Josh Kench has won stage 4 of the Tour de l’Abitibi. The Kiwi soloed to the win ahead of Canada’s Jackson Kinniburgh and France’s Lucas Cumenal.
The Tour de ‘Abitibi has become a staple on the New Zealand junior calendar when it comes to giving young New Zealand riders an opportunity for exposure on the international scene. This year New Zealanders Ethan Craine and Josh Kench lined up as part of a field of 101 riders tackling the seven-stage, six-day race.
Ethan Craine was the first of the duo to take centre stage as he finished second in stage 2 from Amos to Rouyn-Noranda. Craine finished third behind Americans Lucas Bourgoyne and Luke Lamperti in a small group that ended the stage 10 seconds ahead of the main field.
It was, however, stage 4 that started and finished in Notre-Dame-du-Nord that was the Kiwi duo’s finest moment so far. Josh Kench was part of a breakaway group containing Canada’s Jackson Kinniburgh and Sean Richardson, America’s Lucas Bourgoyne, France’s Lucas Cumenal and Denmark’s Benjamin Hertz.
Over the 132km stage the breakaway not only managed to establish, but it also managed to stick; holding a lead of over a minute to the peloton behind them. Josh Kench was unhappy to leave the stage down to a sprint finish. The Kiwi attacked to put over 20 seconds into his breakaway companions; soloing away to what would be a famous win.
Kench crossed the line after 3.12.10 hours, 23 seconds ahead of Kinniburgh and Cumenal.
More to come . . .