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Olson wins Beauce finale as Brozyna claims overall

Aaron Olson took the biggest win of his career in the final stage of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Beauce on Sunday, giving Colavita-Bolla its third stage win of the race. Olson jumped off the front of a disintegrating breakaway to solo in, just ahead of a fast closing peloton. Viktor Rapinski (Navigators) beat Andrew Pinfold (Symmetrics) in the field sprint for second, wrapping up the points jersey in the process. In the overall standings, Tomasz Brozyna (Action ATI) faced no serious threats to his hold on the race lead, and retained his 41-second margin over Nathan O'Neill

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By Rob Jones, Special to VeloNews

Olson closes out Beauce with a win

Olson closes out Beauce with a win

Photo: Rob Jones

Aaron Olson took the biggest win of his career in the final stage of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Beauce on Sunday, giving Colavita-Bolla its third stage win of the race.

Olson jumped off the front of a disintegrating breakaway to solo in, just ahead of a fast closing peloton. Viktor Rapinski (Navigators) beat Andrew Pinfold (Symmetrics) in the field sprint for second, wrapping up the points jersey in the process. In the overall standings, Tomasz Brozyna (Action ATI) faced no serious threats to his hold on the race lead, and retained his 41-second margin over Nathan O’Neill (Colavita-Bolla).

The final stage was shortened from 15 laps to 13, after numerous requests from teams and riders. Despite the shortened stage, only 51 of the 73 starters completed the entire race. While stage 4 may have featured the hardest climb in the race, Mont Megantic, many considered the final stage to be the toughest overall.

“It is the hardest stage.” said Navigators director Ed Beamon. “That climb every lap is going to get a lot of riders.”

The 11km circuit was simple in design – straight uphill from the start, a short traverse across the top, and then drop back down. Roughly 30 percent of the course was climbing, for a total of 2522 meters of elevation gain during the race.

The two Polish teams, Action ATI and Hoop CCC, had been riding as one all week, only allowing breaks by riders who were at least 10 minutes down on GC. Those were allowed to stay away, drawing the fangs of represented teams that might otherwise have put pressure on race leader Brozyna.

The same scenario played out in the final stage, with a group of seven going clear. Team Canada’s Ryan McKenzie and Alexandre Nadeau (VW-Trek) started the action on the first lap, and were joined on the second by five more riders — Charles Dionne (Team Canada), Gord Fraser (Health Net-Maxxis), Alexandre Lavallee (VW-Trek), David McKenzie (Navigators) and Olson.

Dionne and the two VW-Trek riders were doing all the work, while the others, with one exception, only took occasional pulls. That exception was Fraser, who took no turns at the front.

“The original idea was I would sit on so we could spring one of our more dangerous guys up, like Mike (Jones),” explained Fraser. “But we couldn’t, because the Poles were watching everything.”

Too, Fraser was recalling what had happened when he was part of a break in stage 3. “On the second day, look what happened – I worked and then Charles was able to drop me on the final climb, so I had to try something else,” he said. “When I saw the way those guys were attacking, I knew I had no chance if I went to the front; I was on the ropes. It wasn’t personal, I’ve been on the receiving end myself. I would have raced like that against anyone in a similar situation. I’d be mad, too, but that’s the way it goes.”

It may not have been personal to Fraser, but Dionne took it that way.

“Fraser didn’t pull through once,” he said. “Even if he had done 10 percent, it would have been okay with me. The two VW guys were doing what they could, but I wished for a little bit of help. That guy (Fraser) asks for some respect, but a race like that will not earn respect.”

Ryan McKenzie was dropped early, leaving six at the front. The gap grew to more than four minutes, and with four laps remaining it seemed as though the break would stay away. Dionne launched a strong attack on the climb this lap, and only David McKenzie and Fraser could respond. Along the top of the course the trio opened up a 42-second lead on the three chasers.

The next time up the climb Dionne was still at the front, but he was slowing, trying to force McKenzie and Fraser to take their turns pulling. McKenzie did a couple of turns, but Fraser continued to hold back. Finally, along the top, Dionne sat up, yelling and gesticulating at the other two. It probably didn’t help matters when McKenzie immediately attacked, forcing Dionne to tow Fraser back up to him.

This yo-yo’ing allowed the other three to catch back on until the climb, when McKenzie launched an attack. Fraser and Dionne responded, and once again Dionne had to go the front, then back off, allowing Olson, Nadeau and Lavallee to regain contact. Meanwhile, Hoop CCC had upped the pace behind, and the gap was shrinking quickly.

This was the situation along the flat before the start of the last lap, when Olson made his move.

“I just kept with the VW guys,” explained Olson. “I couldn’t go with the surges every time on the climb, I had to go my own pace there. When we caught up to them again the final time before the start-finish, I knew my only chance was to attack, so that I could be there on the climb and maybe come over the top with them. I didn’t expect to be on my own at that point.”

