Dennis Rohan still race leader; Ryan Anderson keeps Red Jersey
(Black Diamond, AB – September 07, 2013) Canadian Antoine Duchesne sent a message today: he is ready to race with the big boys of cycling, joining the winning break early in the race to show composure, patience and strong endurance skills.
The 2013 Tour of Alberta continued today for a fifth day, and it was certainly not a fun day on the bike, with the group of 113 cyclists travelling the 169.6km course in cold rain.
The group preserved despite the less ideal conditions. The race started in Black Diamond, a town named after the high-grade coal that once mined there, tucked away in the Rocky Mountain foothills. The race then headed through Turner Valley on a 60-km circuit that bordered Bragg Creek. Within the main loop, the riders tacked an inner-circuit of 40km, packed with challenging features and climbs, before returning to Black Diamond for the finish line.
A group of nine riders emerged from the pack in the early moments of the race, including Canada’s Antoine Duchesne and Calgary native rider Nic Hamilton of Jelly Belly, and gained a gap of 10 minutes. With no danger in the break, the peloton was content to leave the group alone, controlling the gap, all to the advantage of Duchesne and Hamilton.
The group of nine remained intact until 45km left in the race, climbing the second KOM climb of the day. Simon Gescke of Argos-Shimanos and Tom Jelte Slatger of Belkin Pro Cycling Team both attacked away atop the climb. Slatger, who won both KOM climbs today, secured himself the polka dot jersey heading into tomorrow with a solid 37pts, an insurmountable lead of 12 pts over his teammate and closest competitior, Robert Gesing.
Canada’s Antoine Duchesne was part of the nine-man break that took off early, and also took part of the three-man group chasing the two-man ahead after the KOM climb. Duchesne was in great company, beside Benjamin Day of United Healthcare and none other than Cadel Evans of BMC Racing, the 2011 Tour de France Champion. Shortly after initiating the chase, the two groups merged to form the leading group of five. That group would eventually withstand the pressure put by the chase, and entered the streets of Black Diamond
Ultimately, in the last 500m of the race, Duchesne ran out of legs, and finished fifth behind Cadel Evans, Simon Geschke, Tom Jelte Slatger, and Benjamin Day.
“I am from a little town in Saguenay. I started to race in a little club in a small town. I kept on working and working, always trying to improve for the last eight years since riding a bike. Every year, it’s just getting better and better. Really, everything is possible even if you believe in it, and it’s not because you are from a little town that you can’t become a top rider. Today, coming from a small town, I was riding with a Tour de France winner. I was able to ride with him,” inspired Duchesne.
Duchesne today won the Blue Jersey, awarded to the Most Aggressive Rider.
“I knew there were some pretty big teams here. I was aiming for something like that. When the race started, I had a number on my back just like him [Cadel Evans]. I was trying not to be pressed to do my own race, and try to get the best out of it. I tried not to think too much like ‘Oh My God, it’s Cadel Evans’… at the end I tried to stay calm, follow the wheel. I was thinking about the win, to do the best I could.”
“Canada has never been a “cycling” country. We have seen in the last few years guys like Ryder winning the Giro, Svein [Tuft] excelling at the WorldTour, and a lot of other Canadian riders doing well in the WorldTour and other big races. Having two continental riders [with Ryan Anderson] from Canada wearing jerseys of a big cycling race, in Canada, on the last stage, shows that we are able to race against some of the best riders in the world,” said Antoine Duchesne, of Québec, QC.
Duchesne is graduating this year from the Bontrager Cycling Team program, designed exclusively for espoirs (U23) riders, and will be looking for a team to ride with next year. So far, Duchesne has an impressive résumé with back-to-back wins in the espoirs road race at Canadian Championships and a stage podium at the Tour de Beauce, in the difficult Quebec City fifth stage.
Gord Fraser, Directeur sportif of the Canadian National Team, gives a perfect mark for Duchesne in today’s race: “It’s really great to see him grab the bull by the horn, especially after yesterday. He was really disappointed not to be in that move, and he should have been. It’s always hard as a coach to know how to talk to an athlete at the end. I didn’t really need to say anything,” said Gord Fraser
“Today, he was in a situation to win a big race. The other guys were not under the pressure he was under today. They all have big contracts and years of experience on him. And here is a young guy, throw in against all these experienced guys, in his home country, in addition to trying to secure a job for next year. There is a lot of pressure on a young guy, and he executed perfectly. He just ran out of legs. 10 out of 10 for his tactics. His racing IQ is very high and it showed.”
Duchesne finished third of the Road Canadian Championships in 2013, and fourth in 2012.
The young rider from Quebec City was ranked 39th in the GC entering today’s stage, and now jumps in the 22nd place with this result, with one stage to go.
