April 25, 2006 – Over the last two months Brad and I have travelled the world, racing our bikes. Mexico was first, then the USA, followed by Brazil, and last but certainly not least, France. Paris-Mantes was the last race we were scheduled to do in France and thus the last race of our spring campaign.
The race started out as all races do in Europe – fast. After numerous attacks, an early break of six riders escaped the peloton. After covering a few moves at the start of the race, I knew things weren’t quite right. Every time I tried to accelerate I felt like I was going to throw up. Hoping this feeling would subside, I tried to relax at the back of the peloton. Unfortunately, ripping through small European villages at over 50km/hr isn’t good for an upset stomach. Unable to eat properly, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to follow the leaders at the end of the race. Switching gears, I tried to help the rest of the guys the best I could.
The Canadian team lead by Phil Abbot, Eric Boily, and David Veilleux took responsibility for the race with 35km remaining, bringing the break down to a manageable 30-second gap. The favourites of the race all came to the front at this point and Brad went attack for attack with them on some of the hardest hills in Normandy. Unfortunately no one was willing to fully commit and the break’s gap started to go out once again. As the game of cat and mouse continued the break built up an unbridgeable gap and stayed away. Brad attacked in the finale for 5th place but was reeled in with 100 meters to go.
Brad and I have had great success over here in Europe and also in Brazil, Mexico and the USA. Tomorrow we are going on a mini-vacation to Paris before we fly out on Wednesday afternoon. I am looking forward to getting home and taking some down time. The day I left Vancouver it snowed, so I am hoping the weather has improved a little.
1. Alexander Serov (Rus) Tinkoff Restaurants 3:50:19
2. Thierry David (Fra) Velo Club La Pomme Marseille
3. Alexandre Sabalin (Mda) Velo Club La Pomme Marseille both s.t.
4. Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff Restaurants 0:03
5. Yauheni Hutarocich (Blr) Uv Aube 0:37
6. Jeremie Galland (Fra) Cyclo-Club Nogent Sur
7. Anthony Boyer (Fra) Uc Chateauroux
8. Yannick Marie (Fra) Entente Sud Gascogne
9. Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff Restaurants
10. Arnaud Godet (Fra) Ca Mantes La Ville 78
20. Bradley Fairall (Can) Equipe Espoirs Canada Elite
60. David Veilleux (Can) Equipe Espoirs Canada Elite 1:19
65. Philippe Abbott (Can) Equipe Espoirs Canada Elite all s.t.
Over Time Limit:
Eric Boily (Can) Equipe Espoirs Canada Elite
Marsh Cooper (Can) Equipe Espoirs Canada Elite