August 16, 2006 – Despite poor health, FranÃ§ois Parisien (TIAA-CREF) started the Tour of Limousin, ending up in the main pack on Tuesday on Stage 1, a 153-km route between Limoges and Abusson. Bothered by bronchial inflammation, the cyclist from Repentigny (Quebec) admited to rarely suffering as much at the start of a race.
France’s Pierrick FÃ©drigo (Bouygues Telecom), who won stage 14 at the Tour de France in July, was the first across the finish line at Abusson. FÃ©drigo won the Tour du Limousin in 2004.
“The race started off so quickly and it was very difficult because of the elevation gains and after the first 20 km, everything was already finished. After a breakaway with 16 cyclists, the pack rolled along quietly until the end of the race,” commented Parisien. “I’ve rarely suffered so much on a race. It didn’t make sense.”
Three of Parisien’s teammates were in the breakaway group, including Dany Pate who finished tenth.
The second stage runs 185 km from Tulle to St. Leonard de Noblat on Wednesday. The Tour of Limousin finishes on Friday, Aug. 18.