Vogels wraps up overall at Beauce

"Tuft by name, tough by nature," was overall winner Henk Vogels' comment about GP Cycliste de Beauce final stage winner Svein Tuft (Team Canada). While Tuft took stage 7, Vogels was able to give Mercury-Viatel its first ever win at Beauce after Saturn was unable to exert enough pressure to crack its rivals. Mercury had good reason to worry - last year they had Scott Moninger in the lead going into the final stage, only to lose it all when they succumbed to relentless attacks by other teams. This year the course seemed custom made for such a situation; 15 laps of an 11km circuit with 2.5km

By Rob Jones, VeloNews Correspondent

“Tuft by name, tough by nature,” was overall winner Henk Vogels’ comment about GP Cycliste de Beauce final stage winner Svein Tuft (Team Canada). While Tuft took stage 7, Vogels was able to give Mercury-Viatel its first ever win at Beauce after Saturn was unable to exert enough pressure to crack its rivals.

Mercury had good reason to worry – last year they had Scott Moninger in the lead going into the final stage, only to lose it all when they succumbed to relentless attacks by other teams. This year the course seemed custom made for such a situation; 15 laps of an 11km circuit with 2.5km of climbing per lap.

Andrew Randell (7Up-Colorado Cyclist) started the action on the first lap, with an attack on the climb. He was quickly joined by six others, including Czeslaw Lukaszewicz (Team Canada) and Vassili Davidenko (Navigators). At the beginning of lap 7, Tuft powered a chase across the gap, taking Elio Aggiano (Mapei-Quick Step), Harm Jansen (Saturn) and Mark Walters (Navigators) with him.

Mercury was quite content to have this group off the front, since none were a threat to Vogels’ lead. Saturn and Mroz-Supradyn seemed content to let Mercury set tempo, biding their time. The break had shed two – Randell and Jason Crookham (Sympatico.ca), who suffered a flat and could not rejoin. Navigators and Team Canada were setting the pace at the front, with two riders each in the break, and the gap was hovering at a comfortable three-plus minutes.

Tuft’s break came almost by accident. “Davidenko attacked on the downhill at the end of the 10th lap and Czeslaw brought me up to him. I countered at the corner at the bottom and looked back and saw that I had a gap. So I decided to give it a go.”

Tuft quickly established a minute on the chase, despite the efforts of Navigators. “He was strong out there”, commented Walters. “We were chasing hard and couldn’t get anywhere.”

It was only in the last lap and a half that Tuft began to falter, with his lead slipping to 45 seconds, and then to only seven seconds at the line. “I was hurting so much at the end, and it wasn’t until the final 400 meters that I really knew that I had it,” said the 24-year-old from Langley, B.C. His team mate Lukaszewicz made it 1-2 for Canada as he outsprinted Vincent Templier (Saint Quentin-Oktos).

Meanwhile, Saturn was getting frustrated back in the peloton. “We were trying hard, especially in the last four laps,” said top placed rider Michael Barry, “but none of the other teams would do anything. We split it open (the peloton) a couple times on the climb, but once we got over the top the other teams just sat up. It was very frustrating.”

Vogels agreed: “They (Saturn) were able to gap me a few times, but only by 20-30 meters at the top, and then the rest of my teammates would pull it back together. I think that they (Saturn) just didn’t have enough left in their legs.”

Results

Stage 7: St-Georges Circuit Race>/b>
1. Svein Tuft (Can) Team Canada 166.7km 3:56:20
2. Czeslaw Lukaszewicz (Can) Team Canada, at 0:07
3. Vincent Templier (Fra) Saint-Quentin Oktos
4. Harm Jansen (Ned) Saturn Cycling Team
5. Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators Cycling Team
6. Elio Aggiano (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step, all s.t.
7. James Perry (RSA) Team I.B.M. Lotus, at 0:10
8. Mark Walters (Can) Navigators Cycling Team, at 0:40
9. Arquimedes Lam (Mex) Team Tecos, at 1:37
10. Robert Foster (Ger) Team Nurnberger, at 2:14
Others
11. John Leiswyn (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist
12. Eugen Wacker (Ger) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy
13. Chris Baldwin (USA) Navigators Cycling Team
14. Charles Dionne (Can) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist
17. Martin Gilbert (Can) Volkswagen
18. Ryan Guay (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist
19. Jacob Erker (Can) Team Canada
22. Henk Vogels (USA) Mercury-Viatel
26. Micheal Barry (Can) Saturn Cycling Team
32. Scott Moninger (USA) Mercury-Viatel
34. Piotr Chmielenski (Pol) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy
36. Alexandre LavallÈe (Can) Team Canada
37. Dominique Perras (Can) Ficonseils-RCC Conseils Assurances
38. Doug Ziewacz (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist
39. Eric Wohlberg (Can) Saturn Cycling Team
40. Soren Petersen (Den) Saturn Cycling Team
42. Min Van Velzen (Can) Team Canada
46. Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Navigators Cycling Team
47. Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn Cycling Team, all s.t.
50. Baden Cooke (Aus) Mercury-Viatel, at 2:29

Final general classification
1. Henk Vogels (USA) Mercury-Viatel 22:32:41
2. Scott Moninger (USA) Mercury-Viatel, at 0:45
3. Zbigniew Piatek (Pol) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy, at 1:11
4. Micheal Barry (Can) Saturn Cycling Team, at 1:33
5. Artour Babaitsev (Rus) Team Nurnberger, at 1:52
6. Piotr Chmielenski (Pol) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy, at 2:09
7. Eugen Wacker (Ger) Mroz-Supradyn Witaminy, at 2:12
8. Chris Baldwin (USA) Navigators Cycling Team, at 2:18
9. John Leiswyn (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist, at 2:29
10. Dominique Perras (Can) Ficonseils-RCC Conseils Assurances, at 3:06
Others
12. Eric Wohlberg (Can) Saturn Cycling Team, at 3:27
14. Doug Ziewacz (USA) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist, at 4:38
17. Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Navigators Cycling Team, at 5:52
19. Min Van Velzen (Can) Team Canada, at 6:59
20. Baden Cooke (Aus) Mercury-Viatel, at 8:12
22. Harm Jansen (Ned) Saturn Cycling Team, at 31:55
23. Czeslaw Lukaszewicz (Can) Team Canada, at 31:56
24. Svein Tuft (Can) Team Canada, at 33:13
26. Vincent Templier (Fra) Saint-Quentin Oktos, at 35:54
27. Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn Cycling Team, at 36:17
29. Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators Cycling Team, at 36:28
31. Mark Walters (Can) Navigators Cycling Team, at 37:26
34. Soren Petersen (Den) Saturn Cycling Team, at 38:41
36. Jacob Erker (Can) Team Canada, at 40:34
37. Charles Dionne (Can) 7Up-Colorado Cyclist, at 40:47
42. Martin Gilbert (Can) Volkswagen, at 43:08
44. Alexandre LavallÈe (Can) Team Canada, at 43:23