After finishing second overall last year, Kazak Arman Kamyshev claimed to the top step at the Coupe des Nations U23 – Ville de Saguenay earlier today, defending strongly the yellow leader’s jersey for the past two days. Canadian David Boily finished fourth overall, at 17 seconds down and American Nathan Brown was 11th at 24 seconds down.
The field came back together for the finale for a bunch sprint won by Sebastian Lander, of Denmark, ahead of German Nikias Arndt and Mateusz Nowaczek of Poland. Tanner Putt, of the USA, was fifth on the stage, Boily 10th.
Though Kamyshev looked strong and his team in control, it didn’t stop a few from throwing attacks. Canadians Hugo Houle, Boily and Americans Evan Huffman and Joseph Schmalz push the break to try to make it to the line during the final stage.
“I am really happy. Of course, I would have liked to finish first in the stage but the priority was the team. I had the privilege to have a very strong team this year. Really, it was the team that did all the work.” said Kamyshev who finished 12th on the stage. At only 21 years of age, Kamyshev who was in his third participation at the event would still be eligible to return to defend his title next year. “I am not sure if I will be here next year. It depends if I sign with a professional team. But if that’s the case then I will happily return. I love Canada and especially Quebec.”
With rain falling, the 74 espoirs lined up for the start of the 128.4-km stage in Chicoutimi. Ill with a fever, KOM leader Carlos Galeano (Colombia) abandoned a few minutes into the stage.
Soon after the gun, two riders escaped the first time up the climb, Houle and Michael Valgren Andersen, of Denmark were off the front. Behind eleven riders including Boily, Huffman and Schmalz organized in a chase group. By the end of the second 10-km lap, the duo had 50 second to the chase and over two minutes to the field led by Kamyshev’s team making Andersen the virtual leader on the road.
The Kazak team kept control on the field while the chase group succumbed to pressure, down to four riders at the end of the fifth lap. Houle, who took top points at all three KOMs and Andersen still had 51-sec to Huffman, Schmalz and two others with the field holding at 2:09 behind.
The chase group connected with the duo on the sixth lap. Another re-shuffle at the front, when only three remaining from the original break, Huffman, Andersen and Mark Dzamastagic (Slovenia), were joined by Ever Rivera (Colombia). With the gap coming down to close to 30 seconds, three more riders bridged up but to no avail. The decimated field, down to 30 riders, was back together on the 12th lap.
Kamyshev also won the green sprint jersey while Houle took home the final KOM jersey.
Final GC (Complete results here)
1. Arman KAMYSHEV (KAZ) 13:22:54
2. Julian ALAPHILIPPE (FRA) +12
3. Alexey LUTSENKO (KAZ) +14
4. David BOILY (CAN) +17
11. Nathan BROWN (USA) +24
16. Evan HUFFMAN (USA) +30
19. Tanner PUTT (USA) +33
27. Hugo HOULE (CAN) +46
32. Antoine DUCHESNE (CAN) +1:05
39. Joseph SCHMALZ (USA) +1:42
50. Pierrick NAUD (CAN) +7:00
58. Jos CHALMERS (USA) +16:22
DNF Charles AVIS (USA)
DNF Ryan AITCHESON (CAN)
DNF Stuart WIGHT (CAN)