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O’Neill smokes stage, Tuft takes lead in Beauce

As expected, the 27km time trial has rearranged the general classification at the Tour de Beauce. Svein Tuft (Symmetrics) takes over the yellow jersey from Dominique Rollin (Equipe Quebec), but he is just five seconds in front of Nathan O'Neill (Navigators), who crushed the competition in the stage. O’Neill finished 52 seconds in front of runner-up Tuft, with his teammate Jeff Louder giving Navigators third place on the stage and in the overall rankings. The riders woke up to heavy rain, but by the time the first rider rolled down the ramp, it had backed off to drizzle, and halfway

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By Rob Jones

Tuft rides into the lead

Tuft rides into the lead

Photo: Rob Jones

As expected, the 27km time trial has rearranged the general classification at the Tour de Beauce. Svein Tuft (Symmetrics) takes over the yellow jersey from Dominique Rollin (Equipe Quebec), but he is just five seconds in front of Nathan O’Neill (Navigators), who crushed the competition in the stage.

O’Neill finished 52 seconds in front of runner-up Tuft, with his teammate Jeff Louder giving Navigators third place on the stage and in the overall rankings.

The riders woke up to heavy rain, but by the time the first rider rolled down the ramp, it had backed off to drizzle, and halfway through the field the rain stopped completely. Everyone still had to contend with strong wind, including a headwind on the finishing stretch up a 1.5km climb. The T-shaped course (with the start/finish at the base of the T) had very little in the way of flat sections, it was either uphill, downhill or false flat.

Bruno Langlois (Jittery Joe’s-Kalahari) set the early fast time, and was the only rider in the first 20 starters to go under 40 minutes at 39:48. Alexandre Nadeau (Equipe Quebec) and Oleg Grichkine (Navigators) also managed to squeak under the 40-minute bar, but Langlois was still fastest with half the field through.

Chris Isaac (ItalPasta-Transport Belmire CC) lowered the time by 22 seconds, then Justin England (Health Net-Maxxis) managed a further six seconds, only to be immediately superseded by Cesar Grajales (Navigators). It took stage-1 winner Martin Gilbert (VW-Trek) to lower the bar below 39 minutes (38:51), but shortly afterwards Canadian espoir time trial champion Christian Meier (Symmetrics) brought in the first really serious time – 37:27.

Meier’s time would hold up until Thursday’s stage winner, Irish national road champion David O’Loughlin (Navigators,) took eight seconds off, but the O’Neill express was right behind, taking a staggering 1:55 out of O’Loughlin.

“It was a tough course, but I knew I could do well on it,” said O’Neill. “I was pretty confident (of winning the stage), the only question was whether I could take enough time for the jersey. I had a little bit of trouble with my gears out there at one point, and had to back off, but it’s hard to say if that would have made any difference. But this way it is better – they (Symmetrics) have to defend for the next three stages. I think I’ll be sleeping better than him (Tuft) tonight!”

Tuft was fifth from last to start, and rode a steady, consistent ride, with the help of some borrowed technology from a teammate.

“Pinner (Andrew Pinfold) has been using an SRM, and we put it on my bike. I rode it (the stage) on wattage, and just tried to keep a steady output for the entire way. It was a hard race out there today. The wind, especially the headwind on the way back to the finish, meant you couldn’t back off at all. All you could do was try and maintain your pace and be consistent. By the end I was lightheaded from the effort.”

Louder was the next rider after Tuft, but he was nearly 30 seconds slower, and the remaining three riders – Dawid Krupa (Paged-MBK-Scout), Mark Walters (Navigators) and Rollin – were well off the pace.

While Tuft and his Symmetrics team were happy to be awarded their first-ever UCI leader’s jersey, Tuft also expressed concerns about having to defend the jersey.

“It’s great to win the jersey, don’t get me wrong! But this is going to be hard, especially with two hard stages still left (plus the Friday-night criterium). We’ll just have to be extra alert.”

Race notes
Meier’s strong ride moves him closer to espoir leader Brandon Crichton (ItalPasta-Transport Belmire CC), who finished 18th on the stage, but he is still 2:04 back.

Ryan Roth (Team Canada) slid out at the first turn, and Tuft nearly went down in the same spot.

Friday night brings a 40-lap criterium in downtown St Georges. This stage always draws criticism from the leading teams, because of the potential impact a crash, mechanical or well-placed breakaway can have on the GC. With the concerns over rain, there have been calls to have the stage not count in the GC (as happened in 2001), but so far officials are planning on keeping the stage as part of the general classification.

