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By Rob Jones, VeloNews Correspondent
Poland’s Piotr Chmielewski (Mroz) took the lead after the first stage of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Beauce on Monday evening. The 7-day, 8-stage race is the only UCI sanctioned race (2.4) in Canada.
The first stage followed a unique format, with each team covering a 13.3 km circuit in a team time trial formation. The race was staged around the historic Plains of Abraham in Quebec City. The fastest team then nominated a member who would wear the yellow leader’s jersey for the next stage.
Chmielewski’s Mroz team finished 8 seconds ahead of the Saturn squad and 19 seconds in front of Mercury. Both Saturn and Mroz had riders go off course after one of the turns, and a number of teams expressed concern about the open (to traffic) roads.
“This is a very good race,” said one member of the Mroz team, “but this stage is too dangerous if they do not close the roads.”
The race continues Tuesday with a 173 km stage in the Beauce region south of Quebec City and concludes on Sunday after more than 900 km of racing.
Stage 1 – Plains of Abraham TTT 13.3 km
1. Mroz – Supradyn Witaminy (Pol) 17:07
2. Saturn Cycling Team (USA) 17:15
3. Mercury – Viatel (USA) 17:26
4. Team Nürnberger (Ger) 17:39
5. Mapei-Quick Step (Ita) 17:51
6. Navigators Cycling Team? (USA) 17:52
7. 7UP – Colorado (USA) 18:00
8. Équipe Canada (Can) 18:03
9. IBM Lotus (RSA) 18:05
10. Cantina Tollo Acqua & Sapone (Ita) 18:09
11. Ville de Charleroi – New Systems (Bel) 18:12
12. Saint-Quentin Oktos (Fra) 18:14
13. Ficonseils – RCC Conseils Assurances (Sui) 18:18
14. HSBC (RSA) 18:27
15. Équipe du Quèbec (Can) 18:30
16. Sympatico.ca Cycling Team (Can) 18:31
17. Tecos-Turbo (Mex) 18:36
18. Volkswagen (Can) 18:40
19. Oryx (Can) 19:24