Canadian Cyclist


April 29/02 11:42 am - Espoir Project Report from Europe

Posted by Editoress on 04/29/02

Races Five and Six April 28th 2002 épone, France

Hesjedal wins Sunday's Paris Mantes race with more than 3min on a Vendée-U rider, Bonjour's farm team.

Côte Picarde

Before making it to the Sunday's race the canucks took part in the Côte Picarde race; part of the Espoir World Cup series. After the pre ride of the finishing circuit it was clear that in this Wednesday's race if the wind was not to break things up the finishing circuit would.

From the start the guys knew that it would be a nervous race despite the lack of wind and that is what would send Ian off to the showers early on in the race due to a crash. After the first 50kms no real break was sticking. Riders like Cory Lange and Ryder were trying stuff but without too much success. Eventually a break of 10 with the two aforementioned riders would take off but only to get no more than 1min before getting caught due to a chase from the Domo team that only had one guy up there. On the circuit, with 40 to go a new break of 22 took off with Ryder making it and powering it. This time no teams were really committed to a chase and this time Domo had 4 in the move.

Despite Ryder's efforts of splitting up the break to divide and conquer the circuit was just not tough enough to break it up to much. On top of that the Domo riders were doing tempo so that it would stay together for the sprint. In the end, Domo was denied a win as they underestimated Chavanel from the Vendée U team who had the fastest sprint. As for the canucks, Ryder finished 18th 2 seconds off, Cory Lange, riding for ACBB finished 44th with 12 seconds, Ryan Roth, Jean-Sebastien Maheu and Chris Isaac finished 5min 15 down respectively 73rd, 78th and 82nd. As for Cory Jay, riding with ACBB, finished 9min down in 117th spot.

Paris ˆ Mantes

A once pro race now an Espoir event, Paris-Mantes is the type of race that is cut out for an all around athlete because of its open fields, rolling hills, steep climbs and narrow roads. If a cyclist has good legs and can manage to keep the rubber side down for the first hour maneuvering in a 200-man field, then he has a chance to do pretty well. In any case, on the start line at 8AM there were 9 Canadians; 2 from Pontivy, Carter and Parisien; 2 from ACBB, Lange and Jay and the 5 core riders wearing the national team colors.

For the core team, the tactic was simple, Roth and Isaac would cover riders the first hour, the second hour would be covered by Condron and Maheu and then it was Ryders time to turn it on.

Despite the fact that the first hour was not covered a 100% letting 12 guys go up the road, the race was still under control for us. After 1h30 the 12-man group was caught and another of 6 took off with Ryder in it. 10 km later a counter group of 6 made the bridge up to the break with Ian represented. With the bad weather coming in riders were bailing left right and center. In the 3rd hour Parisien who originally helped create the break crashed in a tricky descent and sprained his wrist.

After 3 and a half hours the break was well established but without a few riders like Ian being dropped due to a crash but still in good position. Also well positioned was Lange. With about 40 to go and a few kickers to go Ryder decided to attack the breakaway group that was more or less unorganized.

At the 30 kms to go sign Ryder had a solo 1min30 lead and all was leading to believe that the gap would grow. Still hammering away with 5 to go the lead was up to a comfortable 3 minutes. Ryder would go ahead to win with a good lead. As for the others, it is to be noted that Ian had a good ride despite his 3 crashes. Cory Lange did not get an as good ride as last year but was still descent. Carter, Jay and Isaac crossed the line in the same group a few minutes down while Roth came a few minutes later. Maheu who has been battling bronchitis rode in 15mins or so down but still finished. While it is always good to have a win it is also good to see that all are adapting to the Euro racing and are starting to ride well as a unit.

The next race.

While we will be losing Ryder to the Norba's and MTB World Cups for the Nord-Isère race we will be picking up the two Corys for the last race of the campaign from May 3rd to the 5th. As for Parisien and Carter, they will be racing with their respective club in an equal caliber race in Brittany that same weekend.

Jacques Landry
National Development Coach


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