Results

Stage
1. Nathan O'Neill (Aus) Navigators Insurance, 27km in 35:24

2. Svein Tuft (Can) Symmetrics Cycling, at 0:52

3. Jeff Louder (USA) Navigators Insurance, 1:21

4. David O'Loughlin (Irl) Navigators Insurance, 1:55

5. Christian Meier (Can) Symmetrics Cycling, 2:03

6. John Lieswyn (USA) Health Net-Maxxis, 2:04

7. Dawid Krupa (Pol) Paged-MBK-Scout, 2:07

8. Eric Wohlberg (Can) Symmetrics Cycling, 2:21

9. Kacper Sowinski (Pol) Amore & Vita-Beretta, 2:29

10. Glen Alan Chadwick (Aus) Team Cyclingnews.com, 2:32

11. Mark Walters (Can) Navigators Insurance, 2:46

12. Mike Jones (USA) Health Net-Maxxis, 2:51

13. Martin Gilbert (Can) Volkswagen Trek, 3:27

14. Dominique Perras (Can) Canada National Team, 3:42

15. Cesar Grajales (Col) Navigators Insurance, 3:44

16. Doug Ollerenshaw (USA) Health Net-Maxxis, 3:44

17. Justin England (USA) Health Net-Maxxis, 3:56

18. Brandon Crichton (Can) Italpasta-Transport Belmire C.C., 3:57

19. Krzysztof Mermer (Pol) Paged-MBK-Scout, 3:59

20. Chris Isaac (Can) Italpasta-Transport Belmire C.C., 4:02

21. Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators Insurance, 4:03

22. Dominique Rollin (Can) Equipe Du Quebec, 4:20

23. Bruno Langlois (Can) Jittery Joe's-Kalahari, 4:24

24. Oleg Grichkine (Rus) Navigators Insurance, 4:29

25. Alexandre Nadeau (Can) Equipe Du Quebec, 4:32

26. Peter Sanowar (Can) Italpasta-Transport Belmire C.C., 4:51

27. Jonathan Sundt (USA) Jittery Joe's-Kalahari, 4:45

28. Timothy Johnson (USA) Jittery Joe's-Kalahari, 4:45

29. Jeremy Vennell (NZl) Team Cyclingnews.Com, 4:59

30. Kevin Lacombe (Can) Volkswagen Trek, 5:00

31. Max Plaxton (Can) Canada National Team, 5:11

32. Mike Sayers (USA) Health Net-Maxxis, 5:17

33. Jacob Erker (Can) Symmetrics Cycling, 5:17

34. Zach Bell (Can) Canada National Team, 5:24

35. Cameron Jennings (Aus) Team Cyclingnews.Com, 5:25

36. Raphaël Tremblay (Can) Volkswagen Trek, 5:28

37. Evan Elken (USA) Jittery Joe's-Kalahari, 5:30

38. Kimmo Kananen (Fin) Amore & Vita-Beretta, 5:30

39. Ryan Roth (Can) Canada National Team, 5:35

40. Chris Kuhl (USA) CRCA-Sakonnet Techno, 5:36

41. Charles Dionne (Can) Canada National Team, 5:38

42. Wojciech Kalemba (Pol) Paged-MBK-Scout, 5:44

43. Przemyslaw Mikolajczyk (Pol) Paged-MBK-Scout, 5:45

44. Sven De Weerdt (Bel) Team Cyclingnews.Com, 5:46

45. Mathieu Roy (Can) Equipe Du Quebec, 6:08

46. Richard Bowker (NZl) Italpasta-Transport Belmire C.C., 6:18

47. Jean-Sébastien Béland (Can) Equipe Du Quebec, 6:43

48. Finn Heitmann (Ger) Stevens Racing, 6:44

49. Jay,Cory (Can) CRCA-Sakonnet Techno, 6:48

50. Andrew Pinfold (Can) Symmetrics Cycling, 7:06

51. Dustin Macburnie (Can) Yeti, 7:19

52. Leigh Palmer (Aus) Team Cyclingnews.Com, 7:26

53. Bradley Fairall (Can) Symmetrics Cycling, 7:37

54. Johnny Hayes (USA) CRCA-Sakonnet Techno, 7:38

55. Peter Morse (Can) Yeti, 7:44

56. Cory Lange (Can) Symmetrics Cycling, 7:52

57. Jean-Sébastien Maheu (Can) Volkswagen Trek, 7:56

58. Nat Faulkner (Can) Italpasta-Transport Belmire C.C., 8:09

59. Jamie Burrow (GBr) Amore & Vita-Beretta, 8:10

60. Domenico Passuello (Ita) Amore & Vita-Beretta, 8:14

61. Daniel Maclaren (Can) Italpasta-Transport Belmire C.C., 8:21

62. Jens Schwedler (Ger) Stevens Racing, 8:21

63. Tomasz Lesniak (Pol) Paged-MBK-Scout, 8:32

64. Alex Richer (Can) Yeti, 8:59

65. Claudio Bartoli (Ita) Amore & Vita-Beretta, 9:03

66. Tom Barras (GBr) Team Cyclingnews.Com, 9:40

Overall (some times unavailable)

