After struggling most of last year with knee trouble and being sidelined still this year until the Tour of the Gila in May, Francois Parisien's form is finally coming around. The native from Quebec, Canada, rode a brilliant Tour de Beauce in his home province.
Parisien was active and riding strongly the entire race. He joined a promising chase group in stage one, then sprinted to a third-place finish in stage two. The best came in an exciting stage three, where Francois was able to make the decisive breakaway and get second place on the mountaintop finish. He then showed his time trial ability by getting the eighth fastest time in stage 4a and made the break that was only caught in the last lap on stage 4b. He then rode in support to teammate Danny Pate to secure his teammate's third place overall.
The team started the Tour de Beauce with less manpower than the other squads. Stomach viruses and a forgotten passport kept the team down to four men to begin with. But its fellowship and aggressive racing made up for the loss in numbers and the diminished team was able to score its first UCI road race stage win.
Francois Parisien, who also rode a strong support role for Danny Pate in the Commerce Bank Triple Crown, can now dream of regaining the title of Canadian National Road Race Champion, which he won in 2005. The Canadian National Championships are held from July 5 through 11.