June 13/08 11:23 am - Tour de Beauce: Stage 4
Posted by Editoress on 06/13/08
The S-Team's manager Kevin F is posting UPDATES, photos etc for today's stage 4a the ITT)
Tour de Beauce - Stage 3. The stage that inspires the most oohs and ahhs of fear in la Beauce is without a doubt Mont Megantic. Whether or not this beast of a mountain deserves its rep in recent years though is in doubt. Biking has changed a lot since the 90s... and more and more it seems the strong TT men can climb with the waif-like climbers.
And that is what happened today. Our 'toppie' Svein rode an amazing climb to come in 7th, only dropping a handful of seconds to Colex, Martinez, Chadwick and Kabzorenko. We really don't know how Martinez will go in the TT. But now this race looks more like a battle amongst the TT riders with Kabzo, Chaddy and Svein as the favorites to take this tour. We're not counting out Martinez. Honestly, and with all due respect, we think the Tecos guys aren't in the hunt now.
But what does it take to ride a guy no one thinks is a climber to a top finish on the hardest climb in Canadian-Hell maybe North American-racing? Teamwork. Svein didn't have to touch the wind today, his every need was taken care of. When the wind blew, he was protected. When the tempo picked up he was brought to the front. When the climb started he was put in position. And one guy on our team does that job day in, day out, race after race better than anyone. Jacob Erker, the most under-rated rider in Canada. (Blog)
The guy can climb, sprint and ride a TT when he has too. He can read a race better than anyone. He has insane consistency, an even-tempered and absolutely selfless way of riding. The team comes first for Jake. When there's a cruddy job to do at the toughest moments Jake's always the guy on the radio saying "I'll do it". Today every time Svein turned around Jake was right there. At the finish, Svein did exactly what he had to do-limit the losses to inside a minute to the climbers-and Jake? Well he rolls in next best guy on the team, after hauling his ass around the bunch all day doing the dirty work. Amazing.
Tour de Beauce - Stage 2 - (Valle Jonction, PQ) - Today was 165km. We were not sure how today would go, but were hoping that Tecos would take control and our guys would have a reasonably easy day. It looked like that is exactly how it was going to work out after about 70km. Then a small but dangerous break of six got away and we missed it. Lucky for us Matt Willson, the TT1 rider in the break, had a mechanical and had to come back to the group. We think if it weren't for that we'd have had to ride hard because none of our guys made that move, and Tecos put Guinez in there who was a threat to take the GC lead.
After that move came back the pace settled in with Tecos doing a fantastic job of setting tempo. Then all everything started to come unwrapped for us. We had a series of misfortunes that kept us busy out the back. We had 5 punctures today and 2 crashes. When does it make sense to completely wreck at $1300 wheel? When the guy on your team who can win the race outright punctures with 6km to go... that's when. When that happened Svein did the smart thing and rode the flat to the 3km to go sign. At 3km to go a rider is given same time as pack, so Svein knew if he got inside that sign and then stopped he'd be ok. And that is what we did. Unfortunately our best shot at the stage had a puncture with 4km to go. And in that situation you roll the dice and try to get in the fastest 'effing' wheel change in the history of bike racing and get him back in. Well that did not happen and Pinner was out.
Zach got dropped off by Jake in great position with 1KM to go, but he simply didn't have the legs after doing crash and flat ride back duty from our earlier mishaps.
photo of Christian from hospital
After the finish we had the race doctor at the team van looking at Christian's and Cam's injuries from their falls. The diagnosis was the deep gash on Christian's left hip would likely need some stitches. five hours of waiting in the hospital later and Christ had five stitches in his hip. He should be good to go tomorrow. And Cam is sore but all in all not to banged up.