August 13, 2006 — Canada’s Dominique Perras (Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada) had his best major tour ever this season. He finished 9th overall at the Tour of Utah, his best placement ever at such a prestigious event. The Tour of Utah is ranked with similar tours in Georgia and California as the most important in North America. Perras was in sixth place before the final stage but fell three spots in the overall standings because of difficulties on the final uphill.
The last stage, which is 145 kms long, presented three major difficulties, among which was the final abrupt climb up Mount Snowbird at the end of the day. At the bottom of this 12-km uphill, Perras was part of a group of twenty riders. “At 4 kms from the finish I totally collapsed,” conceded Perras. “I was somewhat tired, it was atrociously hot, and then, with the altitude, I had great difficulty breathing. All I wanted was to get to the finish as rapidly as possible because I felt bad.” Perras finished 16th in the stage, 4:43 behind stage winner, Blake Caldwell (TIAA-CREF).
After mediocre results in May and June because of health problems, Perras, from St. Lambert, Quebec, finally has something to be happy about. “I had a good week. I finished in the top ten three times and ninth overall. I am happy about that.” Scott Moninger (Health Net) was the overall winner of this event that will be staged again next year as race organizers just received their sanction from the UCI (Union cycliste internationale). Perras finished 5:05 behind Moninger.
Perras will accompany his team to the US National Criterium Championships next weekend, in Illinois. He will likely play a support role there for teammates such as Martin Gilbert.