Photo: Casey B. Gibson
JACK BURKE WINS YOUNG RIDER JERSEY IN GP SAGUENAY
June 13th, 2017
Aevolo Cycling travelled to the Canadian province of Quebec last week to participate in the four-day UCI2.2 Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay and came away with the best young rider jersey on the back of Canadian Jack Burke.
Sports director Mike Creed explained Aevolo opted for Saguenay over Saint Francis Tulsa Tough and North Star GP because it offered better preparation for nationals than the crit-heavy US races.
The opening stage of the race immediately resulted in Aevolo being called up on the podium after the finish. Burke pulled young rider jersey in stage one.
"As an Under 23-team, the young rider jersey is always a goal," said Creed. "But we don't ever really target it from the start. We just race to win and if that young rider jersey comes along we're happy."
And it did, Burke finished in seventh place on the opening stage. While Burke's result was cause for celebration, stage two brought mixed fortunates as Jason Saltzman crashed out.
"Fortunately, Jason is okay, no broken bones," Creed said. "He does have a slight concussion, so even if he could have finished the stage race, we weren't going to allow him back on the bike."
In the 106 mile stage, Tyler Stites posted the best Aevolo result in 14th place. Burke maintained the white best young rider jersey.
Stage three featured a 35-lap criterium in Jonquière. It was ideal terrain for Gage Hecht, who delivered Aevolo's first victory in the Redlands Bicycle Classic stage four criterium.
Hecht confirmed his reputation as reliable criterium racer, coming away with a podium place as part of a ten-rider break.
"Gage is proving himself as an amazing crit rider," said Creed. "So while the whole team was going for the break, it wasn't a real surprise to see him up there."
Hecht sprinted to third behind winner Chad Beyer (Canyon Bicycles) and Marc-Antoine Nadon (H&R Block). Burke finished on bunch team to keep the white jersey ahead of his Aevolo teammates Hecht and Laurent Gervais second and third in the classification.
The final stage saw Stites take another top-15 finish. Burke finished 19th to secure the white young rider jersey as sixth-place finisher overall.
"The guys made a big jump at this race and then also made some school boy errors," Creed said. "Which if you think about it is exactly what this team is built for: to allow them to excel and also learn from their mistakes so they don’t make them in the future."
Aevolo Cycling continues racing in UCI2.2 Tour de Beauce from June 14 to 18.
Michael Hernandez returns to racing in St Francis Tulsa tough
Meanwhile, Michael Hernandez returned to racing in Saint Francis Tulsa Tough after his Tour of the Gila crash, seven weeks ago. Three criterium style races offered him the opportunity to ease back into racing.
Hernandez was positive after the first stage. "The legs responded well tonight at Tulsa," he said. "A little bad luck took me out of a good position going into two to go, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
In the second stage, Hernandez proved to be back on top to contest the stage win as he slotted into ninth place. "I had a blast racing and moved up a bit in the omnium."
Hernandez finished outside top 10 on Sunday, but was positive about the weekend overall. "I'm really happy with how things went this past weekend," Hernandez said. "I had a great time with great people and raced above my expectations."
"I have a little ways to go in getting the fitness back to where it was, but I've started the journey!"
Hernandez will join his Aevolo teammates in the Tour de Beauce.