The 46th Edition of the Tour de L’Abitibi kicked off this Tuesday with a 113.1 km road race for stage 1 from Amos, QC to the host community of Rouyn-Noranda. Cycling BC had 5 riders on the start line, Adam Attwell, Erik Diertens Sean Fincham, James Grant and Mark Grant. Early on in the race Mark had a short break with a Moroccan for a few minutes before the pack absorbed them, which was the name of the game for this stage. There were very few breaks, with none getting anymore than 40 seconds on the peloton before being absorbed back in to the main pack. It was a great start to the tour for the team and the boys were able to feel out the pack to see what each of the teams strengths and weaknesses as they prepare for the remaining 6 stages. Stage 2 saw riders riding 118km from Val D’or to Rouyn-Noranda. The name of the game for this stage was to try and push a bit harder to move up the team GC standings and they were successful in doing so. Stage 3 and 4 were both half stages. Stage 3 took place in the morning and was a 9.6km TT around Osisko lake. James Grant was the highest placing BC rider in 31st. Stage 4 was a 2 lap 52.5 race that took place in the afternoon in Malartic. The skies opened up as we departed for Malartic and did not let up until well after the race. It was an incredibly fast race with the average race speed over 48km! Coming into the finish James had a solid positioning for a top 10 finish, before the wheel he was on decided to grab brake and sit up through the final corner. James managed to bounce back coming across the line in the top 30. Stage 5 was a 100.7 km race in Notre Dame under sunny skies and very humid conditions. There were some big crashes in this race with BC riders getting caught up in several of them. Sean Fincham got held up for a significant amount of time behind a crash forcing him to draft behind the team car for close to 25km averaging about 50km/hr, Sean dug deep and was able to rejoin the pack with 40km to go. The boys are looking forward to a later start tomorrow with no travel allowing them to spend a bit more time recovering.
For more info including results and live feed check out the Abitibi website here.
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