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Long day in the break for NZ Champion in Canada
Jun 14th, 12. The Kiwis were in the action on Stage 2 of the Tour de Beauce in Canada today with James Williamson in the break and Clinton Avery's team rewarded with the win.
The NZ Road Champion spent 110km of the 160km stage out the front in a breakaway.
"I managed to make the move after about 40km of full gas attacking today, unfortunately there were only three of us and with some strong winds and heaps of climbs it was a hard slog," Williamson (PureBlack Racing) told RoadCycling.co.nz
While at the front of the race he managed to accrue some of the King of the Mountain points, taking first on the category 2 KOM climb, and second on the category 3 KOM.
"Unfortunately I went through a real bad patch with 25km to go and lost touch with my companions which was gutting as they ended up staying all the way to the finish!"
"Overall it was a good day for the PureBlack Racing team with five of us in the main bunch and in a good position to get amongst it in the following days," he said.
The break survived to the finish with Kiwi Clinton Avery's Champion System teammate Craig Lewis taking the win.
"It was a good day for the team and certainly a good confidence booster for the remainder of the tour," Avery told RoadCycling.co.nz
"We went into today's stage with the goal of putting someone in the breakaway. After yesterday's mistake of not putting someone there we were planning to make up for it and keep all options open."
Yesterday it was Avery who did a power of work to bring the break back and set the stage finale up for his team's sprinters.
"The stage started and the weather was pretty miserable but on the plus side it wasn't cold," said Avery who was based in Belgium for the first part of the international season.
Lewis, Williamson and Canadian rider James Sparling (Raleigh) were the trio which finally managed to make an attack stick.
"For the rest of the team the stage was spent sitting on the back of the United Healthcare team who were looking like they would take over the chase if [yellow jersey leaders] Competitive Cyclist couldn't do the job. Towards the end it was Team Type One who came through to help," explained Avery.
"Craig rode extremely strong today according to our director Ed Beamon. His words were "Craig is Back". He is still on the recovery from his crash in the Giro last year."
"Back in the peloton we were just sitting pretty until there were still podium places up for grabs. I managed to set Matthias [Friedemann] up perfect for the bunch sprint and he took 4th place."
Friedemann moved into lead of the White Points Jersey competition and fellow Champion System teammate Adiq Othman kept his Best Young Rider jersey. To top off a great day, the Asian registered team is also leading the Team Classification.
PureBlack Racing's Roman van Uden was the best placed Kiwi in the main bunch which crossed the finish line 29sec behind the stage winner. He placed 10th. Also in that bunch were his teammates Taylor Gunman and Michael Torckler plus Mark Langlands (Garneau Quebecor). Avery, Williamson and Joe Cooper (Pure Black) followed within a minute. Justin Kerr (H&R Block) finished in a later group and PureBlack Racing's Louis Crosby was recorded as a DNF.
The winner of the opening stage, defending champion Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) retained his lead in the General Classification but today's stage winner, who started the day 35sec behind, is now just 3sec off the top of the leaderboard in 2nd place.
Tomorrow's Stage 3 is a 164km race finishing a top of the mighty Mt Mégantic.
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