Tour de Beauce: Tom Skujins wins solo atop Mont Megantic

Latvian moves into overall lead with stage win

Thursday's Queen Stage at the Tour de Beauce delivered as promised, turning the race on its head and determining the general classification heading into Friday's time trial. Hincapie Sportswear's 22-year-old Latvian Tom Skujins was the last survivor of a daylong breakaway, taking the stage 2 win and the overall lead at the top of Mont Megantic. 

Amore & Vita-Selle SMP's Michael Woods finished second on the day, followed by Optum Pro Cycling's Carter Jones, Team SmartStop's Rob Britton and Jelly Belly-Maxxis' Serghei Tvetcov. The top five on Thursday's stage are also the top five overall.

"I'm really happy for the win, because this is my first year with the team and I hadn't done too much up until now," Skujins said. "But I hope it's a sign for the things that will come. So I'm really happy, and it's definitely a big win for me and for the team as well."

The 167.4km stage started in Lac-Megantic and circled the namesake lake on a lumpy circuit that led to the brutally steep four kilometer climb to the finish. Before the final climb started, Skujins had to bridge to Team SmartStop's Joshua Berry and Jure Kocjan, who had been with the Hincapie rider in an eight-rider breakaway but jumped away with about 30km remaining.

"Once we saw [the original breakaway's gap to the field] coming down we knew that we had to pick up the speed, so we tried to do that," Skujins said. "But still there were guys who weren't doing enough work, so the SmartStop guys went away, the two of them, which was, well, you don't see that very often. I kind of knew that was the move to be in. I bridged over to them, which took a lot of effort because those guys were riding hard as hell."

Skujin made contact with the duo several kilometers later, and the trio cooperated well to extend their gap of just over a minute to more than two minutes as they approached the bottom of the final climb.

"Once you hit the climb it was so steep that you had to go as hard as you could just trying not to stop," Kujin said. "I saw that they were a little bit in difficulty from the bottom already, so I went my own speed and they dropped. I just kept going, and I liked that it had a little bit of rest in it, but it was really difficult. That last kilometer was just insufferable."

With Berry and Kocjan dispatched on the lower slopes of the climb and fading fast back into a chase group of about 20 riders, Skujin set out for the finish. Behind him, Woods, a former distance runner who turned to cycling just two years ago, jumped away from the select group and tried to chase the Hincapie rider down.

"The group came into the climb about 2:30 back from breakaway," Woods said. "And at about three-and-a-half kilometers left in the climb I attacked and, no one went with me. I knew if I just rode a solid tempo I could hold it off, and fortunately I did. I wasn't able to get the top guy from Hincapie, but to me the day was a big success. It was awesome."

Jones was the next to jump away from the chase group, and the Optum rider was soon followed up the climb by Britton and Tvetcov. Jones, who won the Tour of the Gila earlier this year, was able to hold off Britton and Tevtcov but wasn't able to chase down the two riders in front. At the end of the day, Jones described the final climb as "brutal."

"It was just so steep at the end," Jones said. "I looked at the profile online, and I was like, 'Yeah, you know we should probably put a 32 on.' But then I thought, 'Bah, you'll be fine.' But I definitely wish I had a 32 on."

Woods was on a spare bike equipped with a 25-tooth cog after breaking his own bike early in the stage.

"It was definitely a nervous ride today," Woods said about having to tackle the final ascent on the spare machine. "So I didn't expect to do as well as I did. But I felt really good going into that climb."

Skujins eventually finished 46 seconds ahead of Woods to take the win and collect a 10-second time bonus along with a three-second bump he earned in one of the intermediate sprints. Jones finished 1:42 behind the winner, with Britton coming in another two seconds later. Tevtcov was another 11 seconds in arrears.

Skujins now leads Woods by 53 seconds in the overall and Jones by 1:51 heading into Friday's 20km time trial. Skujins described himself as "not too good" at time trialing, but he said he'll do his best and the team will reevaluate the gaps heading into Saturday's difficult urban circuit race in Quebec City. Whichever team holds the yellow jersey after the time trial will have a difficult defense before the race ends Sunday with another urban circuit race in Saint George.

"Both those days are brutal," said Jones, who raced the circuits last year with Bissell Pro Cycling and dropped out of the race on the Quebec circuit. "You saw last year that the 5-hour team was able to defend the Quebec circuit, but they had a hard time doing so. Then they came to pieces on the Saint George circuit.

"Both days are super hard, and there is a lot of opportunity to be opportunistic," Jones said. "So this race is still up in the air. Hincapie has an awesome team here, but those circuits are - it's a big ask for a team, but we'll have to see how the TT goes tomorrow."