Rohan Dennis of Team Garmin Sharp kept his overall lead of the General Classification heading into the last stage, benefiting from an 18-second lead on the second place. Dennis will roll into the downtown core of Calgary in the yellow jersey, and most likely win his first race outside of Australia. The short race is expected to finish in a sprint, keeping intact the leader board of the General Classification.
Without any surprises, Ryan Anderson kept the Red Jersey today as the Best Canadian Anderson had over seven minutes lead on Alexander Cataford entering the race. Even with Duchesne’s stellar performance today, Anderson had a lead of 17 minutes on him.
This inaugural 2013 Tour of Alberta ends tomorrow with the fifth and last stage, starting in Okotoks ending downtown Calgary.
The race can be watched on Sportsnet in Canada, with the last two hours of the race shown live.
Follow Cycling Canada on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cyclingcanada and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cyclingcanada.
2013 TOUR OF ALBERTA – RESULTS, STAGE 3
1. Cadel Evans Australia | BMC Racing Team 3:57:18
2. Simon Geschke Germany | Team Argos-Shimano +0
3. Tom Jelte Slagter Netherlands | Belkin Pro Cycling Team +0
4. Benjamin Day Australia | UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling +0
5. Antoine Duchesne Canada | Canadian National Team +0
6. Scott Zwizanski United States | Optum P/b Kelly Benefit Strategies +1:49
7. Nic Hamlton Canada | Jelly Belly P/b Kenda +1:49
8. Clay Murfet Australia | SmartStop P/b Mountain Khakis +1:49
9. Ryan Roth Canada | Champion System Pro Cycling +1:49
10. Luke Keough United States | UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling +9:44
19. Jean-Michel Lachance Canada | Canadian National Team +9:44
36. Garrett Mcleod Canada | Canadian National Team +9:44
49. Jean-Sebastien Perron Canada | Canadian National Team +9:44
50. Stuart Wight Canada | Canadian National Team +9:44
64. Ryan Aitcheson Canada | Canadian National Team +9:44
69. Derrick St John Canada | Canadian National Team+9:44
88. Rob Britton Canada | Canadian National Team +9:44
2013 TOUR OF ALBERTA – GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
1. Rohan Dennis Australia | Team Garmin-Sharp 15:06:20
2. Brent Bookwalter United States | BMC Racing Team +:18
3. Damiano Caruso Italy | Cannondale Pro Cycling +:30
4. Patrick Gretsch Germany | Team Argos-Shimano +:31
5. Robert Gesink Netherlands | Belkin Pro Cycling Team +:34
6. Robert Sweeting United States | 5-Hour Energy P/b Kenda +:54
7. Francisco Mancebo Spain | 5-Hour Energy P/b Kenda +:55
8. Ryan Anderson Canada | Optum P/b Kelly Benefit Strategies +:56
9. Matthias Friedemann Germany | Champion System Pro Cycling +1:12
10. Steven Kruijswijk Netherlands | Belkin Pro Cycling Team +1:15
22. Antoine Duchesne Canada | Canadian National Team +8:19
37. Rob Britton Canada | Canadian National Team +17:42
57. Jean-Michel Lachance Canada | Canadian National Team +18:03
73. Derrick St John Canada | Canadian National Team +18:37
77. Jean-Sebastien Perron Canada | Canadian National Team +18:52
81. Garrett Mcleod Canada | Canadian National Team +18:57
90. Ryan Aitcheson Canada | Canadian National Team +19:48
92. Stuart Wight Canada | Canadian National Team +19:53
2013 TOUR OF ALBERTA – THE STAGES
Prologue: Tuesday, September 3; Edmonton (7.3 km)
Stage 1: Wednesday, September 4; Strathcona County to Camrose (158.1 km)
Stage 2: Thursday, September 5; Devon to Red Deer (174.8 km)
Stage 3: Friday, September 6; Strathmore to Drumheller (169.8 km)
Stage 4: Saturday, September 7; Black Diamond/Foothills (169.9 km)
Stage 5: Sunday, September 8 – Okotoks to Calgary (129.4 km)
2013 TOUR OF ALBERTA – THE JERSEYS
Province of Alberta Leader Jersey (Yellow): Rohan Dennis Australia | Team Garmin-Sharp 15:06:20
SUBWAY® Sprint Jersey (Green): Peter Sagan Slovakia | Cannondale Pro Cycling 25pts
Budweiser Crown King of the Mountains Jersey (Red Polka Dots): Tom Jelte Slagter Netherlands | Belkin Pro Cycling Team 37 pts
CWB Best Young Rider Jersey (White): Rohan Dennis Australia | Team Garmin-Sharp 15:06:20
Best Canadian Jersey (Red): Ryan Anderson Canada | Optum P/b Kelly Benefit Strategies +:56
Most Aggressive Rider (Blue): Antoine Duchesne Canada | Canadian National Team