Canadian Cyclist


June 19/98 8:54 am - Beauce Stage 3

Posted by Editor on 06/19/98

Beauce Stage 3

This is the legendary stage for the Grand Prix Cycliste de Beauce, and once again it did not disappoint. After 170 kilometre of racing, with a final 5 kilometre climb to the top of the highest paved road in Canada east of the Rockies, Levi Leipheimer of Saturn took both the stage and the overall leader's jersey from his team mate Frank McCormack.

Going into the stage, no one was quite sure what to expect - would a group go off early, and try to establish themselves before the climb to the top of Mont Megantic (1112 meters)? Or would the race stay together, until the final 30 or so kilometres, when the road would begin to point steadily upwards.

It turned out to be a bit of both. An early break of 13, representing all of the top teams, established what appeared to be a significant lead, only to be reeled in when the combination didn't quite mesh. It wasn't until 70 kilometres into the race that the right mix rolled off the front - "The Mexican (Antonio Chavez Aldape) attacked, and then the Mroz guy (Andrzei Sypytkowski) got on his wheel, then I followed", said Leipheimer. "All the major teams were represented, so I had a feeling it would stick". Also in the group were Thurlow Rogers (Mercury), Artour Babaitsev (ZVVZ), Scott Moninger (Navigators) and Canadian Jacques Landry (Radio Energie). After 10 kilometres the lead was 1:15, but then it began to climb quickly: 3:50 at 88 kilometres, 4:50 at 96, 8:20 at 107, and finally 9:40 at 125 kilometres. The pack started to reel them in at that point, with Saturn doing much of the work.

The frontrunners were down to 6 when they hit the final climb, after losing the Mexican instigator to a flat. The first surge came on the initial 18% grade, when the Mroz rider attacked. Landry was shed here, but the rest responded. 1 kilometre into the climb Leipheimer jumped on a 15% section. Sypytkowski got on immediately, Moninger blew up spectacularly, and Babaitsev and Rogers settled into their own pace behind the two leaders. It took 3 more attacks by Leipheimer to shed the tenacious Polish rider in the final 180 degree switchback) before he could claim a slim 7 second victory. Babaitsev took third, Rogers a very impressive 4th (for a self-proclaimed "non-climber") and Moninger 5th. The 6th member of the break - Jacques Landry - was heartbreakingly caught right at the line by the first two riders off the front of the disintegrated pack.

Race Notes:

- Stage 1 winner Gord Fraser (Mercury) did not start, and Saturn's Brian Walton pulled out after 60 kilometres; both victims of colds.

- the first 4 riders moved into the first four positions on general classification, with former leader McCormack relegated to 7th.

- Mountain biker Andreas Hestler, riding on the national team squad suffered a flat 30 kilometres before the end of the stage, however, other offroaders performed very respectably: Peter Wedge (Radio Energie) 10th, Roland Green (Canada) 14th and Seamus McGrath (Canada) 15th


Stage 3 - St Georges de Beauce to Mont Megantic, 170 km

1. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Saturn 4:27:23
2. Andrzei Sypytkowski (POL) Mroz at 0:07
3. Artour Babaitsev (RUS) ZVVZ 0:36
4. Thurlow Rogers (USA) Mercury 1:43
5. Scott Moninger (USA) Navigators 2:30

8. Jacques Landry (CAN) Radio Energie 3:25
10. Peter Wedge (CAN) Radio Energie 4:06

1. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Saturn 13:46:31
2. Andrzei Sypytkowski (POL) Mroz at 0:07
3. Artour Babaitsev (RUS) ZVVZ 0:41
4. Thurlow Rogers (USA) Mercury 1:49
5. Tomas Konecny (CZE) ZVVZ 3:21

8. Landry 3:29
11.Wedge 4:12
13. Czeslaw Lucaszewicz (CAN) Mroz 4:35
16. Roland Green (CAN) Canada 4:42
17. Michael Barry (CAN) 4:58
19. Sylvain Beauchamps (CAN) Radio Energie 5:09

Stage 3 Course Profile


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