Dionne, meanwhile, had had enough, and didn’t immediately start to chase.

“When Olson went was smart,” he said. “I sat there and looked at them – ‘The rules have changed, I’m not pulling you to the finish.’ I attacked again on the climb, it was me and McKenzie, and then Fraser, but it was too late.”

Dionne’s final effort was doomed, and the five riders were gobbled up as Navigators assembled their train, setting up Rapinski for the field sprint.

Olson managed to hold on to win by 15 seconds, his first win of the year with a new team, and one that he calls “my biggest win ever.”

“This was one of my goals for the season, to get a stage win at Beauce,” he said. “Mostly I work for the GC guys, like Nathan, but today was a bit of a chance for myself.”

Race notes

Both Dionne and Fraser deny that Olympic selection was on their minds, but Olson and others in the break saw it differently. “There was definitely something political going on between those two Canadian guys,” remarked Olson.

With the exception of Michael Barry (U.S. Postal), there are no clear favorites for the other two spots on the Canadian men’s road squad for Athens. Dionne certainly scored points with his strong riding at Beauce, but so did Fraser a week earlier in Philly. Wohlberg entered the race tired from Nature Valley the week before, and could only manage eighth in the time trial. However, Canada does not have a time trial spot for Athens (unless some country doesn’t use its entire quota), and Wohlberg is acknowledged to be the ultimate team player. Walters and Perras are the other two possibilities, but they’ll have to turn in very strong performances at nationals to move to the forefront. Both are former national champions, so don’t count them out.

Meanwhile, Fraser offered one intriguing scenario – Barry, Dionne and Fraser – a group that would include the top Canadian Euro-pro (Barry), a sprinter who can climb (Dionne), and a pure sprinter (Fraser). The speculation continues.…

