May 22/01 6:09 am - Wedge Report, Midi-Libre
Posted by Editor on 05/22/01
Wedge Report from Milk Ras
After a great sleep in Boyle at a B&B fit for kings, Bluesky (Jason Crookham) was the order of the day, as you will soon understand. First though, we had a short visit to a 12th century abbey (monastery) where we prayed for piss and vinegar as we prepared for a wee fart of a stage.
Stage 2 - Ballagharderreen to Portuma 130km
Again on the small roads, which the locals call "heavy", everyone was pumped up and ready for battle. I was in an early move with Dominique Perras and a few others, but didn't last. It was constant attacking all day, until about 30km to go. Fifteen men got off, and Bluesky was in the mix for us, while 3 different Irish teams organized a chase. In the last few km, it was apparent we were not catching the break, but we decided to do up a leadout anyway, and Joe was 2nd in the bunch, good for 17th, while I was 20th. It was a good team effort for a first go. Bluesky is in 4th overall with the 38 seconds his group got, and that makes our caravan driver Kiron very happy. He is off for a pint while Sean polishes the bikes.
Tomorrow is a big day, 180km with 3 hill sprints, one being a cat 1, finishing in Tipperrary.
Stage 3 - Nenagh to Castleisland 184km
More crazy roads today, probably the coolest race course ever, all twisty-turny, super fun. It was a nervous start, since there was a KOM at 15km, I got 4th, and settled in for attack after attack. The Category 1 KOM was not a problem, but it was good grunt. Finally a group got off and took 3 minutes, but it was small, and the Brits and Germans were taking care of business. It all came back together for a downhill run into the finish,which was fickin' insane. We had a hard time getting it together for the sprint, getting slammed left an right at 55km/h. In the end, Joe was 15th, Brendan 16th, and I was 18th, and Jibber was 24th. Not great, but not bad. It's good to see that the boys are willing to mix it up amidst all the crazy Euros, and I think, with a little practice, we can make a go of it. Bluesky lost 4th, but remains in 5th overall, even after hitting a helmet sized rock kicked up by a passing team car and blowing up his front wheel. That is two wheels in two days, peaceful Bluesky reeks havok!
Tomorrow, another wee fart of a stage, only 120km.
GP du Midi-Libre - France
Stage 1 - Gruissan to Saint-Cyprien 182 km
1 Jérôme Bernard (Fra) Jean Delatour 4:30:11
2 Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre-Daikin at 0:04
3 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole
4 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Mercury-Viatel
5 Nicola Loda (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
6 Jeremy Hunt (GBR) Bigmat-Auber 93
7 Oleg Kozlitine (Kaz) Saint-Quentin Oktos
8 Iker Flores (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi
9 Alberto Benito (Esp) iBanesto.com
10 Alexei Sivakov (Rus) Bigmat-Auber 93
15 Laurent Chotard (Fra) Mercury-Viatel
20 David Clinger (USA) Festina
38 Jonathan Vaughters (USA) Credit Agricole
64 William Frischkorn (USA) Mercury-Viatel
70 Phil Zajicek (USA) Mercury-Viatel
73 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) CSC-World Online
75 Jamie Drew (Aus) Mercury-Viatel
88 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) Mercury-Viatel
89 Niklas Axelsson (Swe) Mercury-Viatel
109 Andrei Teteriouk (Kaz) Mercury-Viatel all s.t.