Posted by Editor on 04/11/02
National Road Championships
We have received word that the 2002 National Road Championships have found a home - Woodstock and Oxford County in Ontario. Woodstock is located approximately one and a half hours west of Toronto along the 401 highway. The organizing group is the same one that was going to present the event in London, and was also involved in the highly successful Canada Summer Games last year. More details as they become available.
First week Euro Espoir Project
Courtesy Jacques Landry
April 11th 2002 - Bieuzy les Eaux, France
As mentioned a couple of weeks ago the core of this year national team selection for the spring European races is comprised of 5 riders coming directly from Canada. The riders are Ian Condron, Ryder Hesjedal, Chris Isaac, J-Sebastien Maheu and Ryan Roth. In cases where a 6th rider is necessary to fill the roster the team would be completed by one of the 4 espoir riders already in clubs in France, those riders are Murray Carter (UC Pontivy), Cory Jay (AC Boulogne Billancourt), Cory Lange (AC Boulogne Billancourt) and François Parisien (UC Pontivy). As per the 4 "Euros", if there are any joining the Canadian selection, their presence will be based on performances in the races done prior, the willingness of their clubs to let them go and opportunity in better racing if their clubs cannot provide it. The reason that only 5 riders were chosen instead of 6 from Canada is because it was deemed that others present at the Victoria camp would simply not benefit enough of the Euro experience at the present time.
As it stands, the race plans here in Europe have changed slightly because of a last minute denial of participation in the Tour du Loir et Cher; the staple in our spring program. In any case, it was possible to save the project with a few one-day races where the tour should have been. To add to the problems, because of the French presidential elections coming up, many races on the 21st of April are now cancelled or postponed. Rest assured though that the riders here will still benefit from good experience in the remaining races on the program. That being said, the race program now looks like this:
Maillot des Jeunes Normandy April 7th
Grand Prix Super U Britanny April 10th
Redon-Redon Britanny April 14th
Orvault-St-Nazaire Loire Atlantic April 20th
CÃƒÂ´te Picarde Picardy April 24th
Paris Mantes Paris region April 28th
Tour du Nord-IsÃƒÂ¨re Dauphiné May 3rd to the 5th
The first race:
Having got off the plane only a couple of day's prior it made sense to ease into things, that is why the Maillot des Jeunes race was chosen. This race, which is part of a Normandy race series, is designed to have Espoir riders challenge themselves. And because it is mostly only clubs from Normandy that show up, the caliber is a bit lower than the other races on the program.
In any case, the course was a rolling one with a ton of wind. The guys were asked to concentrate on positioning and not let themselves get intimidated by others. After a few 10 km laps of the 130 kms race it was Ryder's chance to start intimidating the French riders as he launched himself in an 8 man break. Meanwhile, in the pack, the guys were faring fairly well with Ian being in a 10 man chase group and Jean Sebastien and Ryan not far in a third group. At this time the wind was creating havoc in the bunches as many from the French clubs not wanting to work, therefore leaving the job up to the canucks that already had a guy in the break.
In any case, the break would eventually get a comfortable lead and with 30kms to go Ryder attacked his breakaway partners as if they were standing still. The fact that nobody followed was not too good as Ryder was on his own to do the work in the wind. Soon though it was clear that Ryder did not need any help as he making time on the chase group, about 3 seconds per km. In the end the win went to Ryder with over 1min30 on the second guy. As for the others, the only guy to finish would be Ian, in the twenties. The other 3 either bonked or were still feeling the travelling. No worries though, as the experience is sinking in . . .
The second race:
On Wednesday in the GP Super U race it was another day to get used to positioning in the wind. The race started in Loudéac and finished in Plancouët with a 10 km circuit to do once, for a total distance of 159km. As it was a very windy day the canucks were told to be at the front as after 19kms the wind would shift to crosswind and things could breakup. And that is pretty much what happened when Ryder went up the road with 5 riders representing the 4 strong teams of the peleton. The break would eventually get up to 1min after 30kms before a counter of 13 would bridge up after the 60km mark to make a lead group of 18 strong. Some teams in the break had up to 5 representatives present.
Meanwhile in the main group riders like Ian, Ryan and Jean-Sebastien were faring well as they were getting used to the tempo. The only one to be in more difficulty in this race was Chris Isaac, but things will come around through perseverance. At the 120km mark things were starting to act up as the Jean Floch' that had 5 in the break started to try and mix things up a bit. For Ryder it was important that he not get caught behind following the wrong wheel. Through the numerous attacks 5 from the break would lose contact when a dozen kms more attacks came with one guy from Jean Floch' would take off solo in the head wind. At that point one guy was not critical. When the lone leader got up to 25 seconds other attacks from the same team happened that caught all off guard. Two others went up the road from the same team with Ryder trying to bring it back but with no help from the rest of the now tired chase group. With 20 to go there was a regrouping at the front with the 3 representatives from Jean Floch' having a minute plus lead on the chase group with Ryder. At that point Ryder was feeling a drop in energy but then a tail wind section came up and once the chase hit the finishing circuit with a 2min 30 deficit it was clear that Ryder was to light it up to try and get fourth.
After numerous attacks and being marked by the remaining two Jean Floch' guys in the chase Ryder managed to break loose with 3 to go to finish 4th. As for the other guys, they managed to make it in the groups coming in at 3min 30 and 4min down. For all it was a good experience in positioning and reading the race.
Next challenge Redon-Redon . . . The level will step up yet another notch!
National Development Coach
Alex Stieda Presentation
The Rundle Mountain Cycling Club is hosting Alex Stieda this weekend, April 13, at 7:00pm in Canmore, Alberta. The presentation will be at the Canmore Collegiate High School Theatre, next to the Rec Center. The theme of the presentation is Alex Stieda's life story. Tickets are $5 at the door, and the club is also having a bake sale. Everyone is welcome to attend. Hope to see you there,
Rundle Mountain Cycling Club
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