February 25, 2006 — Pedal caught up with Quebec rider Dominique Perras, with Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada, who has been hovering in the middle of the pack for most of the week at the Tour of California. After Stage 5 ended in Santa Barbara, CA yesterday here’s what Dom had to say.
How did you feel today?
Perras: At the beginning I got into a good ten-man breakaway, but unfortunately Michael Barry (Discovery), who is pretty high on GC, was also there, and it changed the dynamics. We were going pretty fast for the first 50K, but in the end they roped us back in. Phonak and strangely enough, TIAA-CREF, chased us down before the bottom of the next climb. For me now at this stage of the season, I only have one or two bullets and I guess I spent them at the early break, I tried to hang on with the leaders, but ….
Tomorrow is there much room for attacking?
Perras: YES! Tomorrow I’m going to try again and move and attack. There are three or four good climbs and I know those roads real well as I trained in Ventura for years. I’ve spent four or five winters in those hills when it was too cold to train in Canada. I’m really motivated of course to do well there.
Do you feel you have an advantage over many of the riders tomorrow?
Perras: Well yes and no. You have to be attentive and be in the right place for the right move at the right time… sometimes it’s a bit of a lottery (laughs).
Is your team’s focus now on you and Ben (Jaques-Maynes) now that there are only four riders from your team left in the race?
Perras: Ben is doing really well right now in the GC, so we’re hoping tomorrow (Stage 6) to get in the breakaway and make it, but like each day you never know”¦
You’ve been hovering in the respectable top 50’s in the GC. What ‘s your goal to finish at the Tour of California?
Perras: Well, my overall placement don’t matter, I prefer to risk it all and go for stage results. Nothing talks except the top 10, so all we’ve got to keep on doing is what we are doing – keep on the move, keep on the move, keep on the move…and good things will happen.
You views on this new Tour?
Perras: This race has been A-1 professional, really nice hotels, security, and we have been fortunate with the weather.
So no major worries or problems occured?
Perras: We were worried at first about the security being in populated areas, but turns out it that it went well, super in fact.
And after this, where are you off to?
Perras: I’m going home for a few days, then coming back for a few races here, and then focusing for the Commonwealth Games road race on March 26th in Australia…
With Martin Gilbert?
Perras: He’s doing track and I’m doing road….
But I thought that Martin is riding both…
Perras: He is, but he’s there mainly for track. We have six spots for the road team but can only afford to send four road riders. So what happens is that we use a mountain biker and Martin who’s a track rider.
That sounds like a true hybrid team with a mountain biker.
Perras: That’s the state of cycling and sports now in Canada. I’ll be going, along with Gordon Fraser…
What about Michael Barry?
Perras: He’s busy with the classics in Europe so… oh hey, sorry I got to go – they just told me it’s time to eat! We can talk after if you like?
Go stock up on carbs for tomorrow, we’d prefer you spend your time prepping for a strong ride in the hills tomorrow.
Perras: Ok, take care!