Canadian Cyclist


June 12/24 18:51 pm - Stites Takes Yellow on Opening Stage of Beauce

Posted by Editoress on 06/12/24

Stage 1 of the 2024 Tour de Beauce saw last year's second place overall finisher Tyler Stites (Project Echelon) win the stage solo with a late race breakaway to take both the Yellow jersey and the Points jersey. Kent Ross (Expeditor) took second, just in front of a small chase group, with Gregory Santiago Zapata Cordoba (Equipe du Quebec) winning the sprint for third. Zapata Cordoba dons the Red jersey as Best Young Rider, while Arthur Liardet (N'SIDE) will wear the Climber's jersey.

The 198 kilometre stage was the longest in Beauce history. Originally, it was to be approximately 30 kilometres shorter and include the well known Morne climb at Lac Drolet. However, road work forced organizers to re-route the race - this means Morne will also not be part of Friday's Mont Megantic stage.



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The pace was exceptionally high - averaging over 45 kilometres per hour, and finishing over 30 minutes ahead of schedule. This meant that breakaways were unable to get established for most of the race. Crashes decimated the field, with 11 abandons, and 16 finishing more than 24 minutes down. Among those hit hard was Toronto Hustle, which saw Evan Russell break his bike in a big crash halfway through the race (eventually finishing 45:38 down), and Chris Ernst crashing hard with 50 kilometres to go, having to abandon after shredding most of the skin off his back. Bruno Langlois (Cartel Racing), racing in his 23rd Beauce, managed to finish despite a crash, but had to go to the hospital post-race for stitches to sew up a nasty puncture in his leg. It is unknown if he will start Stage 2.

The first successful break of the day was established by Ethan Powell (Ecoflo Chronos), with a strong attack before the final KoM climb of the day at 45 kilometres to go. He was joined by Stites and his teammate Cade Bickmore, plus Marshall Erwood (MitoQ-NZ) and Eric Inkster (X Speed). Stites and Erwood dropped back, leaving the three at the front, who took the gap out to 55 seconds with 15 kilometres to go.

The trio were reeled in by a group of 13 with less than ten kilometres to go, and then Stites launched an attack, with three joining him. Stites managed to hold off the chasing group by eight seconds for the win, with fellow escapee Ross barely managing to finish front of the group. The bunch came in at 30 seconds.

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