second in the overall standings, managed to gain three seconds on Rollin after taking an intermediate time bonus, and is now only 12 seconds out of the lead.
The stage was shortened from 180 kilometres to 140 due to road damage, a decision that everyone agreed with, according to 2003 Beauce winner John Lieswyn (Health Net). "When we saw the road, and the shape some of the bridges were in ... the officials made the right call on that one."
A third straight day of rain and strong winds discouraged serious breakaway attempts. Navigators tried to split things up in the early going, with approximately 30 riders going clear around the first KoM, but backed off when they saw that the top contenders were all making the split. Tim Johnson (Jittery Joe's) was extremely aggressive all day, but Navigators and Health Net were not letting anyone away.
Rollin's team did the best they could to protect the jersey, with Alexandre Nadeau spending a long time at the front, a fact noted by Navigators Director Ed Beamon. "Who was that guy? He was up there a long, long time. A very strong ride."
Finally, the right set of circumstances came together with 20 kilometres to go. O'Loughlin jumped away and was quickly joined by Doug Ollerenshaw (Health Net). "I was glad when Doug came up." said O'Loughlin, the Irish national champion. "He's a strong rider, and we both worked well together."
The duo managed to stretch out the lead to 20 seconds, but once they hit the finishing circuit for two and a half laps (with a little kicker of a hill at the finish line), the gap began to shrink. O'Loughlin dropped Ollerenshaw on the final circuit and managed to hold on for the win, while the Health Net rider was swarmed by the remaining thirty-odd riders 200 metres from the line.
Tomorrow, the riders face a 27 kilometre time trial in the morning, and a 60 kilometre criterium in the evening. Dominique Rollin is a strong time trialer, having won the Canadian Espoir title twice, but he may have a struggle to hold onto the jersey, with Svein Tuft (Symmetrics) and John Lieswyn both only 20 seconds back. Nathan O'Neill (Navigators) is the odds-on favourite to win the time trial, but may have difficulty making up 57 seconds on Lieswyn and Tuft.
- Lieswyn is suffering from a hamstring injury sustained at Nature Valley last week, and discounts his chances. While he is limping, he has also made all the
key moves in the race.
- Eric Wohlberg (Symmetrics) had a tough day - flatting early in the stage and then, just when he was catching on, hitting a pothole and having to get another wheel change.
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