Ukrainian Yuriy Metlushenko (Amore e Vita-McDonald’s) showed that his win last week at Lehigh Classic was no fluke in the second stage in Vallée-Jonction of the Tour de Beauce. Metlushenko won the bunch sprint by a few bike lengths ahead of Ciaran Power (Penzula Racing) and Brazilian Kleber Ramos (Garneau-Crocs). Metlushenko got some advice from his teammate Acadian Phil Cortes who has raced in Beauce before.
“The strategy was to try to be leading up to the finish line in order to make the sprint. Our job was to be in the front, as we knew a grouped finished was in our favour. With a team like our made up of sprinters, our chances were excellent”, said an Amore e Vita-McDonald rider.
“The Amore e Vita-McDonald rider [Metlushenko] took off well in the final sprint and I found myself stuch between the guys that finished second and third. I would have needed to throw my bike between the two guys, but with the elbow I have now, it was asking a bit too much. At least, I feel better today. I would have liked to have been on the podium,” said fourth place finisher Charles Dionne (Equipe du Quebec) who broke his elbow earlier this spring.
No major changes in GC as Bernardo Colex Tepoz keeps the yellow jersey for another day. Ramos is still the best young rider, and in addition, grabbed a second jersey, that of best sprinter.
The Tecos Trek Uga team came to the front immediately from the start of the 166-km stage to control the peloton. Using the crosswinds blowing during the stage, a few teams set up echelons but as soon as the field was split up in smaller groups, the winds would change nullifying the attacks. A duo did manage to escape from the field with 20 km to go, but they were caught in the final kilometers by the field getting ready for the final bunch sprint.
The Symmetrics team is bloodied, bruised but ready for tomorrow’s stage, the grueling Mt Megantic stage. Not only did the S-team get hit by multiple flats (oh the joy of Quebec roads) but a crash took down Cam Evans and Chris Meier. Both men finished the stage, but Meier received five stitches for a deep gash in his hip, after waiting hours in a hospital waiting room. Tough 23-year old.
When does it make sense to completely wreck at $1300 wheel? Answer here.
Side note. Speaking of Symmetrics, as pointed out by a comment, I do want to clarify a few things. I did mention that Francois Parisien and Charles Dionne were hoping to get selected for the Olympic team after the Beauce race. The whole Symmetrics team are also very strong candidates for the selection starting with the 2007 UCI Americas Tour overall winner Svein Tuft (who got the extra spot for Canada with this result) and current Canadian Road Champion Cam Evans. As Eric Wohlberg said earlier this year, “we want to put guys in the Olympics”. The other candidates for the Canadian team – not racing in Beauce – include Mike Barry (High Road), the only Canadian on a Pro Tour team, and Canadian TT Champion Ryder Hesjedal on Slipstream.
Okay back to Beauce. With no major changes in GC, both the Symmetrics and Team Type 1 teams are in perfect position (at less than 30 seconds from the leader) to strike in tomorrow’s 153-km stage that finishes at an observatory perched on top of the highest paved road – the monster climb of Mont Mégantic. This stage was won by Glen Chadwick (Team Type 1) last year who outclimbed everyone. (Google map of the stage).