Posted by Editor on 06/14/06
Stage two at the Tour de Beauce saw a change in the lead, with Stefan Parinussa of the German Sparkasse team able to get into the break for a second straight day while yellow jersey holder Valeriy Kobzarenko (Navigators) missed it and lost two minutes.
The 180 kilometre circuit, which started and finished in the town of St Joseph, is the longest stage of the race, with three categorized climbs and nowhere to rest. Navigators went into the stage expecting the race to break up, but planning to get Kobzarenko into any important moves.
Unfortunately for them, miscommunication and slow race updates meant that they missed the critical break on the first KoM. "We figured it would be aggressive, which was fine because we didn't want to try and ride tempo for five days" explained team director Ed Beamon.
"Unfortunately for us, there was some miscommunication at the top of the climb, when we thought it would let up a bit. It didn't and we didn't have Valeriy in there."
Added to that was a slow relay of race numbers over race radio for the break of 18 which had gone up the road. "By the time we realized the German (Parinussa) and the Colombian on Tecos (John Fredy Parra Calada - Tecos Trek Vh) were there it was too late."
In the break were David O'Loughlin (Navigators), Ciaran Power (Navigators), Parinussa, Danny Pate (TIAA-CREF), Peter McDonald (FRF Courier), Koki Simbo (Asian), Christian Meier (Symmetrics), Andrew Pinfold (Symmetrics), Dustin MacBurnie (Canadian National), Greg Reain (Can National), Parra Calada, Hector Rangel Zimarron (Tecos), Tom Zirbel (Priority Health), Glen Mitchell (Priority Health), Cameron Hughes (Italpasta), Kevin Miller (Fioridifrutta) and Yovanny Torres Castro (Colombia es Pasion).
The gap stretched to as much as seven minutes, but work by Chadwick and Walters of Navigators brought down below two minutes for the final finishing circuit in St Joseph. Seven riders had broke clear of the rest on the final KoM before the circuit - Pate, Parinussa, Calada, O'Loughlin, Power, Hughes and Zirbel. Zirbel was dropped by the other six, who rode into the finish together, with Calada taking the stage ahead of Hughes and Power. The remains of the break had been caught by the front of the peloton, which was led in by Sergey Lagutin and Kobzarenko at just over two minutes.
- Symmetrics lost Marsh Cooper, who didn't start today's stage. Cooper had a reoccurrence of knee problems which had bothered him previously, and the team didn't want to aggravate the injury before Nationals (in three weeks).
- Tomorrow is the Mont Megantic stage, which will likely upset the GC again. The stage finishes at the observatory at over 1100 metres, with the last five kilometres averaging over 12%. Navigators is counting on Cesar Grajales, but Beamon points out that "the Colombian, Calada, should be able to go up pretty fast, and don't count out either Valeriy or Sergey."
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