September 26, 2005 – For the Marcotte Family, cycling is a family affair – especially the Sherbrooke Cyclocross. Organized staffed, and commissaired by the Marcottes for several years, the race is generally one of the first of the season to welcome eager racers. Under the direction of Guy Marcotte, the course changes its route through Parc Victoria each year, and is renowned as a technically challenging race with serious cross-country style.
This year was no exception featuring gravel sections leading in and out of rocky single track, a lung busting rooty climb, fast grass sections, and several downhill barriers coupled with gulches. A relief to many was the absence of the ‘under-the-bridge-cranium-crusher’ – a small bridge where riders had to scramble underneath and then and climb out of via steep muddy banks which often caused unique bruising.
In the tiny, yet tenacious women’s category, four riders set out. The pack stayed together until the end of the single track, where a group of three got away. They continued to shadow each other during the rest of the fast and furious 40-minute race. In the end, roadie Marie-Pier Bedard (Espoirs de Laval) outsprinted PhD candidate Caroline Lavoie (Biogen-Idem) by a mere 30 seconds. Rounding out the podium was Catherine Deschenes (Xcluziv) coming in a few seconds later to grab third place. Kudos go out to Mlle Deschenes who was looking strong this weekend and manages to fit in ‘cross and mountain-bike racing between her rounds as a resident studying medicine.
In the men’s race, a group of five put in some convincing distance between themselves and the chase group on the very first lap. Benoit Simard (Perigny), Pascal Bussieres (Biogen-Idem), David Gagnon (Sportive Bromont), Jurgen Van Den Driessche (Xcluziv), and Luc Proulx (Xprezo), raced each other around the course, trading places and showing spectators just how ‘cross is done. The group lost VanDenDreissche after his chain exploded on the steep uphill climb, forcing the blazing Belgian to retire from the race. Simard proved to be in fine form once again, coming in a good minute ahead of second place Proulx. Scooping up third place was speedy veteran Bussiere, more than making up for last week’s sandy misadventures.
A hearty thanks go out to the Marcotte family for a solid Sunday of cross fun. Stayed tuned for more thrills from Parc Victoria and the Marcottes – organizers of the Quebec Provincial Cyclocross Championships October 23. Stage 3 of the Quebec Cup series takes place in Mirabel next weekend !
1. Benoit Simard – Perigny
2. Luc Proulx – Cycles Xprezo
3. Pascal Bussieres – Biogen-Idem
1. Marie-Pier Bedard – Espoirs de Laval / SG Canada
2. Caroline Lavoie – Biogen-Idem
3. Catherine Deschenes – Xcluziv