August 28, 2007 (Bordeaux, France) – Despite a broken handlebar, Pierre-Olivier Boily of Bromont, Que., finished fourth in the men’s tandem road race with partner StÃ©phane CÃ´tÃ© at the UCI Para-Cycling World Championships in Bordeaux, France on Monday.
Krzysztof Kosikowski and Artur Korc of Poland won the gold medal clocking the 108.9 kilometre course in two hours and 35 minutes and 59 seconds. The Quebec pair, silver medallists last year, finished four minutes and 31 seconds behind the winners.
“It was really hot,” said CÃ´tÃ©, about the temperatures that hovered around 40 C. “It was one of the hardest races of my career. I had cramps in my thighs, calves and knees. It was crazy. When we broke away in the last seven kilometres I did it on pride.
“There are many factors that affect the result in a road race. We can’t be disappointed, we missed a breakaway,” said CÃ´tÃ© referring to an attack made by three medallists at the halfway mark of the race.
Boily said the three medallists were able to deal with the unexpected and capitalize on opportunities to increase their lead. “They easily increased their lead, mainly because of the heat. The roads were not very large. We could see that the pursuing group was tired because it wasn’t making much progress in catching the leaders.”
One lap after the mid-race breakaway, Boily’s handlebar broke. “We attacked but we lost control and crashed into another rider,” said Boily. “I broke my handlebars in half. We considered retiring from the race but we were only 20 seconds from the pack and continued. I could hold the handlebar on one side while the other side was broken. We couldn’t afford to finish in a sprint because we couldn’t ride high on the saddle. We increased our rhythm with seven kilometres to go and no one followed us.”
CÃ´tÃ© and Boily broke free from the pack on the last lap with seven kilometres to go in the race comprised of eleven 9.9 kilometre laps. “We are still very pleased,” said Boily. “It was a good performance. We can’t ask for more than that.”
Daniel Chalifour and Alexandre Cloutier of Quebec as well as Gene Della Siega and Craig Deever of B.C., did not finish the race.
“At the halfway point Daniel started to have cramps,” said Cloutier. “We tried to ride cautiously in the pack and produce a strong finish. But with a lap to go the cramps were more intense. We had to get off the bike. It’s a disappointment but it was our first long distance race at this level. It was a valuable experience.”
Canadian national team coach Vincent Jourdain lauded CÃ´tÃ© and Boily. “Under the circumstances it was an excellent performance. It was a miracle, because they had many reasons to not finish.
“As for Della Siega and Deveer they didn’t have their best day. Heat was a factor, riders were falling like flies. It also affected Daniel and Alexandre. Daniel has less experience. He is new on the circuit.”
In the 59.4 kilometre CP3 road race, Jean QuÃ©villon and Brayden McDougall were ninth and 10th. Maurice Eckhard of Spain won the gold in 1:39:24.
“Jean wasn’t able to drink water because of his handicap,” said Jourdain. “He can’t grab a bottle during the race. He had a Camelback but forgot to drink from it. He was treated by the team doctor for an hour after the race for heat stroke. What he did today was a miracle.”
Mark Beggs of Quebec posted a personal best result in his 49.5 kilometre race. “It’s his best ever result at the worlds,” said Jourdain. “He stuck to the pack until the finish. He has the physique and the stamina to race with the best. He is just lacking some experience particularly at the end of the race.”
“Overall I’m pleased with the team’s performance but there’s still a lot of work to do,” added Jourdain. “In most cases there’s room for improvement which is very encouraging.”
Men B V1 108,9 km
1. Krzysztof Kosikowski and Artur Korc (Poland) 2:35,59
4. StÃ©phane CÃ´tÃ© (Canada) and Pierre-Olivier Boily(Canada) 2:40,30
DNF Daniel Chalifour (Canada) and Alexandre Cloutier (Canada)
DNF Gene Della Siega (Canada) and Craig Deveer (Canada)
Men CP 3 59,4 km
1. Maurice Eckhard (Spain) 1:39,24
9. Jean QuÃ©villon (Canada) 1:48,02
10. Brayden McDougall (Canada) 1:48,09
Men HC B 49,5 km
1. Max Weber (Germany) 1:31,54
9. Mark Beggs (Canada) 1:32,15
14. Rico Morneau (Canada) 1:38,48
Men LC 2 69,3 km
1. Jiri Jezek (Czech Republic) 1:46,07
13. Ã‰ric Bourgault (Canada) 2:03,24