podiuminsight.com http://www.podiuminsight.com News, interviews and photos of North American road cycling scene Thu, 03 Sep 2015 04:03:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.7 Tour de l’Abitibi Stage Seven http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/27/tour-de-labitibi-stage-seven/ http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/27/tour-de-labitibi-stage-seven/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 21:29:43 +0000 http://www.podiuminsight.com/?p=41130 Smile from Team Canada Team meeting for Club Velo Metropolitain Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Team Quebec Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Eight-rider break Field speeds by jet plane display in Val-d'Or Feedzone Julien Souton (France) Feedzone That didn't work Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Ethan Reynolds (USA) leads the field Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Julien Souton (France) Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Luis Ricardo Villalobo (Mexico) was fourth Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Pier-Andre Cote (Quebec) The only rider left in his team, Marc-Andre Perreault (L'echappe Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Adrien Costa (USA) in solo attack Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Wyatt Goral (Young Medalists) Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Adrien Costa (USA) wins stage 7 and the overall at Tour de l'Abi Theo Menant (France) was second and Mohsin Annachnach (Morocco) Field sprints to the finish Podium of Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi (l-r): Theo Menant (F Final jerseys (l-r): El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco) wins KOM, Adrien Team USA after the stage Stage 7 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Handshake between USA and France teams ]]> http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/27/tour-de-labitibi-stage-seven/feed/ 0 Tour de l’Abitibi Stage Six http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/27/tour-de-labitibi-stage-six/ http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/27/tour-de-labitibi-stage-six/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 19:37:19 +0000 http://www.podiuminsight.com/?p=41083 Start in Preissac for Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Yoga anyone? Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Josue Perez (Stringray) in a pensive mood Derek Gee (Canada) warming up Southeastern Regional team warming up Number pinning for Joshua Schroeder Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Team Novo Nordisk riders Happy to be at the Tour del'Abitibi Two-rider breakaway on the rolling roads of Abitibi-Temiscamingu Early break consisted of Julien Soutron (France) and KOM leader Second break of the day makes it way to Val-d'Or Eric Voigt (Super Squadra) leads the break on the first lap of t Pack is close by Young Medalists rider went down earlier in a crash that implicat Brandon McNulty (USA) in the brown leader's jersey Pier-Andre Cote (Quebec) in the orange sprint jersey Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Alan Martinez (Mexico) gets a wheel after he helped his team lea Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Adrien Costa (USA) wins stage 6 in solo attack USA sweeps the podium with Brandon McNulty second and Chris Blev Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stringray rider shows the effort of pushing the break before bei Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Leon Desgagnes (Velo Club Metropolitain) stretches after crossin Axel Habert (France) went down in a crash Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Podium for Stage 6 of the Tour de l'Abitibi (l-r): Brandon McNul Downpour during the podium ceremonies final rider Cordell Dickie Fan favorite Pier-Andre Cote (Quebec) ]]> http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/27/tour-de-labitibi-stage-six/feed/ 0 “It’s a big one.” – Christopher Blevins http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/25/its-a-big-one-christopher-blevins/ http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/25/its-a-big-one-christopher-blevins/#comments Sat, 25 Jul 2015 17:44:36 +0000 http://www.podiuminsight.com/?p=41080 First year junior Christopher Blevins sprinted to stage win on Thursday at the Tour de l’Abitibi, the second victory for his USA Team that day following the time trial in the morning. In the final kilometers of the 51.5-km stage, Blevins tucked in behind his leadout train before opening his sprint to cross the line first.

“I was very happy. It was a beautiful team effort to get me to the line, and my teammates really made it easy for me to the finish. It was a definitely a good day for us with the TT in the morning and that short stage in the evening,” Blevins said.

Christopher Blevins (USA) wins stage 4
Christopher Blevins (USA) wins stage 4

Overall leader and time trial winner Brandon McNulty was the last man in the leadout. “Adrian [Costa] took over with 1 kilometer and then Brandon gave me the perfect last leadout. We kept him safe and he got third on the day.”