Results

Stage 6: St Georges Circuit

1. Aaron Olson (USA), Colavita Olive Oil, 143 km in 3:53:30

2. Victor Rapinski (Blr), Navigators Insurance, at 0:15

3. Andrew Pinfold (Can), Symmetrics Cycling, at 0:15

4. Plamen Stoyanov (Bul), Hoop CCC Polsat, at 0:15

5. Dominique Perras (Can), Canadian National Team, at 0:15

6. Dan Bowman (USA), TIAA-CREF/5280 Magazine, at 0:15

7. Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz), Capec, at 0:15

8. Assan Bazaev (Kaz), Capec, at 0:15

9. Linus Gerdemann (G), Winfix Arnolds, at 0:15

10. Timo Scholz (G), Winfix Arnolds, at 0:15

11. Ronny Lauke (G), Winfix Arnolds, at 0:15

12. Radoslaw Romanik (Pol), Hoop CCC Polsat, at 0:15

13. BrIce Jones (USA), Health Net-Maxxis, at 0:15

14. Charles Dionne (Can), Canadian National Team, at 0:15

15. Thomas Liese (G), Winfix Arnolds, at 0:15

16. Mike Jones (USA), Health Net-Maxxis, at 0:15

17. Ciaran Power (Irl), Navigators Insurance, at 0:15

18. Arkadiusz Wojtas (Pol), Hoop CCC Polsat, at 0:15

19. Tomasz Brozyna (Pol), Action ATI, at 0:15

20. Scott Moninger (USA), Health Net-Maxxis, at 0:15

21. Alexandre Nadeau (Can), Volkswagen Trek, at 0:15

22. Nathan O’Neill (Aus), Colavita Olive Oil, at 0:15

23. Will Routley (Can), Symmetrics Cycling, at 0:15

24. Seweryn Kohut (Pol), Hoop CCC Polsat, at 0:15

25. Kairat Baigudinov (Kaz), Capec, at 0:15

26. Svein Tuft (Can), Symmetrics Cycling, at 0:15

27. Alexandre Lavallee (Can), Volkswagen Trek, at 0:15

28. Jeff Louder (USA), Navigators Insurance, at 0:15

29. David Mckenzie (Aus), Navigators Insurance, at 0:15

30. Andrey Medyannikov (Kaz), Capec, at 0:49

31. Gord Fraser (Can), Health Net-Maxxis, at 1:05

32. Kazimierz Stafiej (Pol), Action ATI, at 2:00

33. Daniel Olszewski (G), Winfix Arnolds, at 2:20

34. Piotr Chmielewski (Pol), Action ATI, at 2:33

35. Jaroslaw Zarebski (Pol), Hoop CCC Polsat, at 2:33

36. Cameron Evans (Can), Symmetrics Cycling, at 2:33

37. Mark Walters (Can), Navigators Insurance, at 2:33

38. Andrew Randell (Can), Canadian National Team, at 4:41

39. Sheldon Deeny (USA), TIAA-CREF/5280 Magazine, at 6:18

40. Alexander Dymovskikh (Kaz), Capec, at 6:18

41. Bakhtiyar Mamyrov (Kaz), Capec, at 6:18

42. Martin St-Laurent (Can), Volkswagen Trek, at 6:18

43. Colby Pearce (USA), TIAA-CREF/5280 Magazine, at 6:18

44. Siro Camponogara (Ita), Navigators Insurance, at 6:18

45. Dennis Kraft (G), Action ATI, at 6:18

46. Chris Isaac (Can), Ital Pasta, at 6:18

47. Joe Giuliano (Can), Ital Pasta, at 6:18

48. Creg Henderson (NZl), Health Net-Maxxis, at 6:18

49. Greg Roth (Can), Ital Pasta, at 6:18

50. Adam Wadecki (Pol), Action ATI, at 6:18

51. Daniel Maggiacomo (Can), Ital Pasta, at 14:15

52. Jason Maclaren (Can), Ital Pasta, at 31:15

Final overall

1. Tomasz Brozyna (Pol), Action ATI, 22:31:23

2. Nathan O’Neill (Aus), Colavita Olive Oil, at 0:41

3. Scott Moninger (USA), Health Net-Maxxis, at 0:47

4. Radoslaw Romanik (Pol), Hoop CCC Polsat, at 1:01

5. Victor Rapinski (Blr), Navigators Insurance, at 1:39

6. Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz), Capec, at 1:59

7. Thomas Liese (G), Winfix Arnolds, at 2:48

8. Timo Scholz (G), Winfix Arnolds, at 3:02

9. Mike Jones (USA), Health Net-Maxxis, at 3:07

10. Ciaran Power (Irl), Navigators Insurance, at 3:18

11. Seweryn Kohut (Pol), Hoop CCC Polsat, at 3:19

12. Arkadiusz Wojtas (Pol), Hoop CCC Polsat, at 3:29

13. Dominique Perras (Can), Canadian National Team, at 3:57

14. Jeff Louder (USA), Navigators Insurance, at 4:44

15. Kazimierz Stafiej (Pol), Action ATI, at 4:53

16. Kairat Baigudinov (Kaz), Capec, at 11:00

17. Charles Dionne (Can), Canadian National Team, at 12:07

18. Assan Bazaev (Kaz), Capec, at 12:37

19. Alexandre Nadeau (Can), Volkswagen Trek, at 13:53

20. Plamen Stoyanov (Bul), Hoop CCC Polsat, at 14:10

21. Mark Walters (Can), Navigators Insurance, at 17:35

22. Will Routley (Can), Symmetrics Cycling, at 17:56

23. Dan Bowman (USA), TIAA-CREF/5280 Magazine, at 18:14

24. Gord Fraser (Can), Health Net-Maxxis, at 22:58

25. Jaroslaw Zarebski (Pol), Hoop CCC Polsat, at 23:49

26. Aaron Olson (USA), Colavita Olive Oil, at 24:07

27. BrIce Jones (USA), Health Net-Maxxis, at 27:00

28. Joe Giuliano (Can), Ital Pasta, at 27:04

29. Daniel Olszewski (G), Winfix Arnolds, at 27:45

30. Piotr Chmielewski (Pol), Action ATI, at 28:47

31. Svein Tuft (Can), Symmetrics Cycling, at 28:54

32. Alexander Dymovskikh (Kaz), Capec, at 29:04

33. Andrew Pinfold (Can), Symmetrics Cycling, at 30:19

34. Martin St-Laurent (Can), Volkswagen Trek, at 31:04

35. Cameron Evans (Can), Symmetrics Cycling, at 31:55

36. Andrey Medyannikov (Kaz), Capec, at 32:14

37. Chris Isaac (Can), Ital Pasta, at 32:32

38. Bakhtiyar Mamyrov (Kaz), Capec, at 33:11

39. Andrew Randell (Can), Canadian National Team, at 33:13

40. David Mckenzie (Aus), Navigators Insurance, at 36:00

41. Ronny Lauke (G), Winfix Arnolds, at 36:20

42. Dennis Kraft (G), Action ATI, at 37:04

43. Colby Pearce (USA), TIAA-CREF/5280 Magazine, at 37:55

44. Siro Camponogara (Ita), Navigators Insurance, at 38:15

45. Sheldon Deeny (USA), TIAA-CREF/5280 Magazine, at 42:15

46. Adam Wadecki (Pol), Action ATI, at 43:21

47. Greg Roth (Can), Ital Pasta, at 44:49

48. Linus Gerdemann (G), Winfix Arnolds, at 46:59

49. Creg Henderson (NZl), Health Net-Maxxis, at 47:39

50. Alexandre Lavallee (Can), Volkswagen Trek, at 49:16

51. Jason Maclaren (Can), Ital Pasta, at 1:11:32

52. Daniel Maggiacomo (Can), Ital Pasta, at 1:21:14