Two Stages for the Riders of the Tour de l’Abitibi

The individual time trial of the Tour began at 9 a.m. this morning near the main entrance of the Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue. The riders were covering 10.1km around Osisko Lake at an average speed of 47.1km/h.

Once more, the Americans topped the rankings. Michael Garrison finished first, followed by his teammate Matthew Riccitello. In third place, the Canadian Jacob Rubuliak.

The podium was all-American with Garrison defending his brown jersey on top of winning the orange and his teammate, Emil Schandorff Iwersen, defending his polka dot jersey.

Second Stage of the Day: Malartic
Everyone was celebrating in Malartic, where many festivities were held at the Centre culturel et récréatif’s site. Hot-dogs, music, families from all over gathered to enjoy the fourth stage.

Despite a threatening sky and a few raindrops, the race went smoothly with a single fall over the 52.5 km. Regardless, excitement was in the air. The front riders were hustling hard, forcing the peloton to maintain an average speed of over 49km/h, and establishing a new record for the fastest race since 1975. In the end, Canadian Riley Pickrell ended up the victor, adding to his three victories from the 2018 Tour. Luke Lamperti from the United States team finished second, followed by Aidan Coats-Ballaseux from the Team California team.

The American Michael Garrison holds on to the brown jersey. Orange was won by Luke Lamperti of the United States team, and Matthew Riccitello will continue to wear his blue jersey. Once more, Emil Schandorff Iwersen was awarded the polka dot jersey.

The Tour Honours its First Champion
The second Hall of Fame ceremony will be held this Saturday, but the Tour de l’Abitibi was opportunist and used Gérald Rocheleau’s presence in Malartic to enshrine the champion of the first round of Abitibi in 1969.

Rocheleau, a cyclist from the south shore of Montreal, was the first to cross the finish line of the first stage in 1969 after racing between Amos and Val-d’Or. Rocheleau then stepped twice on the podium, winning the title of first champion of the Tour with 50 seconds ahead of Robert Van den Eynde, and becoming the best climbing specialist.

“I was a young boy,” recalls Gérald Rocheleau. “It was the first time I’d ever done a Tour like that,” he said, somewhat surprised by being honoured after all these years. “On the 25th year of the Tour, when Léandre Normand contacted me to write his book, I realized that I had won something big.”

Gérald Rocheleau was a professional cyclist for 4 years, competing mainly in the region of Montreal. While he is past his prime, Gérald Rocheleau is still riding 50 years after winning his championship title. He’s always riding 1000 to 2000km a year.

Temiscamingue Challenge
The 5th stage of the Tour will take place on Friday, July 19. A 131.5 km race awaits the cyclists of the Tour du Témiscamingue. They will depart from Notre-Dame-du-Nord at 2 p.m. and are expected to loop in at 4:50 p.m.


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