The 17-year old described his victory at the only Junior Nations Cup event outside of Europe as “big”. “It’s obviously a Nations Cup. No matter where you are, a Nations Cup win is always a big deal. I’m very lucky and thankful.”

Tagged at the strongest team before the start of the 47th edition of the six-stage/five-day race, Team USA has won three stages and have a strong hold in the general classification with McNulty and Adrien Costa in first and second respectively.

On stage 4, the team sent riders up the road, forcing other teams to chase on the lollilop course that started and ended in Malartic, Quebec. “We tried to mix it a little bit, be a little unpredictable. We threw that at them early and with 5 kilometers to go, it was all together and we set up our leadout train.”

Racing both mountain bikes and on the road, Blevins has a full schedule. “It’s been a very busy season. I’ve been to Europe twice already and to South America for PanAm Games, just a lot of racing. It’s hard to juggle both of them but it’s definitely worth it.”

Why do both? “Just because I like both of them, and I can’t pick one of them right now,” he replied with a laugh.

Smile from stage 4 winner Christopher Blevins (USA)
Smile from stage 4 winner Christopher Blevins (USA)

Many riders feel they must select one discipline for their future as they hit the junior 17-18 ranks. Blevins is fully cognizant that that day is coming. “By next year, I’ll focus on one and by U23 I’ll have to make a decision just because the schedule is too demanding.”

After the Tour of Abitibi ends on Sunday, Blevins will return to his home in Durango, Colorado for rest and more training. Then, he’ll represent the USA at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Andorra, September 1-6, and then switch back to road for the Nations Cup event, September 11-13, in Croatia.

He is also hoping to make the USA team for the UCI Road World Championships to be held in Richmond, Virginia in September. The talent is deep in the junior ranks this year for the United States but Blevins remains hopeful.

“It’s a great group of guys. I think I’ve got a decent shot, I’m looking forwards to it and I just have to keep on pushing at the race. No matter what, who goes for the US will be strong.”

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Tour de l’Abitibi Stage Five http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/24/tour-de-labitibi-stage-five/ http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/24/tour-de-labitibi-stage-five/#comments Sat, 25 Jul 2015 04:38:51 +0000 http://www.podiuminsight.com/?p=41041 Lunch time Team meeting Best 'stache Handshake between points leader Pier-Andre Cote (Quebec) and overall leader Brandon McNulty (USA) Second in the best young rider classification, Ian Garrison (Hincapie) woere the blue jersey Riders are off for stage 5 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Attacks flew throughout stage 5 Attacks flew throughout stage 5 Attacks flew throughout stage 5 Attacks flew throughout stage 5 Overall leader Brandon McNulty (USA) stage 5 of the Tour de l'Abitibi stage 5 of the Tour de l'Abitibi stage 5 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Attacks flew throughout stage 5 Attacks flew throughout stage 5 Attacks flew throughout stage 5 stage 5 of the Tour de l'Abitibi stage 5 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Flat for Kento Machi (Japan) Flat for Kento Machi (Japan) Attacks flew throughout stage 5 Attacks flew throughout stage 5 The only rider left for his team L'echappee Bob Cyclio, Marc-And stage 5 of the Tour de l'Abitibi stage 5 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Feed zone Attacks flew throughout stage 5 Team USA lines up at the front to chase back a break late in the stage stage 5 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Pier-Andre Cote (Quebec) wins stage 5 Pier-Andre Cote (Quebec) wins stage 5 stage 5 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Thumbs up from KOM leader El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco) Quebec Team was all smiles after the win stage 5 podium (l-r); Pierre Barbier (France), Pier-Andre Cote (Quebec) and Adrien Costa (USA) podium for stage 5 of the Tour de l'Abitibi El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco) remains the KOM leader Pier-Andre Cote (Quebec) gets  the points jersey ]]> http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/24/tour-de-labitibi-stage-five/feed/ 0 Tour de l’Abitibi Stage Four http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/23/tour-de-labitibi-stage-four/ http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/23/tour-de-labitibi-stage-four/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 04:05:08 +0000 http://www.podiuminsight.com/?p=40992 Stage 4 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Pre-stage meeting for the Young Medalists team Lots of smiles at the start with no rain in the forecast Lots of smiles at the start with no rain in the forecast A little curb bunny hopping Quebec Team signs in Stage 4 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Banged up, this rider from L’échappé Bob cyclo  is still smi Washington SPIN warm up Riders from Team Canada were having fun during their warm-up Stage 4 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Smiles from Team France A future star of Tour de l'Abitibi Michael Hernandez (USA) attacks 15 km into the stage Micah Milne (Hincapie) and Lahcen Sebbah (Morocco) reacts to the Blue skies greeted the peloton Field was all together as they go around the hairpin turn Field was all together as they go around the hairpin turn Tight spot Overall leader Brandon McNulty leads out his USA teammate Christopher Blevins (USA) wins stage 4 ahead of Pier-Andre Cote Brandon McNulty (USA) celebrates his teammate Christopher Blevin Smile from the winner Christopher Blevins (USA) Free hot dogs for everyone in Malartic Spencer Petrov (Hincapie) was injured in a crash on stage 2 Stage 3 podium (l-r): Adrien Costa (USA). Brandon McNulty (USA) Stage 4 of the Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 4 podium (l-r): Pier-Andre Cote (Quebec), Christopher Blev Jerseys after stage 4: Brandon McNulty (USA), Pier-Andre Cote (Q Pier-Andre Cote (Quebec) after the podium ceremony ]]> http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/23/tour-de-labitibi-stage-four/feed/ 0 McNulty Wins Stage 3, Increases Overall Lead http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/23/mcnulty-wins-stage-3-increases-overall-lead/ http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/23/mcnulty-wins-stage-3-increases-overall-lead/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 19:17:16 +0000 http://www.podiuminsight.com/?p=40984 American time trial champion Brandon McNulty blitzed the wet 10.6-km time trial, stage 3 of the Tour de l’Abitibi on Thursday morning in Val-d’Or, Quebec. The only other rider to break the 14-minute barrier was his teammate Adrien Costa, who was second at 11 seconds down. Canadian time trial champion Derek Gee was third, 44 seconds down.

