Canadians Shine at 50th Edition of Tour de l’Abitibi
B.C.’s Pickrell Wins Three Stages
The 50th edition of the Tour de l’Abitibi on July 16-22 concluded with Team Canada’s Riley Pickrell winning his third stage and taking the overall Points jersey for the competition. Riley Sheehan led a Team USA sweep of the overall podium, and became only the fourth rider in the history of the event to win in both years that he raced. Kendrick Boots was second and Michael Garrison finished third overall.
Conor Martin (TaG Cycling) was the top Canadian in the overall standings, finishing 10th, and also took the polka dot jersey as the top climber. He finished third in the Best Young Rider category as well. Team Canada placed fourth in the Teams Classification, which was won by the U.S.A.
“The race was far more than I expected,” admitted Pickrell. “The strength of the international field is shocking, and to come away with three stage wins is surreal. Abitibi was amazing. It is by far the favourite stage race I’ve competed in, due to the sportsmanship and fellowship created by hard international racing. I was often amazed by the speed of the peloton as we flew through the Abitibi countryside.”
Team Canada was directed by Scott McFarlane, owner of Canadian Professional development team Silber Pro Cycling, for the first five stages, with Kevin Field, road program manager at Cycling Canada, taking over for the final two stages.
The only North American stop on the UCI Junior Men’s Nations Cup, Tour de l’Abitibi has seen legendary cyclists begin their careers here, such as Steve Bauer, Alex Stieda, Pierre Harvey, Louis Garneau and Laurent Jalabert. – JC
Final jerseys at 50th Tour de l’Abitibi (l-r): Conor Martin (CAN),Riley Pickrell (CAN), Riley Sheehan (USA), Michael Garrison (USA)