1. Svein Tuft (Can) Symmetrics Cycling, 13:38:00

2. Nathan O'neill (Aus) Navigators Insurance, 0:05

3. Jeff Louder (USA) Navigators Insurance, 0:25

4. John Lieswyn (USA) Health Net-Maxxis, 1:12

5. Dawid Krupa (Pol) Paged-Mbk-Scout, 1:14

6. Mark Walters (Can) Navigators Insurance, 1:46

7. Glen Alan Chadwick (Aus) Team Cyclingnews.Com, 1:48

8. David O'loughlin (Irl) Navigators Insurance, 2:28

9. Kacper Sowinski (Pol) Amore & Vita – Beretta, 2:28

10. Mike Jones (USA) Health Net-Maxxis, 2:56

11. Dominique Rollin (Can) Equipe Du Quebec, 3:08

12. Eric Wohlberg (Can) Symmetrics Cycling, 3:26

13. Brandon Crichton (Can) Italpasta-Transport Belmire C.C., 4:01

14. Krzysztof Mermer (Pol) Paged-Mbk-Scout, 4:04

15. Jacob Erker (Can) Symmetrics Cycling, 5:22

16. Doug Ollerenshaw (USA) Health Net-Maxxis, 5:23

17. Dominique Perras (Can) Canada National Team, 5:23

18. Christian Meier (Can) Symmetrics Cycling, 6:05

19. Wojciech Kalemba (Pol) Paged-Mbk-Scout, 6:09

20. Cameron Jennings (Aus) Team Cyclingnews.Com, 7:59

21. Jean-Sébastien Maheu (Can) Volkswagen Trek, 9:37

22. Kimmo Kananen (Fin) Amore & Vita – Beretta, 10:21

23. Charles Dionne (Can) Canada National Team, 10:29

24. Mike Sayers (USA) Health Net-Maxxis, 12:19

25. Martin Gilbert (Can) Volkswagen Trek, 13:44

26. Cesar Grajales (Col) Navigators Insurance, 14:56

27. Justin England (USA) Health Net-Maxxis, 15:08

28. Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators Insurance, 21:21

29. Chris Isaac (Can) Italpasta-Transport Belmire C.C., 21:30

30. Timothy Johnson (USA) Jittery Joe's-Kalahari, 22:13

31. Max Plaxton (Can) Canada National Team, 22:39

32. Oleg Grichkine (Rus) Navigators Insurance, 22:05

33. Chris Kuhl (USA) CRCA-Sakonnet Techno, 23:57

34. Finn Heitmann (Ger) Stevens Racing, 12:00

35. Raphaël Tremblay (Can) Volkswagen Trek, 22:00

36. Domenico Passuello (Ita) Amore & Vita – Beretta, 37:00

37. Cory Jay (Can) CRCA-Sakonnet Techno

38. Jamie Burrow (GBr) Amore & Vita – Beretta

39. Sven De Weerdt (Bel) Team Cyclingnews.Com

40. Tomasz Lesniak (Pol) Paged-Mbk-Scout

41. Claudio Bartoli (Ita) Amore & Vita – Beretta

42. Nat Faulkner (Can) Italpasta-Transport Belmire C.C0

43. Andrew Pinfold (Can) Symmetrics Cycling,

44. Kevin Lacombe (Can) Volkswagen Trek

45. Alexandre Nadeau (Can) Equipe Du Quebec

46. Dustin Macburnie (Can) Yeti

47. Cory Lange (Can) Symmetrics Cycling

48. Jeremy Vennell (NZl) Team Cyclingnews.Com

49. Ryan Roth (Can) Canada National Team

50. Bradley Fairall (Can) Symmetrics Cycling

51. Jonathan Sundt (USA) Jittery Joe's-Kalahari

52. Richard Bowker (NZl) Italpasta-Transport Belmire C.C

53. Leigh Palmer (Aus) Team Cyclingnews.Com

54. Bruno Langlois (Can) Jittery Joe's-Kalahari

55. Tom Barras (GBr) Team Cyclingnews.Com

56. Przemyslaw Mikolajczyk (Pol) Paged-Mbk-Scout

57. Evan Elken (USA) Jittery Joe's-Kalahari

58. Mathieu Roy (Can) Equipe Du Quebec

59. Jens Schwedler (Ger) Stevens Racing

60. Jean-Sébastien Béland (Can) Equipe Du Quebec

61. Zach Bell (Can) Canada National Team

62. Peter Morse (Can) Yeti, 1:03:42

63. Alex Richer (Can) Yeti, 1:28:27

64. Johnny Hayes (USA) CRCA-Sakonnet Techno, 1:31:22

65. Daniel Maclaren (Can) Italpasta-Transport Belmire C.C., 1:48:39

Team GC

1. Navigators Insurance, 35104:54:44

2. Symmetrics Cycling, 4:08

3. Health Net-Maxxis, 8:48

4. Paged-Mbk-Scout, 9:56

5. Canadian National Team, 35095:16:00

6. Team Cyclingnews.Com, 35097:25:00

7. Volkswagen Trek, 35098:42:00

8. Amore & Vita – Beretta, 35100:50:00

9. Equipe Du Quebec, 35105:02:00

10. Italpasta-Transport Belmire C.C., 35112:07:00

11. Jittery Joe's-Kalahari, 1:50:19

12. CRCA-Sakonnet Techno, 2:13:43

13. Yeti , 2:24:03