American TT champion Brandon McNulty won stage 3 and increasedhis overall lead
American TT champion Brandon McNulty won stage 3 and increasedhis overall lead
Canadian TT champion Derek Gee finished third in stage 3
Canadian TT champion Derek Gee finished third in stage 3

Conditions changed throughout the two hours for the riders navigating the numerous turns on the out-and-back course. The early ones out of the start house had dry pavement but for some, a strong storm pushed through for two serious downpours. Most had to deal with wet pavement.

After three stages, McNulty increased his overall lead to 15 seconds to Costa who moved up one spot. Fourth on the stage, Pier-André Côté (Quebec) moved up to third overall at 57 seconds down. Gee jumped 17 spots, and is now fourth overall at 1:02 down.

Fourth on stage 3, Pier-Andre Cote (Quebec) moved up to third overall
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“It feels amazing.” – Cooper Willsey http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/22/it-feels-amazing-cooper-willsey/ http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/22/it-feels-amazing-cooper-willsey/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 04:37:36 +0000 http://www.podiuminsight.com/?p=40979 Cooper Willsey (Hincapie Sportswear) didn’t let the rain, cool weather and a “little” road rash stand in the way of taking the biggest win of his cycling career – so far – on stage 2 of the 47th Tour de l’Abitibi on Tuesday evening.

The 18-year old American was part of a 50-rider group that entered the three finishing circuits on the heel of solo rider Raphael Auclair (Quebec). Having raced on the same circuit yesterday, Willsey bided his time.

“I came into the circuits about 50th wheel in the group. In the first circuit, I just hung out, chilled and saved my energy. I started moving up on the second circuit, made my way to maybe 20th wheel behind a few very fast riders and then coming into the final circuit, I moved up right into the front of the race, and I waited for the climb and launched at the right moment and dug it really deep,” he said.

Cooper Willsey (Hincape) celebrates the biggest win of his career
Cooper Willsey (Hincape) celebrates the biggest win of his career

The numerous attacks in the final nine kilometers shattered the already small field. But one rider jumped to try to make it across to Willsey.

