Killington Stage Race
May 28, 2018 // The Killington Stage race in Vermont is one of the North-East’s hardest stage races with plenty of talent and a GC defining stage up East-Mountain Road. It was a huge goal for our team but injuries and sickness struck the squad chopping the roster to only 3 riders. Yet BENOÎT BOULAY, ETHAN PALAMAREK and NOAH SIMMS still had high goals, looking to defend Kyle Boorsma’s 2017 title.
Stage 1 was a 4-lap circuit race totaling 120km. The course was fairly straightforward and typically ended with a bunch finish. After a short 1.2km neutral roll out, the racing began. Our own Benoît Boulay - with his typical aggressive tactics - attacked countless times over the first two laps snagging 13 KOM points. Ethan and Noah followed suit, jumping on attacks and diluting the KOM Classification for Benoît, yet no breakaway stuck. On the 3rd lap, a small group of 2 riders snuck away and they were soon joined by another 2 after the intermediate sprint. Our team aided the chase effort, but even the the bigger teams couldn’t bring the breakaway back before the finish. Big congratulations goes out to local Ontario rider Bruce Bird for the stage win! With the gap to the yellow jersey at only 30 seconds and a Mountain finish still to come, the GC was still wide open.
The Queen stage featured 1800m of climbing and finished up the infamous East-Mountain Road (3.5km @ 9%). With four KOM Sprints on the table, Benoît had his sights-set on the polka-dot jersey, while our young climbers Ethan and Noah were looking for stage honours. When the flag dropped, once again Benoît took off on a solo move, but was caught on the long, false-flat down hill. A reshuffle of the pack sent 5 riders up the road with all 3 Toronto Hustle safe in the peloton. Several riders attacked at the base of North Road Climb drawing out a group of 12, both Noah and Ethan made the split. They quickly hit the front hoping to widen the gap on the peloton and soon caught the remainder of the breakaway. The group headed into the 2nd ascent of North Road, and once the group hit the 15% slopes, Ethan took off with a savage attack which no-one was able to follow. As the peloton reabsorbed the escapees, Ethan established a serious advantage on the pack. The brave solo move soon became a pair as a rider from CB Racing bridged over to Ethan. As the final ascent neared, Noah attempted to set-up Benoît for the final climb and KOM Points but Benoît suffered a rear-flat with 10km to go, leaving our young-gun to fend for himself on the final climb.
The duo up front dramatically held off the peloton until the base of East Mountain Road, ending a seriously impressive ride for Ethan. Noah took over the reins positioning himself right at the front the whole way up the climb; making the leading group of 5 cresting with 5km to go. Noah’s group soon swelled to 10 as no-one wanted to push the pace over the rolling terrain. Noah waited till the last 500m, countering a move and digging deep all the way to the finish to take the stage win!
Overall, Killington Mountain Stage Race was a huge success. Our small team of three riders seriously punched above their weight landing a stage win and second place on the KOM classification. Meanwhile Team Captain Benoît Boulay continued to mentor our young athlete’s Noah and Ethan both on and off the bike.
Huge thank you goes out to the race organizers, officials and Killington Mountain Resort for a great event! We look forward to 2019!