Race: Tour de Beauce, Stage 1
Start/Finish: Saint-Georges/Saint-Georges, Canada
Distance: 186.2 kilometers
Saint-Georges, Canada — Team Novo Nordisk kicked off the six-day Tour de Beauce with Martijn Verschoor and Charles Planet both finishing in the top 10 on Stage 1.
Wednesday’s stage started with a flurry of attacks with a variety of teams determined to make the race’s first break. The 186.2-kilometer race was on an eight-lap circuit with unrelenting rolling hills. Soon a six-man break escaped and two laps later, two more riders bridged up. The escapees earned a maximum gap of 5:50 before getting caught with 20 km to go. New attacks followed, but it came down to an uphill bunch sprint in Saint-Georges. Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) sprinted to the win and into the leader’s jersey while Verschoor took sixth and Planet finished 10th.
“The last 20 km were hard, but we made sure to have four riders together at the front: Charles, Kevin, Steven and myself,” Verschoor said. “Those three guys really helped me with placement heading into the finish. The last few kilometers were really fast. Charles and I managed to catch a few people on the uphill sprint, and we finished sixth and 10th. I wish it was a podium, but I’ll take sixth.”
Results: Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) won the stage ahead of teammate Eduard Prades (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Dion Smith (Hincapie Racing Team).
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling squad, continues its doubleheader on Thursday with Stage 5 of the Tour de Korea and Stage 2 of the Tour de Beauce. The 175-km Korean stage begins in Yeosu and ends in Gangjin. In Canada, the riders will tackle the race’s Queen stage, a 169-km race featuring a summit finish on Mont Mégantic.