“Adrien Costa [USA] was coming up really fast. I saw him over the top of the hill, I looked back and I saw him starting to chase so I knew that I was in for a hard effort. I just tried to rail the turns and get back on the gas as soon as I could. And I held him off.”

Willsey had time to post up his victory before crossing the line a bike length ahead of Costa. Pierre Barbier (France) took the field sprint for third place, again.

“It feels amazing,” he said with a laugh of the biggest win of his career.

Cooper Willsey (Hincape) wins stage 2

The team plan for today was to be opportunistic. “It was basically survival for us, just to get through unscathed and rest up for the next few stages.”

The 130 riders lined up in the pouring rain in Amos, Quebec for the start of 104.4-km stage 2, and soon after a lone rider was off the front. After 15 kilometers, Kento Omachi (Japan) was joined by four other riders Mathieu Roy (Iamgold-Specialized), Hubert Laferrière (Quebec), Abdellilah Radif (Morocco) and Nicholas Vorwerk (Novo Nordisk). The five stayed away for 50 kilometers before being reeled back in by the peloton led by Team USA. Auclair made his counter-attack soon after the second KOM before being reeled back about 25 kilometers later.

Two major crashes took down many riders on the wet roads. The first at 12 kilometers into the stage and the second one which involved Willsey, 61 kilometers later. “I went down on the second crash, a little bit of road rash but nothing bad.”

After two stages, Willsey sits in second in the general classification tied in time with leader Brandon McNulty (USA). “I think it’s just going to get harder and harder,” he said of the upcoming stages. I know that the national teams are just going to dig and I’m in for it. I’m ready.”

Celebration for Cooper Willsey and his Hincapie team
Celebration for Cooper Willsey and his Hincapie team

Tidbits:

  • All three KOMs were won by riders from Morroco National Team with El Medhi Chokri retained the polka-dot jersey.
  • Barbier has a four-point lead in the points classification.
  • Seven riders did not finish the stage.
  • Split stage day on Thursday: time trial in the morning and a 51.5-km road stage in the afternoon.
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Tour de l’Abitibi Stage Two http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/22/tour-de-labitibi-stage-two/ http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/22/tour-de-labitibi-stage-two/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 03:48:20 +0000 http://www.podiuminsight.com/?p=40947 Embro for a Team Mexico rider to stay warm in the cold rain Signing in for Stage 2 of Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 2 of Tour de l'Abitibi started in Amos Team France Waiting for the roll-out before the start of the stage Smile from Canadian Jr Champion Adam Roberge Five riders broke away early on the wet stage Five riders broke away early on the wet stage Raphael Auclair (Quebec0 in solo counter after the break was cau Raphael Auclair (Quebec0 in solo counter after the break was cau Field is closing in on solo break as they enter the first of thr Field is closing in on solo break as they enter the first of thr Leader Brandon McNulty (USA) tries to escape Stage 2 of Tour de l'Abitibi Cooper Willsey (Hincape) wins stage 2 Pierre Barbier (France) was third, again Stage 2 of Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 2 of Tour de l'Abitibi High-fiving fans Stage 2 of Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 2 of Tour de l'Abitibi Stage 2 of Tour de l'Abitibi Stopped at the entrance of the finishing circuits, a group of ri Riders try to warm up for the roll-out Stage 2 of Tour de l'Abitibi Pierre Barbier (France) is the new points leader Brandon McNulty (USA) stays in the brown leader's jersey ]]> http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/22/tour-de-labitibi-stage-two/feed/ 0 “I just swung to the side and snuck away” – Brandon McNulty http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/22/i-just-swung-to-the-side-and-snuck-away-brandon-mcnulty/ http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/22/i-just-swung-to-the-side-and-snuck-away-brandon-mcnulty/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 15:15:13 +0000 http://www.podiuminsight.com/?p=40935 With 20 kilometers to go in stage one of the 47th annualTour de l’Abitibi, Team USA’s Brandon McNulty took a solo flyer to win stage one in Val-d’Or, Quebec.

