Canadian Charles Dionne (Fly V Australia) attacked with 500 meters to go while the dwindled field was fighting their way up the final climb on the 110-mile (176-km) Wachusett Mountain Road Race at the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic
“I took off and nobody followed.” said Dionne, winner of the Ville de Quebec circuit race at Tour de Beauce. “They were a lot of attacks on this hard day and at the end, we were a peloton of about 30 riders.”
Rory Sutherland (OUCH-Maxxis) took up the chase solo but never caught the late attacker and settled for second on the stage. Another Canadian David Boily (Probikepool/Kuota) won the field sprint for third place.
Dionne is disappointed that he wasn’t chosen to represent his country at the upcoming PanAmerican Championships by the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA). “I showed the CCA that I was on form.” In May, the rider was part of the Canadian team but the swine flu forced the postponement of the games which were to be held in Mexico.
“I thought that naturally I was going. The Association chose three guys from the same team saying that they were used to working together. I find that stupid! But my victory today proves that I didn’t lose any energy with that.” said Dionne.
In what was billed as a hard stage by all involved, with 10 laps a hilly 11-mile circuit that included the steep climb to the start/finish line where attacks and after attacks were launched. BISSELL’s Tom Zirbel finished in the pack and managed to keep his leader’s jersey but saw his lead dwindle down to 6 seconds on Zach Bell (Kelly Benefit Strategies). To make it more difficult for the big man from Iowa, is Bell’s teammate Scott Zwizanski sits in third spot on GC at 11 seconds back with one stage to go.
A few weeks ago, Zirbel saw his lead of 7 seconds going into the final stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix evaporate when he was out-positioned in the final criterium. Sunday, Zirbel goes into the final stage, the 50-mile (55 laps) Worker’s Credit Union Criterium in downtown Fitchburg which again offers up time bonuses of 10, 5 and 3 seconds at the finish. Will he be able to survive all attacks and win his first NRC stage race?
Andrea Dvorak (Colavita/Sutter Home) soloed away from a break with less than two laps to go of the women’s 64-mile (102 km) Wachusett Mountain Road Race to win stage 3. Yellow jersey Evelyn Stevens (Lip Smacker) stayed alert and not only made it into the break but won the sprint for second place and increase her overall lead. Canadian Joelle Numainville (Kenda) took third.
By grabbing those 5 seconds time bonuses for finishing second and gapping her closest GC competitors, Stevens increased her lead to 20 seconds on Alison Powers (Team Type 1) in the GC with one stage to go.
The battle will be on for the podium spots as only 5 seconds separate Powers from the next three on GC, Jeannie Longo (Vital Plus), Anne Samplonius (Lip Smacker) and Kristin McGrath (ValueAct).
The final stage is the 25-mile or 28-lap Worker’s Credit Union Criterium in downtown Fitchburg.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette is providing great coverage. They put together this video of stage 3: