Canadian Cyclist


October 6/18 19:51 pm - Canadians Third on Final Stage of Epic Israel

Posted by Editoress on 10/6/18

It was a strong final day on the bike for the Canadian team of Andrew L'Esperance and Raphael Gagne at the Epic Israel, moving up in the overall ranking to seventh place and finishing third on the stage. After the neutral start they positioned themselves close to the front to stay out of the dust and be ready for when a move went. On a steep pavement climb about five kilometres into the race the pair of Russia and Germany attacked and the Canadians followed quickly with the Czech team. The break quickly gained time on the field and [Jaroslav] Kulhavy made his way to the front to keep it that way.

The top five teams were within seven minutes of each other so there was certainly that GC race going on, along with the race for the stage victory. Unlike the last two days, the Canadians both made it to the final climbs of the race with good energy and good legs, and smashed them. Overall, it was an awesome experience racing and touring around Israel. L'Esperance and Gagne got some really good race experience and a bit of vacation on the side. Huge thanks to the Israel Ministry of Tourism for this opportunity.

"What a great way to finish off our time here in Israel with our strongest ride and third place on the stage," said L'Esperance. "Going into the last day, our goal was to again race at the front and ride aggressively, but my personal goal was to make it to the last climb in good shape and finish strong. My experience at Epic Israel was amazing. Each time I get to do a stage race I learn so much and takeaway so many great lessons. I am happy to conclude my 2018 season with this race and I am looking forward to getting back to Canada to start preparations for 2019. Thanks to the race organization, Norco Bicycles and Forward Racing for the support to make all this happen."

"We delivered a strong day on the bike for this last stage," said Gagne. "It's nice to see that we never played defense in the day or overall, always charging, always playing offense, again today it proved to be a smart decision. After 5K the pace went really hard after the Russian/German attacked and we were the only one to follow, as well as the Czech team. We rode the [with the] front teams for half of the race until we had to take our own pace. Doing so probably meant we finished strong, unlike the last two days where the last long climb was our weakness.

"Lots of dust, but most fun day with a bit more speed and singletrack. We finished a strong third place, climbing the overall classification to seventh. Mission accomplished. I'd like to thank my partner Andrew for the race, the Ministry of Tourism Israel for inviting us and hosting us well. Also, my team Silverback OMX pro team; this concludes my 2018 XCO season and I am excited for a bit of rest before starting building towards next race season."

Cindy Montambault and Brazilian teammate Jaqueline Mourao finished 3rd on the final stage and 3rd overall.


Stage 2: 97 km (2350 metres of Climbing)
1 Specialized (Matous/Kulhavy) 3:51:57
2 Hungarian National Team (Morton/Valter) 3:53:43
3 LEXWARE Mountain Bike Team (Brandl/Eger) 3:54:04
4 Hungarian National Team 2 (Palumby/Parti) 3:55:53
5 Team Papival - Bergamont (Chenaux/Chenaux) 3:56:18
6 Mobel Morki MTB Pro Team (Raggl/Market) 3:56:43
7 Canadian National Team (Raphael Gagne/Andrew L'Esperance) 3:57:04
8 Team Trek Selle San Marco (de Fararo/Cosmo) 3:57:50
9 Monkey Town CT (Blums/Ocklean) 3:58:04
10 Olympia Factory Team (Jacopo/Marzio) 3:58:04
1 Hungarian Nation Team-Ghost (Terpstra/Benko) 4:40:51
2 BWR Team (Michiels/Crnogorac) 4:48:36
3 Joe's No Flats (Daubermann/Noyman) 4:58:14
4 Scott Bresil/Trek GPL (Jaqueline Mourao/CindyMontambault) 5:01:38
5 eskr sporitelna specialized (Drhov/Piichilkova) 5:13:42
Stage 3: 61 km (1350 m climbing)
1 Specialized (Matous/Kulhavy) 2:21:57
2 Bergamont/Salcano (Zwiehoff/Sintsov) 2:22:00
3 Canadian National Team (Raphael Gagne/Andrew L'Esperance) 2:24:42
4 LEXWARE Mountain Bike Team (Brandl/Eger) 2:25:18
5 Mobel Markl MTB Pro Team (Raggl/Market) 2:26:06
6 Team Trek Selle San Marco (de Cosmo/Fararo) 2:26:15
7 Hungarian National Team (Morton/Valter) 2:26:15
8 Hungarian National Team (Drhov/Pichlikova) 2:28:28
9 bischibikes / (Spiess /Vitzthum) 2:28:45
10 Serpantin (Seledkov/Filatov) 2:28:52
1 BWR Team (Michiels/Crnogorac) 2:46:28
2 Hungarian Nation Team-Ghost (Terpstra/Benko) 2:54:02
3 Scott Bresil/Trek GPL (Jaqueline Mourao/CindyMontambault) 3:09:56
4 Ceskr sporitelna specialized Drhov/Piichilkova 3:11:26
5 bischibikes / (Zimmermann Meret/ Moggler) 3:13:33
Final GC
1 LEXWARE Mountain Bike Team (Brandl/Eger) 9:51:42
2 Mobel Markl MTB Pro Team (Raggl/Market) 9:55:16
3 Hungarian National Team (Morton/Valter) 9:57:08
4 Team Trek Selle San Marco (de Cosmo/Fararo) 9:59:32
5 Team Papival - Bergamon (Chenaux/Chenaux) 10:08:01
6 Specialized (Matous/Kulhavy) 10:09:17
7 Canadian National Team (Raphael Gagne/Andrew L'Esperance) 10:13:42
8 LEXWARE Mountain Bike Team 2 (Scharzbauer/List) 10:16:17
9 Monkey Town CT (Blums/Ocklean) 10:16:41
10 Hungarian National Team 2 (Palumby/Parti) 10:22:10
1 Hungarian Nation Team-Ghost (Terpstra/Benko) 11:45:32
2 BWR Team (Michiels/Crnogorac) 12:39:01
3 Scott Bresil/Trek GPL (Jaqueline Mourao/CindyMontambault) 12:53:28
4 Ceskr sporitelna specialized Drhov/Piichilkova 13:25:40
5 Joe's No Flats (Daubermann/Noyman) 13:39:54


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