Posted by Editoress on 10/17/07
Vuelta A Chihuahua Wrap-up
Courtesy Symmetrics Fuelled By FarmPure
Symmetrics Fuelled By FarmPure is closing its road season just as it began, some 10 months ago in Cuba-with a spectacular international showing. 22-year-old Christian Meier, after a strong ride at Tour de l'Avenir, and a strong ride at the U23 Worlds, finished second overall at the Vuelta a Chihuahua.
Meier rode strong all week, shadowing one of the strongest climbers in recent times at the Tour de France, Spaniard Francisco Mancebo. Mancebo ultimately beat Christian-but not by much. In fact, the two finished with exactly the same time after the week of racing, but Mancebo placed higher in the critical mountain stage, thereby giving him the win.
The final day of racing, although a flat stage, still required both Meier and Mancebo to ride near the front to avoid problems. Just a small gap between the riders would have meant a reversal in the G.C. Meier finished safely near the front in 14, with Mancebo on his wheel in 15th, with the same time as the pack.
For Mancebo, the overall win was a redemption to this world-renowned rider. The Relax-Gam's win is the first since the 2006 Dauphine Libere, where he won the points victory. Mancebo nearly quit cycling after being disallowed from starting the Tour de France in 2006 with rumours of drug use.
For the S-Team, the race was a perfect way to bookend the season, which began with Svein Tuft taking the 2-week-long Tour of Cuba, which ultimately catapulted him into the UCI America Tour lead.
"This is just a great way for me to end the season," Meier said after the race. "I'm so proud of the team and the way we've ridden. We've proven that a professional cycling team can be built out of a small cycling nation, ride clean, and have great success. This week we all rode well - Cam, Geoff, Pinner, Will - and I am really excited for next year."
Meier is off to Hawaii for a well-deserved vacation, but like the rest of the Symmetrics Fuelled By FarmPure team, is eager to get ready for 2008. But don't despair: some of the team is currently in Australia at the SunTour with the Canadian National team, and some of the team will be riding in 'cross this fall...so there's still more racing for the S-Team for 2007!
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