March 23, 2008 (Roseneau, France) – Montreal’s Rico Morneau finished 6th in the first race of the year for the European Paracycling hand cycling circuit in division B. The weather was cold, windy and rainy when Morneau finished the 44km race in a time of 1:19:43, five seconds behind winner Paolo Cecchotto of Italy. Frenchman Patrick Moyses (1:19:39) won silver while his team mate Edward Maalouf (1:19:40) won bronze. German paracyclist Knecht (1:19:40) placed fourth with Italian Vittorio Podesta (1:19:42) in fifth place.
It was not an easy race recounted Morneau, “Like every year, the start was very fast, but the pack then began rolling more slowly with a few sprints. The French, the Italians, and the Germans worked together. Nobody wanted to take the lead, so I worked on this with the Italians. But when you’ve got no team [to support you], it’s harder to conserve your energy. I had to follow several attacks. I was in good enough shape to keep up this pace until the finish and even to make a few attacks with Vittorio, but with no conclusive result.”
The race was decided in the final sprint for Morneau.”Maalouf slowed down in front of me to let his team mate, Moyses pass by. I am nonetheless happy with my race and satisfied to finish sixth with no team to back me up,” added Morneau.