Canadian Cyclist


May 7/05 9:41 am - Tour de Belgique

Posted by Editoress on 05/7/05

Tour de Belgique

The Tour de Belgique is an annual stage race for tandems with a fully able pilot and a visually handicapped stoker. Canada has 3 teams competing and Luc Arseneau is managing. Below is Luc's report from the first 2 days of racing

Day 1

It was a good start to the 2005 Tour de Belgique for the Canadian Team. In the morning, it was a 1500 m prologue on the Hulshout velodrome. Of course, as it was expected, the Spanish came back with a revenge from last year where they did not win a single stage.

They posted the top 3 times. As for us, we had the satisfaction to place all three of our tandems in the top 10 (Cowie/Solem (1:54) were 4th, Wood/Johnstone (1:55) were 9th and Della Siega/Deveer (1:56) were 10th). The Polish and Dutch completed the top ten places. The fastest time, 1:49, was posted by Fransisco Gonzalez and Juan Suarez.

In the afternoon, a 81 km road race, our mission was to wait for the Spanish to do their moves to secure the yellow jersey and to wait a little to slip ourselves into moves a little later in the week. It's exactly what happen as the yellow ONCE guys dominated again taking 4 of the 1st 6 places. The Canadian did well finishing in the pack with Della Siaga / Deveer in 8th, Cowie / Solem in 17th and Johnston / Wood in 27th. Johnston and Wood lost a little over 5 minutes on the GC as they suffered a mechanical and lost one lap. Our other two tandems are still in the hunt a little less then 40 second behind stage winner, Christian Venge / David Llaurado.

Today, Friday, we head to Overlpelt for probably the hardest stage of the week. The course is opened and it could be very windy and yes, rainy! Now that the Spanish are in the lead (although probably still not enough for them to be satisfied), it could be a day where they'll let other team go up the road.

Day 2

Well, when I left you yesterday, I said we were expecting a hard due to possible rain and hard winds. Well, at least, it did not rain.

While we knew the Spaniards would not let anything get away (since they only had 35 second lead), we were committed to wait for any move on their behalf and get a train ride to the line for a top stage finish. 5 or 6 laps in, I hear a screeching sound on my radio from Murray (Solem) saying "Luc, we're out". Immediately, I (as well as they did) thought it was a flat or a broken wheel and that I'd see them a few seconds behind the pack at the next passage. But as they got closer to me, they communicated to me it was a little more serious.

We checked the bike and it was doing a scary noise in Brian's bottom bracket. A few seconds later, after dusting it with my fingers, we immediately saw the crack in the left chain stay. Not good! The organisers immediately told us we could restart the race tomorrow, but without being in the GC anymore. But we knew the bike would not be fixed. We did try finding another bike, but we must realise it's not easy to find the perfect combination in sizes. At this point, we don't think it'll be possible to start and we're pretty much committed to start concentrating on Manchester's track cup next week. There is a velodrome about 15km from here and they'll take the next two days to get more track laps.

A little later in the race, the Spanish team just kept driving a hard pace at the front. Many teams were ejected and the pack was down to 18 tandems. With about 5 laps to go, the fight was also over for Johnstone and Wood. They reached the finish with about 9 minute deficit.

As for Della Siega and Deveer, things were going good. One lap to go, they positioned themselves very well immediately behind the yellow train. They crossed the line in 8 position. At the moment, they are standing in 9th position on the GC and 6th on the point classification.

The Spanish finished 1, 2, 3 with this time Mariono Corona and JoseAntonio Gonzalez taking the stage. Vange is still in the lead for the overall tour.

Today (Saturday), 81 km on the Loenhout circuit.

Luc Arseneau
Head Coach

TTHulshout - RROverpelt circuitGC after 3
1. Venge, Christian0.01.521.
2. Gonzalez, Francisco0.01.491.52.452.01.353.56.09
3. Clemente, Miguel Angel0.01.521.52.452.01.353.56.12
4. Kosikowski, Krzysztof0.01.541.52.452.01.353.56.14
5. Corona, Mariano0.01.581.52.452.01.353.56.18
6. Stelleman, Alfred0.
7. Rodriguez, Juan Antonio0.01.541.
8. Porto, Jose Enrique0.01.541.
9. Della Siega, Gene (Deveer)0.01.561.
10. Lukassen, Luuk0.01.571.
11. Yauseyenka, Valery0.01.581.
12. Fiadotava, Iryna0.01.581.
13. Osuna, Moises0.
14. Meeus, Rudy0.
15. Wiewiora, Tomasz0.01.581.
16. Prijs, Jurriaan0.01.591.
17. Groszkowski, Henryk0.
18. Szydlowski, Marek0.01.541.
19. Gonzalez, Pedro0.
20. Bonhof, Richard0.
21. Iemmi, Hermes0.
22. Fernandez, Juan0.01.581.
23. Ingianni, Daniele0.
24. Polderman, Arnold0.
25. Hellwig, Bernd0.
26. Johnston, Dave (Wood)0.01.552.02.462.
27. Moll, Achim0.01.582.02.462.
28. Van Ginneken, Gerard0.
29. De Wit, Philippe0.
30. Ingianni, Giuseppe0.
31. Ioset, Raphael0.
32. Kozuch, Ryszard0.
33. Kehoe, Mark0.
34. Raviv, Ami0.
35. Senko, Iryna0.
36. Vlasblom, Sjaak0.
37. Kelly, Seamus0.
38. Eymard, Marc0.
39. Ammerlaan, Cees0.
50. Cowie, Brian (Solem)0.01.541.53.0611.11.1113.06.11


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