All eyes were on Rhae-Christie Shaw after her commanding time trial win at the Tour de Bretagne Féminin and she did not disappoint. The Canadian set a time of 21:10 over the 15-km course to not only win the stage but also take over the lead at the Tour Féminin en Limousin after two stages.
“It was beautiful course but it wasn’t a very difficult. I’m trilled with the course and it’s a beautiful area so I really enjoyed riding my bike today.” Shaw told local radio RMJ.
Shaw set an average speed of 42,520 kmh on the out-and-back technical course which started with two short 7% climbs into rolling terrain and more than 4-km of false flat back to the finish.
The early fast time of 21:12 was set by the 35th rider to start, Tatiana Antoshina (Russia National Team) which put her on the hot seat for almost two hours later. With only seven riders to go in the 132-rider field, Shaw was off.
“It was a beautiful stage. She had some difficulty a few time during the race, I could see that it was hard for her compared to last week.” Denise Kelly, DS of the Canadian National Team, commented.
Last week, Shaw won the Tour de Bretagne 16.2-km time trial by over one minute.
Kelly added, “ So I honked all the time in the last three kilometers and she won with two little seconds. We’re happy.”
Antogna held on for second and defending champion Grete Treire (S.C. Michela Fanini Rox) finished third, at eight seconds.
Stage 1 winner Coryn Rivera (USA National Team) finished 10th at 1:06 down and remains the Best Young Rider.
The fight for GC is just starting with four very strong riders at less than one minute of Shaw who has a slim 3-second lead on Treire. Tour de Bretagne winner Alexandra Buchenkova (Russia National Team) is at 26 seconds, 2009 overall winner Grace Verbeke (Belgium National Title) at 55 seconds and Rivera at 56 seconds.
With two tough stages to go, Shaw and her team will be under attack by multiple teams including Russia, Italy, Belgium and USA National Teams.
“We’ll take it one day at a time. The final stage is hard but Rhae has a lot of talent so we’ll see. We’ll try our maximum to keep it. “ Kelly said about defending the pink leader’s jersey. “There are maybe six or eight teams that are very strong. We’ll have our work cut out for us, that’s for sure.”
Racing continues tomorrow with the rolling 126km St Junien stage which includes 3 hard climbs including one in the first 5km.
Stage 2 Results
1. Rhae-Christie Shaw (Canada) 21:10. 65
2. Tatiana Antoshina (Russia) +00:02
3. Grete Treire (S.C. Michela Fanini Rox) +00:08
6. Julie Beveridge (Vienne Futuroscope) +00:48
10. Coryn Rivera (USA) +01:06
12. Karol-Anne Canuel (Vienne Futuroscope) +01:06
19. Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) +01:14
22. Ashley James (USA) +01:17
41. Kendall Ryan (USA) +01:54
63. Véronique Fortin (Canada) +02:24
68. Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) +02:30
90. Cara Gillis (Canada) +03:16
102. Leah Guloien (Canada) +03:35
103. Joanie Caron (Canada) +03:35
127. Katy Curtis (Canada) +04:48
General Classification After Stage 2
1. Rhae-Christie Shaw (Canada) 3:32:55
2. Grete Treire (S.C. Michela Fanini Rox) +00:03
3. Alexandra Buchenkova (Russia) +00:26
5. Coryn Rivera (USA) +00:56
9. Julie Beveridge (Vienne Futuroscope) +01:49
15. Karol-Anne Canuel (Vienne Futuroscope) +02:07
21. Jacquelyn Crowell (USA) +02:15
24. Ashley James (USA) +02:18
40. Kendall Ryan (USA) +02:55
61. Véronique Fortin (Canada) +03:25
65. Kaitlin Antonneau (USA) +03:31
93. Leah Guloien (Canada) +04:36
119. Cara Gillis (Canada) +16:40
120. Joanie Caron (Canada) +16:59
130. Katy Curtis (Canada) +36.57