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35th Tour de Beauce | A New Yellow Jersey by a Second

Tour de Beauce Stage 2 podium. Photo credit: Tour de Beauce – VeloImages


SAINT-ODILON-DE-CRANBOURNE – Irishman Cormac McGeough, from the Makadence Primeau Vélo team, won the 2nd stage of the 35th Tour de Beauce by narrowly snatching the yellow jersey by a small second from Quebecer Matisse Julien.

The winner crossed the finish line alone, ahead of Canadian Evan Russell (Cycling BC) and Matisse Julien, who defended his tunic well.

Frenchman Arthur Liardet (Macadam’s Cowboys) and Canadian Nathan Pruner (TaG Cycling) complete the top 5 of the day. Exhausted, the winner collapsed on the ground screaming his joy.

This is his best career victory, having finished 2nd in the road race of his national championship in 2022.

At the start of this second stage, McGeough, 26, was discreetly in 24th place in the general classification, 25 seconds behind leader Julien. The gap at the finish and the bonus seconds separated this very tight classification.

Last push

At the top of the last KOM, with less than ten kilometers to go, the Irish rider held a slim lead of a few seconds over a pack of about fifteen pursuers. Matisse Julien was then in the right place after a good effort to join the main hunt. With 5 kilometers to go, McGeough had widened the gap again to 25 seconds.

“He slammed his head into the handlebars. It’s good. But one second, it could be three minutes tomorrow,” said Julien briefly, rather confident in anticipation of the terrible ascent of Mont-Mégantic scheduled for Friday.

Even if the yellow jersey narrowly escapes him, Matisse Julien has not lost everything, on the contrary. The 20-year-old retains the white points classification jersey and the mountain polka dot jersey. Julien also sits at the top of the ranking of the best young rider under 23.

In difficult weather conditions, this 169 kilometer long stage was swallowed very quickly through the bumps of Saint-Camille-de-Lellis, Saint-Magloire and Frampton. The peloton beat the fastest route forecast by completing the course in 3h58m02s, averaging around 42.5km/h.

Very high pace

The first hour of racing was even contested at an average speed of more than 45 km/h. A single breakaway of eight riders, with the indefatigable Bruno Langlois (Vélo Cartel), took a little less than three minutes, but their gap was not enough to allow them to go to the end. With about 25 kilometers to go, the main peloton literally exploded to give a thrilling end to the race.

The yellow jersey could change shoulders again after Friday’s queen stage. Cyclists will leave from Lac-Mégantic for a 169-kilometre course to the Mont-Mégantic observatory, located at the top of the highest paved road in Quebec.

The new champion of the 35th Tour de Beauce will be crowned on Sunday in Saint-Georges.