US National Road Champion Gregory Daniel (Axeon Hagens Berman), took second place, followed by Chad Beyer (Team Lupus), a 29-year-old American veteran who completed in the Giro d’Italia in 2011. Belarusian champion Andrei Krasilnikau (Holowesko-Hincapie) finished fourth.
Second in the first stage the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay and third overall last week, Räim still had energy for this first stage in Saint-Georges. The race was decided after 4:28:26 of sustained effort.
“We proved today what we are capable of doing. Guillaume, I hope you’re well and this win is for you,” Räim said in honour of his Quebec captain and teammate Guillaume Boivin, seriously injured in a crash on Saturday at the GP Saguenay.
Under clear skies but swept by strong winds, three riders attacked early in this long race of 185km. The breakaway riders were later joined by four other riders and the group quickly increased its lead to seven minutes.
The break, comprised of riders from several different teams, was never threatened by the return of the peloton as it left the circuit of Saint-Odilon-de-Cranbourne. With 40 kilometers to go, the gap was still about five minutes.
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