Yellow jersey Arman Kamyshev (KAZ) claimed his second stage win at the Coupe des Nations Saguenay on Saturday and increased his lead with one stage to go. Canadian David Boily was second, Kelen Stimulak (SLO) third and Nathan Brown (USA) fourth.
“With a 10-second lead in the general classification, I couldn’t concede any time. My strategy wasn’t to win the stage but to maintain my overall lead. I attacked and I fought every time that seconds were at play.” said Kamyshev, who finished second in last year’s event.
“Tomorrow, it will be important to keep to pressure up, for the yellow jersey, but especially for the nation rankings. Teamwork will need to prevail.” he added.
“We launched out sprint at 250 meters to go. I was missing a few meters to get first place but it’s a good result which is satisfying.” Boily said. “The Kazaks came here with really good form and and with an excellent team also.”
The 85 riders faced a grey drizzly day on stage 3 with a crash taking down the KOM leader Carlos Galeano (COL) at the start and a few others. At the start of the second 14-km lap, a 10-rider break which included Julian Alaphilippe and Florian Senechal (both FRA), Antoine Duchesne (CAN), Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ). With Lutsenko sitting third on GC, his teammate Kamyshev had an easy rider in the field with the Polish team taking the front. But the easy ride ended abruptly when Lutsenko crashed at the intermediate sprint at the end of the third lap and dropped back to the field. Immediately, the Kazak team takes the front to reel back the break with danger man Alaphilippe in the move.
Most teams are represented in the next escape attempt when 20 riders get off the front 63 kilometer into the race. However, the group which included Kamyshev did not work well together and never managed more than a 30-second gap and it all came back together.
With 40 kilometers to go, five riders took off. Audun Brekke Flotten (NOR), Asbjorn Kragh Andersen (DAN), Romain Guillemois (FRA), Jan Tratnik (SLO) and once again Duchesne. Duchesne grew up in nearby Chicoutimi and had his entire family cheering for him on the climb. The gap went up fast, 22 seconds in the first four kilometers and up to 34 seconds with two laps to go. On the bell lap, with only 4 kilometers to go, only three remained off the front soon to be re-absorbed on the final lap.
With one stage to go, Kamyshev has 12 seconds on Alaphilippe in GC. Lutsenko is in third at 15 seconds with Boily in fourth at 17 seconds down. Brown in in 10th at 24 seconds.
Racing concludes with the 128.4-km stage starting at 12:00pm (noon) EDT. Starting and ending in Chicoutimi, the riders race 12 times around a 10.7-km lap which include two long gradual climbs and a downhill finish with a right-hand turn at 500 meters to go.