May 7/02 1:07 am - Euro Espoir Project
Posted by Editoress on 05/7/02
Euro Espoir Project - Final Race: Tour du Nord Isère
May 5, 2002: Isle d'Abeau, France
"When it rains it pours" is what we can conclude from this 3 day, four stage tour. Aside from miserable weather the 6 canucks taking part in the Tour Nord Isere had their share of bad luck.
Stage 1 Verpilliere to Charvieux-Chavagneux 103kms
In a nervous and relatively flat first stage all was going well until at the 25km marker Ryan crashed with 4 other riders while trying to move up for the Rush sprint. Because Ryan's bike was in ruff shape it took him a while to get going again. Eventually Ryan would not make the 10% time cut and would be out.
Another rider to be in bad shape was Jean-Sebastien who had been suffering from bronchitis. Jean Sebastien would finish a few minutes down but his participation in the next stages would be pending on how he would feel the following morning.
As for the others, they would finish in the main group as a couple of riders would break clear of the pack to finish a few seconds ahead.
Stage 2 Charvieux-Chavagneux to St-Maurice l'Exil 73kms
The Saturday morning stage would prove to be a bad one. To start with, Jean-Sebastien's condition was not getting better and so it was wise for him not to start in the 5-degree rainy conditions. So 2 are out.
After the 5km mark Cory Lange gets a flat and was immediately serviced by Cory Jay but because of bad caravan driving from the part of some team managers it took Cory Lange a lot of time to reintegrate a fast paced pack. As for Cory Jay, he would never see the pack again.
Later on in the stage Cory L lost contact of the group and was stuck in the laughing group. Luckily Cory eventually took off from the laughing group with a couple others. The problem was that while with the 2 that would eventually make the time cut Cory flatted and had to ride the flat until he caught up to the team car that was waiting for him to change the flat. This incident put him back 15 more minutes and so gave him a time that was beyond the now 15% time cut. Despite arguing with the officials the decision would remain firm and so Cory was out
And then there were 2
Stage 3 St-Maurice l'Exil to Rochetoirin 83 kms
As the stages keep on going crescendo from hard to harder there were only 2 guys left Chris Isaac and Ian Condron that have so far been doing well. However, for Chris the 2nd stage of the day would prove to be the last of the race as with 40 to go Chris got popped in a hill with others that were bailing left right and center due to the bad rain and cold. At the end of the stage Chris rode in solo but once again the efforts did not pay off and time cut had the better of him.
And then there was 1
Stage 4 La Tour du Pin to La Verpillere 168 kms
At the start of this final and hard stage Ian seemed lonely as all his teammates were on the drive back up to Paris with the soigneur.
In the stage threatened by yet more bad weather the hills started after 10 kms with many getting dropped early on. Ian managed to hold longer than many before having to resign to ride in a group of 15. In the following climbs Ian eventually dropped most from that group to go on with 5 riders wanting to finish the stage.
With 40 to go, while the battle was on at the front, Ian was still working hard trying to bring himself home. 10 kms later Ian hit the WALL because of the cold and basically riding almost alone for the better part of the race. At that point in time it was almost certain that the time cut would not be reached and so with 20 to go Ian was advised to stop for health reasons
While In was disappointed he proved that he was a determined fighter.
In this the last event of the spring program for Espoirs it is clear that the weekend did not go as planned. However what is clear is that the level of racing that was offered is the level of racing that these canucks can take, when bad luck does not intervene.
It is apparent that much was learned by all and this experience has made some of the guys want to look into racing more overseas in order to gain more experience.
National Development Coach