The love affair between Judith Arndt (High Road) and Montreal continued in the second stage of the Tour du Grand Montréal. Last Saturday, Arndt won the Montreal World Cup – the fifth time in six years – and today she made her move in the final kilometers that took her across the line 6 seconds ahead of the charging peloton led by yellow jersey Regina Schleicher (Team Nurnberger Versicherung).
The rain finally let up just before the one hundred women started the Granby circuit race, 11 laps around the 9.46 km course, for a total of 104 kilometers. And attacks were immediate from the get go, and while breaks did manage to go up the road, none were long lived, and the field was all together at the bell for the final lap.
While the field was racing along, forming and re-forming, Dutch rider De Goede (Nurnberger Team) won 2 of the 3 intermediate sprints and placed second in the last one to keep the lead and the jersey in the sprinters competition. Mountain points were on the line for the first time and Felicia Gomez (Aaron’s) announced her intention to contend for the polka dot jersey by winning 2 and finished second in the 3 QOM sprints.
In the final lap, the decisive break of five, including Arndt, escaped the field and with 5 kilometers to go, the German engaged her turbo to keep a small gap to the finish line. The field caught up to the other members in the break, and Schleicher was second and Oenone Wood (High Road) finished third.
“We all raced really well together,” explained Arndt in the team report. “In the end I finished only five second ahead of the bunch. It really hurt.”
With the time bonuses on the line, both Arndt and Schleicher have the same overall time, and with UCI rules in effect, Schleicher kept the leaders jersey going into tomorrow’s split stage day, that starts off with a short individual time trial in the morning and ends with an evening crit.