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Rollin stays in yellow at de Beauce

Dominique Rollin (Equipe Quebec) will hold onto the yellow leader's jerseyat the Tour de Beauce for a second day, after the field finished togetherin stage three.  Rollin, who won stage two on Wednesday, finishedsafely in the pack, three seconds behind winner David O'Loughlin (Navigators). Mark Walters (Navigators), who is second in the overall standings, managedto gain three seconds on Rollin after taking an intermediate time bonus,and is now only 12 seconds out of the lead.The stage was shortened from 180 kilometres to 140 due to road damage,a decision that everyone agreed

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By Rob Jones

Dominique Rollin (Equipe Quebec) will hold onto the yellow leader’s jerseyat the Tour de Beauce for a second day, after the field finished togetherin stage three.  Rollin, who won stage two on Wednesday, finishedsafely in the pack, three seconds behind winner David O’Loughlin (Navigators). Mark Walters (Navigators), who is second in the overall standings, managedto gain three seconds on Rollin after taking an intermediate time bonus,and is now only 12 seconds out of the lead.The stage was shortened from 180 kilometres to 140 due to road damage,a decision that everyone agreed with, according to 2003 Beauce winner JohnLieswyn (Health Net).  “When we saw the road, and the shape some ofthe bridges were in … the officials made the right call on that one.”A third straight day of rain and strong winds discouraged serious breakawayattempts.  Navigators tried to split things up in the early going,with approximately 30 riders going clear around the first KoM, but backedoff when they saw that the top contenders were all making the split. Tim Johnson (Jittery Joe’s) was extremely aggressive all day, but Navigatorsand Health Net were not letting anyone away.Rollin’s team did the best they could to protect the jersey, with AlexandreNadeau spending a long time at the front, a fact noted by Navigators DirectorEd Beamon.  “Who was that guy?  He was up there a long, longtime.  A very strong ride.”Finally, the right set of circumstances came together with 20 kilometresto go.  O’Loughlin jumped away and was quickly joined by Doug Ollerenshaw(Health Net).  “I was glad when Doug came up.” said O’Loughlin, theIrish national champion.  “He’s a strong rider, and we both workedwell together.”The duo managed to stretch out the lead to 20 seconds, but once theyhit the finishing circuit for two and a half laps (with a little kickerof a hill at the finish line), the gap began to shrink.  O’Loughlindropped Ollerenshaw on the final circuit and managed to hold on for thewin, while the Health Net rider was swarmed by the remaining thirty-oddriders 200 metres from the line.Tomorrow, the riders face a 27 kilometre time trial in the morning,and a 60 kilometre criterium in the evening.  Dominique Rollin isa strong time trialer, having won the Canadian Espoir title twice, buthe may have a struggle to hold onto the jersey, with Svein Tuft (Symmetrics)and John Lieswyn both  only 20 seconds back.  Nathan O’Neill(Navigators) is the odds-on favourite to win the time trial, but may havedifficulty making up 57 seconds on Lieswyn and Tuft.Race NotesLieswyn is suffering from a hamstring injury sustained at Nature Valleylast week, and discounts his chances.  While he is limping, he hasalso made all the key moves in the race.

Eric Wohlberg (Symmetrics) had a tough day – flatting early in the stageand then, just when he was catching on, hitting a pothole and having toget another wheel change.