Sainte-Justine, Canada — Team Novo Nordisk’s Martijn Verschoor sprinted to a fourth place finish on Stage 1 of the Tour de Beauce while teammate Nicolas Lefrançois featured in the race’s main breakaway.
“My legs felt really strong,” the 29-year-old Verschoor said. “I had good position inside the last kilometers and exited the final turn in front position. The final climb was just too steep for me to hold on.”
Team Novo Nordisk started the Tour de Beauce with a bang when Lefrançois fought to be part of a 10-man break that formed early into the 196-kilometer course. The group built a gap of 13 minutes before splintering on the final lap of the 46-km circuit course.
“I felt really strong on the first few laps and I was happy to get Team Novo Nordisk into the break,” Lefrançois said. “At one point, I thought we would stay away but Optum and Jelly Belly did an impressive job catching us despite our big gap.”
All escapees were caught in the final kilometers, setting the stage for a bunch sprint on an uphill finish. With help from teammate Charles Planet, Verschoor was near the front heading into the finish. He was beat to the line by Luca Benedetti (Amore-Vita), Eric Young (Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Asbjorn Anderson (Christina Watches-Kuma). Team Novo Nordisk’s Javier Megias took ninth place.
The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team continues racing at the five-day Tour de Beauce on Thursday with the race’s Queen stage, a 167.4-km mountain stage that ends with a summit finish on Mont St. Joseph.