Race: Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay, Stage 2
Start/Finish: La Baie/La Baie, Canada
Distance: 171 kilometers
La Baie, CANADA —Australian Fabio Calabria earned his career best result with Team Novo Nordisk when he finished eighth on Stage 2 of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay.
Compared to the GP Saguenay opener, which saw riders racing through nearly 100ºF weather, Friday’s 171-kilometer race was noticeable different with cloudy skies and powerful winds. Three riders escaped on the first of nine laps and built a maximum gap of 5:15.
With 70 kilometers remaining and the crosswinds wreaking havoc on the bunch, Team Novo Nordisk’s Javier Megias attacked off the front in an attempt to split the group. When no other teams joined him, he knew the move was short lived and returned to the peloton.
On the final laps, one rider bridged up to the break rounding it out to four riders. Yet their gap continued to plummet. On the final lap, which also featured the day’s only intermediate sprint, crosswinds caused a large crash in the peloton. Team Novo Nordisk’s Brian Kamstra and Reid McClure went down but both resumed riding immediately.
In the end, the escapees were caught in the kilometers, and Émile Jean (Silber Pro Cycling) won from a reduced bunch sprint. Thanks to a strong lead-out by teammate Stephen Clancy, Calabria was in solid position to take on the sprint.
“It was really windy today, so everyone was nervous and trying to be at the front, which makes for a stressful day. Everyone knew that the crosswind section would be decisive for the finish, so it was a big race heading into that section on the last lap. This is where all of the crashes happened.
In the end, Stephen did a good job keeping me out of the wind and dropping me off at the front in the second to last corner. From there, it was a drawn-out sprint through the crosswinds.”
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay on Saturday with Stage 3. The 74.5-km race features 35 laps around a short, 2.13-km course.
- 1st: Émile Jean (Silber Pro Cycling): 4:20:04
- 2nd: Stephen Bassett (Silber Pro Cycling): same time as Jean
- 3rd: Guillaume Boivin (Equipe Canada): same time as Jean
Team Novo Nordisk Results:
- Fabio Calabria: 8th: 0:02 behind Jean
- Stephen Clancy: 11th: 0:02 behind Jean
- Corentin Cherhal: 60th: 0:58 behind Jean
- Javier Megias: 61st: 0:59 behind Jean
- Brian Kamstra: 81st: 6:28 behind Jean
- Reid McClure: 73rd: 6:01 behind Jean
(Photos: ©Sophie Lavoie)