“When it started to get really windy, in the crosswinds, a couple of my teammates started drilling it and we got it down to maybe six guys and one of the guys stopped pulling. It was a distraction so I just swung to the side and snuck away. Then I got a huge gap,” the 17-year old rider said.

Brandon McNulty (USA) wins stage 2 of Tour de l'Abitibi

The reigning Junior 17-18 National Time Trial champion pushed the gap to 20 seconds as he entered the first of three 3.2-km finishing circuits. While a few short-lived attacks flew from the main pack, McNulty kept his head down, not sure he could win until he heard the bell.

“I just didn’t know once when we hit these hills in the circuits, I didn’t know, I thought they might be able to catch me on those but then once I got with one to go, I knew that I could stick it.”

McNulty had time to post his victory salute, crossing the line eight seconds before the sprinting field. Pier-André Côté (Quebec) was second and Sprint Challenge winner, Pierre Barbier (France) third.

Team USA took control of the peloton from the beginning of the 115.6-km stage, holding the gap to a two-rider breakaway close to the minute mark. Team Morocco also put in riders at the front of the field.

“I think USA has a big presence at this race,” McNulty answered when asked if the other riders were looking at Team USA to assume control. “We do a lot of work because we want to do well, I don’t know if it was expected by everyone.”

The duo of Luis Ricardo Villalobos Hernandez (Mexico) and Francisco Carratala-Jorda (Novo Nordisk) stayed away for around 50 kilometers. The field was back together, speeding along, as they made a right-hand turn into crosswinds. The 132-rider peloton splintered into three groups.

Brandon McNulty (USA) won the brown leader's jersey after stage 1

Not only does McNulty have the brown leader’s jersey but he also holds the orange sprint jersey and the blue best young rider jersey awarded to the best first-year junior.

The plan is to defend. “We definitely want to keep the jersey so we’ll have to ride in the front a lot. I’d like to do well in the time trial and we have another teammate so we could go 1-2 in the time trial, it would be a dream but to just keep the jersey really.”

Tidbits:

  • El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco) won the polka-dot climber’s jersey by claiming first and second in the two KOM competition.
  • Stages include Mayor’s Sprints where the first rider across the line wins $250. No sprint points or time bonus seconds are awarded at these sprint points.
  • Due to visa issues, the Costa Rica National Team did not start the event this year.
  • Starting with 2015, agreements have been made to have at least six more years of racing for the Tour de l’Abitibi, with Val-d’Or, Rouyn-Noranda and Amos alternating as the host cities. Val-d’Or will host the 50th edition of the race.
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Tour de l’Abitibi Stage One http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/22/tour-de-labitibi-stage-one/ http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/22/tour-de-labitibi-stage-one/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 13:34:22 +0000 http://www.podiuminsight.com/?p=40906 Who needs a bike rack? Meeting for Team Canada Final adjustments for Team Mexico Meeting for Team France Stingray Ultime Vélo-Trek Team Morocco warming up on the road André Cycle-Kaycan-RDS Spencer Miller (Southeastern Regional) Laurent Gervais (Quebec) Filed lines up one one side of the road at the start of stage 2 Riders staged at the of stage 2 of Tour de l'Abitibiin Rouyn-Nor Brandon McNulty (USA) took a solo flyer with 20 km to go Main pack turns into the first of three finishing circuits Spencer Petrov (Hincapie) and El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco)  attack Fourth group on the road tries to close the gap stage 2 of Tour de l'Abitibi Willem Boersma (Canada) chases back after a flat took him out of One lap to go Brandon McNulty (USA) wins stage 2 of Tour de l'Abitibi Pier-André Coté (Quebec) takes filed sprint for second ahead Willem Boersma (Canada) takes sprint from second group for 42nd stage 2 podium of Tour de l'Abitibi (l-r): Pier-André Coté (Qu El Mehdi Chokri (Morocco) won the polka-dot jersey A smile from Brandon McNulty (USA) who won all but one jersey ]]> http://www.podiuminsight.com/2015/07/22/tour-de-labitibi-stage-one/feed/ 0