Today marked another high point for our Junior team. As many of you know, they are racing at Tour l’Abitibi – the top Junior UCI road race in Canada against a deep field of national teams from around the world including Team USA, France, Denmark, New Zealand etc, and the top domestic teams. While there have been low points (some of our riders have crashed out, or been injured) today marked a high point with a Stage 6 win by Quinton Disera for Centurion Next Wave and Matt Staples (racing for Team Canada) moving up huge in the overall standings. Going into the stage race 5 days ago, CNW had three riders selected to race for Team Canada with the aim of going on to World Championships in Qatar this fall. The remaining Centurion Next Wave team recruited Garret Belanger and Quinton Disera to fill the gaps.
The racing has been incredibly fast with average speeds usually in the high 40’s kph. But just when it looked like Team USA had things under control, Matt Staples and Quinton Disera decided to shake things up. Attacking from the start, they formed a 23-man breakaway and caught Team USA by surprise. A gap quickly grew as they averaged close to 50 kph. Despite desperate efforts by team USA and team Denmark, it would be a disastrous day for them. Team Canada put Nick Zukowsky (Matt Staples’ and Noah Simms’ teammate) into the overall leader’s jersey, while Quinton powered the break across the line for the stage win! Matt moved himself up to 4th overall, only 5 seconds off the podium. Quinton sits in 6th overall. Team Canada now also leads the team classification. This is a huge victory in a world class field!
Tomorrow marks the last stage and it will be brutal – 99km in total finishing with 12 laps of the finishing circuit in Rouyn-Noranda. Can Staples close that gap to the podium? Can CNW notch another win? We’ll let you know!