 

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Skujins (Hincapie Sportswear Development)4:41:53 
2Michael Woods (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP)0:00:46 
3Carter Jones (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:01:42 
4Rob Britton (Team SmartStop)0:01:44 
5Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:01:55 
6Javier Megias (Team Novo Nordisk)0:01:56 
7Jonathan Hornbeck (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)0:02:02 
8Timothy Roe (Team Budget-Forklifts)  
9Asbjorn Kragh (Christina Watches-Kuma)0:02:04 
10Anatoliy Pakhtusov (ISD Continental)0:02:06 
11Maxim Jenkins (Team Veloselect)  
12Luca Benedetti (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP)0:02:08 
13David Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk)  
14Garrett Mcleod (Team H&R Block)0:02:10 
15Kirk Carlson (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)  
16Dion Smit (Hincapie Sportswear Development)0:02:15 
17Robbie Squire (Jamis-Hagens Berman)0:02:21 
18Fernando Orjuela (4-72 Colombia)0:02:26 
19Jordon Cheyne (Ride with Rendell p/b Biemme)0:02:30 
20Chad Beyer (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)0:02:31 
21Stefan Schumecher (Christina Watches-Kuma)0:02:35 
22Joshua Berry (Team SmartStop)0:02:52 
23Yors Santofimio (4-72 Colombia)0:02:54 
24Viesturs Luksevics (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP)0:02:55 
25Joshua Prete (Team Budget-Forklifts)0:03:05 
26Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling)0:03:12 
27Timothy Rugg (Ride with Rendell p/b Biemme)0:03:14 
28Denys Karnulin (ISD Continental)0:03:23 
29Edson Arturo Calderon (4-72 Colombia)0:03:28 
30Joe Schmalz (Hincapie Sportswear Development)0:03:35 
31Nigel Ellsay (Team H&R Block)0:03:37 
32Daniel Bichlmann (Bike Aid-Ride For Help)0:03:44 
33Carson Miller (Jamis-Hagens Berman)0:03:45 
34Joonas Henttala (Team Novo Nordisk)0:03:46 
35Joey Rosskopf (Hincapie Sportswear Development)0:03:55 
36Eloy Teruel (Jamis-Hagens Berman)0:03:58 
37Matthew Lloyd (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:04:03 
38Jure Kocjan (Team SmartStop)0:04:07 
39Gavin Mannion (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)0:04:09 
40Oleksandr Sheydyk (ISD Continental)0:04:12 
41Joe Lewis (Hincapie Sportswear Development)0:04:14 
42Volodymyr Dzhus (ISD Continental)0:04:18 
43Marius Bernatonis (Alpha Baltic-UnityMarathons.com)0:04:24 
44Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk)0:04:56 
45Vitaliy Popkov (ISD Continental)0:05:06 
46Kyle Buckosky (Team H&R Block)0:05:32 
47Michael Hümbert (Bike Aid-Ride For Help)0:06:01 
48Jimmy Schurman (Ride with Rendell p/b Biemme)0:06:06 
49Flavio Deluna (Team SmartStop)0:06:08 
50Julien Gagné (Norco Bicycles-Premier Tech)0:06:12 
51Christopher Prendergast (Team H&R Block)0:06:31 
52Aurélien Passeron (Silber Pro Cycling)0:06:38 
53Jimmi Sorensen (Christina Watches-Kuma)0:06:52 
54Brodie Talbot (Team Budget-Forklifts)0:07:08 
55Leonardo Pinizzotto (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP)0:07:24 
56Rémi Pelletier-Roy (Garneau-Quebecor)0:07:29 
57Pierrick Naud (Garneau-Quebecor)  
58Conor O'brien (Team Veloselect)0:07:53 
59Félix Côté-Bouvette (Team Veloselect)0:07:58 
60Camilo Andres Suarez (4-72 Colombia)0:08:47 
61Marijn Verschoor (Team Novo Nordisk)0:09:01 
62Maris Bogdanovics (Alpha Baltic-UnityMarathons.com)0:09:15 
63James Stemper (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)0:09:24 
64Maksym Vasilyev (ISD Continental)0:09:45 
65Jeremy Durrin (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:09:46 
66Oscar Clark (Hincapie Sportswear Development)0:09:47 
67Bjorn Selander (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:10:13 
68Enrico Rossi (Christina Watches-Kuma)0:10:21 
69Stephen Leece (Jamis-Hagens Berman)0:12:09 
70Tyler Wren (Jamis-Hagens Berman)0:12:41 
71Cameron Cogburn (Team SmartStop)0:13:43 
72Justin Purificati (Ride with Rendell p/b Biemme)0:13:56 
