Posted by Editor on 05/21/00
Tour of Slovenia
National team coach/manager Jacques Landry has sent in reports for the final two days of this national team project.
Stage 4 204kms Ribnica - Mangart (May 20th)
Who said that because we are Canadians we should love riding in the snow?!!!
The day started with a change in plans as far as the stage goes. Because of snow on the two mountains that were planned in the race, the race was shortened to 145kms instead of 204km.
Although it didn't start out that way, the day turned out to be a real bad one weatherwise. Shortly after the start of the stage the pack started gaining speed with the KRKA guys at the front setting tempo. After 30 kms of racing a break of two took off with Charles Dionne and Ratti from Mapei. This was a good move because of Ratti's position on GC, the KRKA guys would have to work hard to keep them close. So Charles was contributing well to the break and indirectly helping set up Brian and Sylvain's climb.
After a break of about 40 kms, the two were caught and the tempo was maintained up until the foot of the climb. And at every 100 meters of climbing the rain that had been pouring since the start was slowly turning into the white stuff we Canadians have learned to hate or love. With less than 30 kms to go riders were dropping like flies because of the cold and wet conditions.
With 10 to go the group was thinning out a fair bit as the snow was getting thicker! At the 5 kms mark only a handful of riders were still in the lead group as there were guys everywhere on the climb. And to make matters worse, not only were the roads slick cause of the snow but in the switchbacks the asphalt was replaced with cobbles... Cool!
In the last hectometres it was a question for Brian and Sylvain to ride as hard as possible as a small group had broken free from them.
In the end the GC would stay the same for Sylvain and Brian.
As for the other three guys, after helping out their leaders, they finished very respectably.
Tomorrow is relatively easy day with what looks to be good weather. It'll be a KRKA tempo day to finish things off!!!
Stage 5 Nova Gorica - Nove Mesto 181 kms (May 21st)
With weather completely the opposite from yesterday's stage, the pack rolled out with the KRKA team securing the front of the race by setting tempo.
All stayed together until the first KOM where Brian W took off with 2 others in the hope of putting pressure on the KRKA boys. On the top of the climb the 3 had an approximate 30 sec lead as a few guys were getting popped. Midway through the plateau the pack climbed, the few riders that were off the back came back up to the group as the KRKA riders were continuing with tempo.
At the midway mark the break was caught and a solo rider from Amore Vita took distance from the group. Seweryn Cohut was not an immediate threat to GC, so the leader was not worried to let this one go. Cohut from A & V would eventually get a 3m30 lead which would of dropped Sylvain and Brian one spot on GC, but because there was a long descent to the finish the cushion was comfortable.
With 10 to go some other teams started helping out to set their sprinter up and the Canadians started positioning Charles for a 2nd place finish, seeing as how it was apparent that the A&V rider would take the stage with less than a minute.
With 2 to go, Charles was well set up and put on the turbos with 300 m to go to take 3rd on the stage (second in the pack sprint).
So, in the end, Brian and Sylvain kept their positions on GC and as for the others, they helped out plenty.
All in all, this was a good stage race for everyone, and the chemistry was very good.
For Sylvain, this means a place on the Olympic team long list... so now he can concentrate on getting prepped up for Nat's.
Final Standings on GC are:
Beauchamp 4th @ 1:34
Walton 6th @ 1:55
Walters 34th @ 21:14
Barry 36th @ 22:31
Dionne 40th @ 25:00
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