Events

Barthe takes Stage 4 at GP de Beauce; Decanio leads GC

Stage four of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Beauce saw a complete revision in the overall standings, with unheralded American rider Matt Decanio (Prime Alliance) taking the lead away from Lubor Tesar (Nürnberger). Former U.S. Postal rider Stephane Barthe (Saint-Quentin-Oktos) took the stage after a 130 kilometer two man breakaway effort. The 171.7 kilometer stage is the "Queen" stage of the race, the one that reduces the number of contenders to a handful. The long rolling climbs from the first few stages wearing down the riders, and the final 5 kilometers to the top of Mont Megantic is rated

Stage 4: Sainte Georges to Mont Mégantic, 171 km

By Robert Jones, VeloNews Correspondent

Stage four of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Beauce saw a complete revision in the overall standings, with unheralded American rider Matt Decanio (Prime Alliance) taking the lead away from Lubor Tesar (Nürnberger). Former U.S. Postal rider Stephane Barthe (Saint-Quentin-Oktos) took the stage after a 130 kilometer two man breakaway effort.

The 171.7 kilometer stage is the “Queen” stage of the race, the one that reduces the number of contenders to a handful. The long rolling climbs from the first few stages wearing down the riders, and the final 5 kilometers to the top of Mont Megantic is rated the hardest in a North American stage race. Stage winner Barthe, a two-time Tour de France competitor, concurred.

“This race is very hard, with all the short, steep hills. The finish (at Mont Mégantic) is as hard as the biggest climbs in the Tour de France.”

The stage started fast, with constant attacks keeping the pace high. For the first 40 kilometers nothing would stick; the mix just wasn’t right.

“The groups were too big. Everyone wanted to be there, so nothing could get away.” explained Josh Hall (Sympatico-Jet Fuel).

Andy Cappelle (Marlux-Ville de Charleroi) and Alexandre Chouffe (Saint-Quentin-Oktos) finally got a gap at about 40 kilometers.

“We were at a 30 second gap for a long time” said Cappelle. “We just kept working and eventually got more (time).”

When the gap reached 1:30, Barthe joined the front duo and, within 10 kilometers, Chouffe had been dropped (he had a mechanical shortly afterwards, and was then scooped up by the peloton).

Barthe and Cappelle were in a breakaway at the front of the race for over 130 kilometers, reaching a maximum lead of 10 minutes and 20 seconds. The pair was not seriously chased by the rest of the field,because the two riders were over 20 minutes behind in the overall standings, and did not present a threat.

Barthe, a former French champion, was visibly the stronger climber, and rode away from Cappelle early on in the climb. Barthe actually rode the climb (which has a maximum grade of 18%) with a 21 because the team did not bring anything larger – the 23 tooth cogs were at the Tour of Switzerland…

“Having a 21 was better maybe. It allowed me to pace myself up the climb. But I never believed I was going to win, even in the last 150 meters I still thought I could be caught.”

Barthe was in no danger, finishing 2 minutes in front of Cappelle, but Cappelle was only 42 seconds ahead of Decanio, despite starting the climb with around a 6 minute advantage.

While Barthe and Cappelle held on to take first and second on the stage, behind a battle was taking place between the half-dozen teams who had contenders for the yellow jersey of the overall leader. Decanio’s Prime Alliance teammate Danny Pate made the first attack that shattered the field, and then Decanio counter-attacked to take possession of third place for the stage, finishing 49 seconds in front of Tesar, enough to wrest the yellow leader’s jersey from the Czech rider’s shoulders.

Australian Michael Rogers (Mapei-Quick Step) finished just behind Decanio, and is only four seconds out of the lead, with 4 stages remaining.

Decanio was completely amazed with his win, the biggest of his career.

“We were working for Danny. I got lucky, I didn’t ever think I could beat him, I’m usually a domestic. It’s been a long road, but if you keep working at it, eventually it will come to you.Race Notes:– Scott Moninger (Mercury), a perennial favorite at Beauce dropped outduring the stage.  He injured a hamstring at Philadelphia, and ithas not been responding to treatment.