73Ryan Macdonald (Team H&R Block)0:14:18 
74Federico Marchiori (Team H&R Block)0:15:00 
75Michael Torkler (Team SmartStop)0:16:51 
76Adam Farabaugh (Garneau-Quebecor)0:16:58 
77Yean Rodriguez (4-72 Colombia)0:17:21 
78Taylor Shelden (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)0:18:22 
79Bruno Langlois (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)0:18:25 
80Samuel Witmitz (Team Budget-Forklifts)0:19:06 
81Daniel Durango (4-72 Colombia)0:19:20 
82Antonio Dibattista (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP)0:19:40 
83Julian Kyer (Team SmartStop)0:20:07 
84Matteo Dal-Cin (Silber Pro Cycling)  
85Jean-Michel Lachance (Silber Pro Cycling)0:20:12 
86Ian Burnett (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:20:55 
87Alex Wohler (Team Budget-Forklifts)0:21:36 
88Michael Vink (Team Budget-Forklifts)0:21:50 
89Tommy Nankervis (Team Budget-Forklifts)  
90Eric Young (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:22:00 
91Jacob Rathe (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:22:41 
92Bradley Huff (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
93Sebastian Forke (Christina Watches-Kuma)0:22:43 
94David Williams (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)  
95Benjamin Chaddock (Garneau-Quebecor)0:22:53 
96Benjamin Chartrand (Silber Pro Cycling)0:23:20 
97Ryan Wills (Bike Aid-Ride For Help)0:24:26 
98Ty Magner (Hincapie Sportswear Development)0:24:49 
99Yannick Mayer (Bike Aid-Ride For Help)0:25:36 
100James Piccoli (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP)0:26:35 
101Samuel Blanchette (Norco Bicycles-Premier Tech)0:30:31 
102Joël Desgreniers (Norco Bicycles-Premier Tech)0:33:49 
103Tom Soladay (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:44:11 
104Jacob Kauffman (Garneau-Quebecor)0:44:16 
105Jake Tanner (Christina Watches-Kuma)0:49:51 
106Matthias Schnapka (Bike Aid-Ride For Help)0:52:44 
General classification after stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tom Skujins (Hincapie Sportswear Development)9:34:59 
2Michael Woods (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP)0:00:53 
3Carter Jones (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:01:51 
4Rob Britton (Team SmartStop)0:01:57 
5Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:02:08 
6Javier Megias (Team Novo Nordisk)0:02:09 
7Luca Benedetti (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP)0:02:11 
8Asbjorn Kragh (Christina Watches-Kuma)0:02:13 
9Timothy Roe (Team Budget-Forklifts)0:02:15 
10Jonathan Hornbeck (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)  
11Maxim Jenkins (Team Veloselect)0:02:19 
12Anatoliy Pakhtusov (ISD Continental)  
13David Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk)0:02:21 
14Garrett Mcleod (Team H&R Block)0:02:23 
15Kirk Carlson (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)  
16Dion Smit (Hincapie Sportswear Development)0:02:28 
17Robbie Squire (Jamis-Hagens Berman)0:02:34 
18Fernando Orjuela (4-72 Colombia)0:02:39 
19Jordon Cheyne (Ride with Rendell p/b Biemme)0:02:43 
20Chad Beyer (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)0:02:44 
21Stefan Schumecher (Christina Watches-Kuma)0:02:48 
22Joshua Berry (Team SmartStop)0:02:52 
23Yors Santofimio (4-72 Colombia)0:03:07 
24Viesturs Luksevics (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP)0:03:08 
25Joshua Prete (Team Budget-Forklifts)0:03:18 
26Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling)0:03:25 
27Timothy Rugg (Ride with Rendell p/b Biemme)0:03:27 
28Denys Karnulin (ISD Continental)0:03:36 
29Edson Arturo Calderon (4-72 Colombia)0:03:41 
30Joe Schmalz (Hincapie Sportswear Development)0:03:47 
31Nigel Ellsay (Team H&R Block)0:03:50 
32Daniel Bichlmann (Bike Aid-Ride For Help)0:03:57 
33Carson Miller (Jamis-Hagens Berman)0:03:58 
34Joonas Henttala (Team Novo Nordisk)0:03:59 
35Joey Rosskopf (Hincapie Sportswear Development)0:04:00 
