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Victoria’s Riley Pickrell Leads Tour de l’Abitibi

VAL-D’OR (July 17) – Team Canada’s Riley Pickrell won the first stage of the Tour de l’Abitibi, a distance of 113.4 km between Rouyn-Noranda and Val-d’Or on Tuesday night.

In a group finish, Pickrell, a junior athlete from Victoria, clocked a time of 2 hours 26 minutes 15 seconds.

Pickrell has an eight-second lead in the overall standings ahead of Mexico’s Eduardo Cruz de la Mora, from the American team Alterra Home Loans Cycling Team. Japan’s Taisei Hino is third, nine seconds behind Pickrell.

In addition to the brown leader’s jersey, Pickrell, who is only 16 years old, also ranks first in Points (orange jersey) and gets his hands on the Best Young Rider jersey.

Pickrell added valuable points by finishing second in the two bonus sprints of the stage. With 38 points, he is ahead of Cruz de la Mora by 14 points. It will, however, be Cruz de la Mora who will wear it Wednesday.

Laval’s Nicolas Rivard (Espoirs Élite – Primeau Vélo) was the best Quebecer, seventh, in the lead pack. American Riley Sheehan, the defending champion, also crossed the finish line in the lead pack, in 18th place.

“It’s a remarkable start!” Exclaimed Pickrell. “We executed our game plan to perfection. The strategy was to send riders to the front during the road section to force powerful teams like France and the United States to go hunting, and allow me to save energy.”

A long stage

The second stage of the Tour on Wednesday will consist of a 137.3 km road race that will begin and end in Val-d’Or, passing by Senneterre and to the south of Barraute.

In this stage, the wind could be an important factor according to its direction, will be the longest of the week and one of the longest in the history of the Tour.

This stage was added to the program last Friday and replaced the 96 km urban circuit event at Lebel-sur-Quévillon. This was canceled by the municipal authorities of Lebel-sur-Quevillon because of forest fires north of the municipality.

SOURCE : Le Tour cycliste de l’Abitibi inc.