Friday, September 2, 2011

Les Mardis Cyclistes: June 21, 2011 Jean-Francois Laroche wins stage 3

Stage 3 Results: Top 5:

1. Jean-François Laroche (Fantino Mondello Regis)
2. Martin Gilbert (SpiderTech p/b C10)
3. Eric Lyman (Team Spirit GTH Cannondale)
4. Pierre-Etienne Boivin (Amical)
5. Matthieu Roy (Gaspesien)
6. Andreas Muller (Berliner)

Leaders after 3 stages:

1 Martin Gilbert  (SpiderTech p/b C10)
2 Jean Francois Laroche (Fantino Mondello Cycles Regis)
3 Erik Lyman (Team Spirit GTH Cannondale) 
4 Dominic Chalifoux (Trek-Bontrager) 
5 Pierre-Etienne Boivin (Amical)

Complete results and stage 3 points summary

Stage 3:

  • Defending champion Jean-Francois Laroche wins the bunch sprint over Martin Gilbert and Erik Lyman.
  • Austrian elite track cyclist Andreas Muller makes a guest appearance but is a non factor in the race and records a sixth place finish.
  • As previously reported in the 2010 season recap, Jean-Francois Laroche won the 2010 Mardis Cyclists series championship solely on points without winning a single stage and tonight’s win actually marks his first stage victory since August 5th 2008.
  • High winds and overcast skies set the stage for a fast paced race marked by several crashes on the far side of the course. 
  • There were several short lived break away attempts and although the peleton got strung out due to the fast pace, it managed to stay intact right down to the final sprint where Laroche out crafted everyone to take top honours. 

Release by the Mardis Cyclistes

Laroche Feels Vindicated

Montréal, Tuesday June 21 – Montreal cyclist Jean-François Laroche (Fantino Mondello) scored his first stage victory in two years at the Mardis Cyclistes here this evening, crossing the finish line of this 50km race in a time of 1:02:59, giving an average speed of 47.9 km/h.

The defending champion explained that he won the series of 10 stage races last year, “But that was based on points, not stage victories. I almost felt like an imposter in the yellow (leader’s) jersey. Now I finally feel vindicated!”

In the final sprint, Laroche edged out Olympic and professional cyclist, Martin Gilbert (Spidertech), and Erik Lyman (Team Spirit Cannondale). “The wind was really strong on the last straightaway and I knew that I had to avoid launching my sprint as quickly as usual. Normally I finish these races completely bagged, but this time I easily beat Gilbert and I’m feeling pretty good!” crowed Laroche after the race. Laroche also narrowed the gap to only 42 points that separates him from Gilbert, the 2011 series leader.

Gilbert, a Chateauguay native, admitted making a fatal error.” With the wind in my face, I knew that I had to be very careful but I launched an attack anyways. Jean-François took advantage of my effort when I started my sprint. After that, I couldn’t catch him,” he lamented.

A fast race, even for a World Cup champion

Austrian Andreas Muller (Berliner TSC), an accomplished track cyclist who has won bronze in World Cup events, made a special guest appearance and finished a respectable sixth in the field of 106 pro-elite men.  “I did not expect it to be so fast. Many cyclists here have a lot of talent. I wasn’t really expecting to stand on the podium; getting here only 10 minutes before the start gun went off,” he said with a smile. Müller also revealed that he drove up from New York City Tuesday morning, but did not know that Mercier Bridge was closed (for safety reasons) and had to make a long detour around by Champlain Bridge.

Riders from the Fuji Cycling Time team distinguished themselves at many points during the race. Cyclists Daniel Dominguez (ESP), Adrian Catayud (FRA) and Rigo Raim (EST) tried a few manoeuvres, but in vain.


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