Posted by Editor on 07/22/99
Tour de l'Abitibi Report
Well, the week started out very well for the Canadian national team composed of Martin Gilbert, Mathieu Béliveau, Charle Gorman, Rod Bullock, Dominique Rollin and Canadian road champ Éric Dubé.
Monday night was the prologue of 10x2.2 kms with a miss and out criterium format that did not count for GC. The guys rode a conservative race trying to get their legs ready for the Team Time Trial the next day. Martin Gilbert and Mathieu Béliveau tried after at 2 laps to go but got caught not long after. The prologue eventually was won by Micheal Friedman of the Eastern US team in an all out sprint with the Dutch rider Kenny Van Hummel.
Tuesday morning the real stage race started with a 50 km team time trial (TTT) from La Sarre to Taschereau. Team Canada was 4th team off and right from the word go were already in a good race pace. Our only problem was Rod Bullock who since his arrival has been carrying a virus given to him during the Western Canada games; seems as though a few guys from BC and Alberta are hosting the same virus. After 12 kms Rod was dropped and the decision was made to keep going. As for the other 5, they were riding a good and sound technical race. With one km to go after giving a great pull Béliveau pulled off and it was a drag race to the finish.
The final result was Canada 5th with 2min30 down on Arizona select. Suprisingly enough, the Dutch team finished 4th with a 1min 30 lead on Canada but with no aero equipment at all!!! We'll have to keep our eyes out for those guys... All in all, the guys rode a good race considering the TTT was not an objective.
In the evening was a 55kms criterium in the streets of Val d'Or. From the get go the pace was fast and the Canadians were at the forefront of the pack getting into the moves. Unfortunately for the team early on our six riders narrowed down to 5 with Rod Bullock still fighting a serious flu. Despite a lot of attacks launched left right and centre the pack eventually rode in all grouped up and the victory went to Rahsaan Bahati from Massachusettes.The overall jersey would go onto Michael Friedmans shoulders. Because of the time split the Canadian team lost Rod Bullock.
Wednesday was the first road stage of the tour with a start in Rouyn Noranda and a finish in Val d'Or for a total of 115 kms. Once again the Canadians were initiating the breaks and being very active. Today it was Charle Gorman's turn to have some bad luck. 12 kms into the race Charlie had a mechanical; almost at the worse place and ended up riding solo for the better part of 95kms. He managed to slide across the line before the time cut. For the four others, the aggressiveness and presence continued with Dominique Rollin getting in some moves and working them. A decisive break of ten formed with 15 kms to go and in it was Martin Gilbert who had just come back from a flat. On the finishing loop in the break had a 15 second lead before it broke into two with Martin falling to second half. On the finish line 5 guys crossed the line with a 12 second lead on the group and Martin's five man group followed with a mere 5 seconds on the main field.
The stage win went to William Skinner of Massachusettes and Martin Gilbert crossed the line 6th.After all that, the Brown leaders jersey was to be worn by the day's stage winner.
National Team Development Coach
Full results and GC for Stage 4 to follow.
Wrap Zone North Shore Festival trail building days - volunteers needed for trail building for the race course.
Saturday & Sunday, July 24 & 25th
Old Buck Trail Parking Lot 9AM Sharp. If you don't have a ride we can pick you up here. Any questions call Emily at 831-0918 or Jeremy Power at 667-3130 who can help you all out.
For more information see http://www.northshorefestival.com/home.html
Volunteers putting in a 4 hour shift of trailbuilding get entered into a draw for prizes!
Put in a 8 hour shift and get free race entry too!
Thanks for the support
Somehow we managed to miss National Team/Elita Team member Kim Langton on July 12th. Sorry about that Kim.
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