Eighth at the start of the final stage, Latvian Andzs Flaksis of the Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Racing team won the 32nd Tour de Beauce on Sunday in the streets of Saint-Georges.
Against all odds, the new champion of the 2017 edition filled a gap of 2min13s to finish in fourth place of this fifth stage and thus get his hands on the yellow jersey that he had not worn once since the start of the week.
“It was a team effort and my legs were fresh in the end. My teammate Ruben Companioni is very strong and it was a great teamwork. It’s certainly one of my best career results,” said Flaksis, 26, who took part in his third Tour de Beauce. With this title in hand, the Latvian will return home like many others to dispute his national championship in a few days.
In a crushing heat, this final stage was won in brilliant solo by Canadian Rob Britton of Rally Cycling. The powerful rider outperformed Diego Milan Liminez (Inteja) and the powerful Francisco Mancebo (Canyon), who finished together at 1min28s of the winner of the day.
In front of a beautiful crowd, the 122.4 kilometers were covered in 3 h 03 min 53s, at an average speed of 39.9 km/h. In total, 41 riders dropped out during this decisive stage.
The yellow jersey at the start of the stage, Alexander Cowan, literally exploded. Despite the support of four Silber Pro Cycling teammates, he finished more than 17 minutes, dropping to 11th overall.
As expected, the tough urban circuit has done a lot of damage. For a few years now, this course has been a real street battle, when only the toughest have managed to stay alive.
From the start, the peloton split into several groups on the road. In mid-race, the yellow jersey group, made up of about fifteen cyclists, was on the hunt of a leading group of 28 riders. The Silber team finally laid down their arms after facing of a gap of several minutes. At that time, almost all jerseys were at stake on the road.
On the podium of this 32nd edition, Flakis is 1min20s ahead of Frenchman Clément Russo (Team St-Étienne/ProBikeShop) and 1min26s Canadian Jordan Cheyne (Jelly Belly). Another Canadian Jack Burke (Aevolo) stood at the foot of the podium by a handful of seconds.
Tenth of the stage, the reigning Canadian champion, Quebec’s Bruno Langlois, finished his 19th Tour de Beauce 8th overall, possibly the best result of his long career in the Beauce. Had it not been for a puncture at the foot of Mont Mégantic earlier this week, Langlois could have fought for the top 5.
Frenchman Clement Russo won the red jersey of best yellow, while Nigel Ellsay saved the day at Silber with the King of the Mountain jersey as a consolation prize.
The white jersey awarded to the points classification leader goes to Robin Carpenter (Holowesko), author of a very beautiful week.
Results, Stage 5
1. BRITTON, Robert (RALLY CYCLING -RLY) 3:03:53
2. MILAN JIMENEZ, Diego (INTEJA DOMINICAN CYCLING TEAM -DCT) 3:05:21 +1:28
3. MANCEBO, Francisco (CANYON BICYCLE -CYN 3:05:21 +1:28
4. FLAKSIS, Andzs (HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR -HC) 3:05:24 +1:31
5. CARPENTER, Robin (HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR -HC) 3:05:58 +2:05
Yellow Jersey Desjardins: Leader of the General classification
1. FLAKSIS, Andzs (HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR -HCR) 15:42:13
2. RUSSO, Clement (TEAM ST-ÉTIENNE P/B PROBIKESHOP -PBS) 15:43:34 +01:21
3. CHEYNE, Jordan (JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS -JBC) 15:43:40 +01:27
4. BURKE, Jack (AEVOLO – AVE) 15:43:49 +01:36
5. COMPANIONI, Ruben (HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR -HCR) 15:44:54 +02:41
White Jersey Hydro-Québec: Leader of the Points classification
1. CARPENTER, Robin (HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR -HCR) 59
2. RUSSO, Clement (TEAM ST-ÉTIENNE P/B PROBIKESHOP -PBS) 46
3. GARRISON, Ian (AXEON HAGENS BERMAN -AHB) 41
Polka Dots Jersey Procycle: Leader of the King of the Mountain classification
1. ELLSAY, Nigel (SILBER PRO CYCLING -SPC) 36
2. CARPENTER, Robin (HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR -HCR) 30
3. SWIRBUL, Keegan (JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS -JBC) 16
Red Jersey Le Georgesville: Leader of the Best Young Rider classification (U23)
1. RUSSO, Clement (TEAM ST-ÉTIENNE P/B PROBIKESHOP -PBS) 15:43:34 01:21
2. BURKE, Jack (AEVOLO – AVE) 15:43:49 01:36
2. CURRAN, Geoffrey (AXEON HAGENS BERMAN -AHB) 15:45:32 03:19