36Eloy Teruel (Jamis-Hagens Berman)0:04:11 
37Matthew Lloyd (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:04:16 
38Jure Kocjan (Team SmartStop)0:04:18 
39Gavin Mannion (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)0:04:22 
40Joe Lewis (Hincapie Sportswear Development)0:04:27 
41Volodymyr Dzhus (ISD Continental)0:04:31 
42Marius Bernatonis (Alpha Baltic-UnityMarathons.com)0:04:37 
43Oleksandr Sheydyk (ISD Continental)0:04:39 
44Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk)0:05:09 
45Vitaliy Popkov (ISD Continental)0:05:19 
46Kyle Buckosky (Team H&R Block)0:05:45 
47Michael Hümbert (Bike Aid-Ride For Help)0:06:14 
48Jimmy Schurman (Ride with Rendell p/b Biemme)0:06:19 
49Flavio Deluna (Team SmartStop)0:06:21 
50Julien Gagné (Norco Bicycles-Premier Tech)0:06:25 
51Christopher Prendergast (Team H&R Block)0:06:44 
52Aurélien Passeron (Silber Pro Cycling)0:06:51 
53Brodie Talbot (Team Budget-Forklifts)0:07:21 
54Jimmi Sorensen (Christina Watches-Kuma)0:07:40 
55Pierrick Naud (Garneau-Quebecor)0:07:42 
56Rémi Pelletier-Roy (Garneau-Quebecor)0:08:01 
57Conor O'brien (Team Veloselect)0:08:06 
58Camilo Andres Suarez (4-72 Colombia)0:09:00 
59Marijn Verschoor (Team Novo Nordisk)0:09:14 
60Leonardo Pinizzotto (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP)0:09:16 
61Maris Bogdanovics (Alpha Baltic-UnityMarathons.com)0:09:28 
62James Stemper (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)0:09:37 
63Maksym Vasilyev (ISD Continental)0:09:56 
64Jeremy Durrin (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)  
65Oscar Clark (Hincapie Sportswear Development)0:10:00 
66Bjorn Selander (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:10:26 
67Enrico Rossi (Christina Watches-Kuma)0:11:09 
68Stephen Leece (Jamis-Hagens Berman)0:12:22 
69Tyler Wren (Jamis-Hagens Berman)0:12:54 
70Cameron Cogburn (Team SmartStop)0:13:56 
71Ryan Macdonald (Team H&R Block)0:14:31 
72Michael Torkler (Team SmartStop)0:17:04 
73Adam Farabaugh (Garneau-Quebecor)0:17:11 
74Yean Rodriguez (4-72 Colombia)0:17:34 
75Taylor Shelden (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)0:18:35 
76Bruno Langlois (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)0:18:37 
77Daniel Durango (4-72 Colombia)0:19:33 
78Antonio Dibattista (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP)0:19:53 
79Félix Côté-Bouvette (Team Veloselect)0:20:02 
80Matteo Dal-Cin (Silber Pro Cycling)0:20:20 
81Julian Kyer (Team SmartStop)  
82Jean-Michel Lachance (Silber Pro Cycling)0:20:25 
83Michael Vink (Team Budget-Forklifts)0:22:03 
84Eric Young (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:22:07 
85Jacob Rathe (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:22:54 
86Federico Marchiori (Team H&R Block)0:22:57 
87David Williams (5 Hour Energy p/b Kenda)0:23:21 
88Benjamin Chaddock (Garneau-Quebecor)0:23:31 
89Justin Purificati (Ride with Rendell p/b Biemme)0:24:10 
90Ty Magner (Hincapie Sportswear Development)0:25:02 
91Samuel Witmitz (Team Budget-Forklifts)0:31:10 
92Ian Burnett (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)0:32:59 
93James Piccoli (Amore & Vita-Selle SMP)0:33:12 
94Alex Wohler (Team Budget-Forklifts)0:33:40 
95Tommy Nankervis (Team Budget-Forklifts)0:33:54 
96Sebastian Forke (Christina Watches-Kuma)0:34:47 
97Bradley Huff (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:37:09 
98Benjamin Chartrand (Silber Pro Cycling)0:37:48 
99Joël Desgreniers (Norco Bicycles-Premier Tech)0:41:46 
100Jacob Kauffman (Garneau-Quebecor)0:44:29 
101Jake Tanner (Christina Watches-Kuma)0:50:04 
102Ryan Wills (Bike Aid-Ride For Help)0:51:25 
103Samuel Blanchette (Norco Bicycles-Premier Tech)0:52:30 
104Yannick Mayer (Bike Aid-Ride For Help)0:52:35 
105Tom Soladay (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)0:58:39 
106Matthias Schnapka (Bike Aid-Ride For Help)1:07:14 

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