Posted by Editor on 08/11/03
There were no changes on the leader's board at the TransRockies Challenge today, Day 2 in the race. We have received our daily update from the team of Gilles Morneau and Michel Leblanc of the VeloMag squad. The second stage stage of the revised race (due to forest fires in BC) was 136 kilometres long, with 3000 metres of elevation gain. Even the top squads were taking over 6 hours, with some teams likely to come in well after dark.
"I think the organizers lost it today, this was crazy, and it's only the second day." said Morneau. Leblanc agreed. "There were many steep climbs, many of them hike-a-bike sections. We started at 8:00 am, and within 10 kilometres Gilles had broken three spokes on his rear wheel. We did a repair on the trail, but his wheel was wobbling like two inches from side to side. It had no freewheeling either, so the pedals had to keep going around like a track bike. it was pretty scary on the downhills!"
The second place squad of Andreas Hestler and Matt Decore were also having problems, according to Leblanc, with Hestler getting two flats and Decore one. They lost 30 minutes to the lead team of Andreas Strobel and Sivio Wieltschnig (Team Adidas / Fiat Rotwild).
Stage three continues tomorrow with a 140 kilometre stage, but Morneau says that the terrain will be "easier"...
1 Team Adidas / Fiat Rotwild (Andreas Strobel/Sivio Wieltschnig) 6:09
2 Team Pete (Andreas Hestler/Matt Decore) 6:39
3 Global Xtreme TV / Gearsracing.com (Greg Reain/Matt Patterson) 6:46
5 VeloMag (Gilles Morneau/Michel Leblanc) 7:20
Morneau and Leblanc are 9 seconds out of first place in the Masters standings.
Dave Butler from Jet Fuel has provided a more complete explanation of the "train" incident at yesterday's Montreal-Quebec race. The break formed approximately 100 kilometres into the 250 kilometre race, with riders bridging up to create a lead group of 18. With most major teams represented, including Navigators and Saturn, the group was four plus minutes clear with about 55 kilometres remaining.
At the train crossing, Jeff Hansen (Atlas Cold/Italpasta) had a gap at the front, with Czeslaw Lukaszewicz (Opus/Élio Pizzeria) and Steve Rover (Opus/Élio Pizzeria) bridging up. The lights of the crossing were flashing, with a police officer standing on the tracks to flag the riders down (apparently the train was stopped, very close to the crossing). Hansen, Lukaszewicz and Rover went by the police officer, with the rest of the break slowing down as they approached the crossing. Thorben Weiditz (Midweek Elite/Thornhill SAAB), FranÃƒÂ§ois Parisien (Espoirs de Laval), Peter Morse (Midweek Elite/Thornhill SAAB) and Sébastien Moquin (Colnago-Carrera) then decided to also cross the tracks, evading the police.
The rest of the break waited for the train to cross, as did the peloton (held behind the break). The peloton was started with the same time gap behind the break after the train went by. The seven riders who had gone on ahead were disqualified when the commissaires caught up to them.
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