Results

1. Stéphane Barthe (Fra) Oktos-Saint-Quentin, 4:37:17;
2. Andy Cappelle (Bel) Marlux – Ville de Charleroi, at 2:02;
3. Matt Decanio (USA), Prime Alliance, at 2:44;
4. Michael Rogers (Aus), Mapei – Quick Step, at 2:52;
5. Christian Werner (Ger), Nürnberger – Versicherung, at 2:57;
6. Danny Pate (USA), Prime Alliance, at 3:07;
7. Petr Bencik (Cze), Wüstenrot – Zvvz, at 3:11;
8. Soren Petersen (Den), Saturn, at 3:30;
9. Arquimedes Lam (Mex), Tecos – Turbo, at 3:32;
10. Lubor Tesar (Cze), Nürnberger – Versicherung, at 3:33;
11. Christian Poos (Lux), Marlux – Ville de Charleroi, at 3:36;
12. Artour Babaitsev (Rus), Nürnberger – Versicherung, at 3:44;
13. Phil Zajicek (USA), Mercury, at 3:50;
14. Tim Johnson (USA), Saturn, at 4:15;
15. Thomas Liese (Ger), Nürnberger – Versicherung, at 4:16;
16. Jose Rujano (Ven), Tecos – Turbo, at 4:22;
17. Mark Walters (Can), Navigators, at 4:27;
18. Martin Laciak (Cze), Wüstenrot – Zvvz, at 4:36;
19. Leonardo Zanotti (Ita), Mapei – Quick Step, at 4:38;
20. Jean-Sébastien Maheu (Can), Volkswagen – Trek, at 4:43;
21. Eric Wohlberg (Can), Saturn, at 4:48;
22. Francois Parisien (Can), Volkswagen – Trek, at 4:49;
23. Russell Stevenson (USA), Prime Alliance, at 4:55;
24. Alan Iacuone (Aus), IteamNova.com, at 5:01;
25. Allan Davis (Aus), Mapei – Quick Step, at 5:10;
26. Sergey Tretyakov (Kaz), Kazakhstan, at 5:24;
27. Johan Coenen (Bel), Marlux – Ville de Charleroi, at 5:41;
28. Vincent Templier (Fra), Oktos-Saint-Quentin, at 5:43;
29. Damon Kluck (USA), Saturn, at 5:53;
30. David McKenzie (Aus), IteamNova.com, at 6:15;
31. Ciaran Power (Irl), Navigators, at 6:16;
32. Dominique Rollin (Can), Sympatico – Jet Fuel Coffee, at 6:22;
33. Jesus Zarate (Mex), Mercury, at 6:57;
34. Sergey Lavrenenko (Kaz), Kazakhstan, at 6:58;
35. Jean-Francois Laroche (Can), Sympatico – Jet Fuel Coffee, at 7:10;
36. Tom Leaper (Aus), Navigators, at 7:15;
37. Martin St-Laurent (Can), Volkswagen – Trek, at 7:20;
38. Florencio Ramos (Mex), Tecos – Turbo, at 7:34;
39. Simon Small (Can), Atlas Cold-Ital Pasta CC, at 7:45;
40. Jean-Francois Racine (Can), Québec, at 7:49;

OVERALL

1. Matt Decanio (USA), Prime Alliance, 12:19:22;
2. Michael Rogers (Aus), Mapei – Quick Step, at 0:04;
3. Christian Werner (Ger), Nürnberger – Versicherung, at 0:15;
4. Lubor Tesar (Cze), Nürnberger – Versicherung, at 0:21;
5. Danny Pate (USA), Prime Alliance, at 0:23;
6. Petr Bencik (Cze), Wüstenrot – Zvvz, at 0:27;
7. Soren Petersen (Den), Saturn, at 0:47;
8. Arquimedes Lam (Mex), Tecos – Turbo, at 0:50;
9. Christian Poos (Lux), Marlux – Ville de Charleroi, at 0:53;
10. Artour Babaitsev (Rus), Nürnberger – Versicherung, at 1:01;
11. Phil Zajicek (USA), Mercury, at 1:06;
12. Tim Johnson (USA), Saturn, at 1:32;
13. Thomas Liese (Ger), Nürnberger – Versicherung, at 1:34;
14. Mark Walters (Can), Navigators, at 1:44;
15. Martin Laciak (Cze), Wüstenrot – Zvvz, at 1:51;
16. Leonardo Zanotti (Ita), Mapei – Quick Step, at 1:56;
17. Francois Parisien (Can), Volkswagen – Trek, at 2:04;
18. Eric Wohlberg (Can), Saturn, at 2:07;
19. Russell Stevenson (USA), Prime Alliance, at 2:11;
20. Jose Rujano (Ven), Tecos – Turbo, at 2:14;
21. Alan Iacuone (Aus), IteamNova.com, at 2:18;
22. Allan Davis (Aus), Mapei – Quick Step, at 2:25;
23. Sergey Tretyakov (Kaz), Kazakhstan, at 2:41;
24. Johan Coenen (Bel), Marlux – Ville de Charleroi, at 2:54;
25. Vincent Templier (Fra), Oktos-Saint-Quentin, at 3:02;
26. David McKenzie (Aus), IteamNova.com, at 3:06;
27. Damon Kluck (USA), Saturn, at 3:09;
28. Ciaran Power (Irl), Navigators, at 3:28;
29. Mike Sayers (USA), Mercury, at 5:18;
30. Dominique Perras (Can), IteamNova.com, at 5:35;
31. Holger Sievers (Ger), Nürnberger – Versicherung, at 7:10;
32. Cory Lange (Can), Québec, at 7:11;
33. Florencio Ramos (Mex), Tecos – Turbo, at 7:31;
34. Ubaldo Mesa (Col), Tecos – Turbo, at 7:33;
35. Oleg Grishkine (Rus), Navigators, at 8:43;
36. Giampaolo Cheula (Ita), Mapei – Quick Step, at 9:39;
37. Gordon Fraser (Can), Mercury, at 10:43;
38. Stéphane Barthe (Fra), Oktos-Saint-Quentin, at 18:58;
39. Scott Guyton (NZl), IteamNova.com, at 19:04;
40. Andy Cappelle (Bel), Marlux – Ville de Charleroi, at 20:53