Race: Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay, Stage 4
Start/Finish: Chicoutimi/ Chicoutimi, Canada
Distance: 149.8 kilometers
Chicoutimi, Canada — Team Novo Nordisk closed out the four-day Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay with an extremely windy 149.8-kilometer stage around Chicoutimi in the Canadian province.
The 14-lap course featured a nearly seven-kilometer climb before a short flat section and a downhill run into the finish. From the start, the pace was high with numerous teams fighting to establish a breakaway.
By the third lap, the peloton split with Team Novo Nordisk’s Fabio Calabria making the first group. The race soon came back together, and a new nine-rider break successfully made it up the road and built a maximum gap of nearly 4 minutes.
With the overall race still on the line, Canyon Bikes set a nonstop unrelenting pace, which caused riders to fall off the back on each lap. By the final three laps, all that remained was a chase group of approximately 25 riders, including Team Novo Nordisk’s Javier Megias. In the end, the break stayed away until the finish. Steve Fisher (Canyon Bikes), who took the leader’s jersey on the opening stage, held on for the overall race win.
Team Novo Nordisk Pavel Cherkasov
“It was a very, very, very windy final stage. The race started with a few strong breakaway attempts. Our riders were really aggressive early on and I think they paid for those earlier attempts later on in the stage. With the high pace and the punishing winds, it ended up being too much for a few of our guys. Javier was active throughout the day, but in the end, his group was unable to bring back the group.
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, returns to racing on Wednesday with the five-day Tour de Beauce. Stage 1 is an 185-km race around Saint-Georges.
(Photos: ©Sophie Lavoie)