October 29, 2014 (Guatemala) – The Vuelta Guatemala, an eight-day category 2.2 stage race, is taking place from October 25th to November 1st an Canada’s Jean-Michel Lachance is racing the 54th edition of the event with Mexican team Canel’s Turbo. Here’s his quick recap of the first three days.
Saturday October 25th – Stage 1a – TT Esquipulas – 10km
The few days before I flew out to Guatemala, I rode my TT bike and did some long intervals in preparation for this first stage. Given the distance and profile of the race, I thought my chances of a podium were good. My numbers in training gave me confidence and I was aiming for a performance of 410-430w for the 10km. Arriving the Thursday before the race, I had a few days to test myself again, but the sensations were not that good. Anyways, I did the time trial all out and finished in 9th. The profile was much more hilly than expected and Oscar Sevilla was a leg over the competition. A bit of a deception, but there would be other days to try again.
Stage 1a results here.
Saturday October 25th – Stage 1b – Esquipulas – Teculutpan – 103km
In the afternoon, we had another short stage of 103km with a KOM right from the start. I avoided difficulties by staying at the front of the peloton as well as the following descent to avoid any crashes. Then, when we reached the flat, I attacked a few times, but the leaders team never gave me any rope. Finally, around kilometre 40, a group of 4 riders got clear. Determined, I went in pursuit, but it turned out to be another 10km time trial to make the junction. Once in the break, our gap was just over a minute and so I was the virtual leader. However, I start to suffer in the next KOM and the leading team did not take any chances and we were all back together with 20 to go. From then, I just sat on as I knew my legs for the sprint would not be good at all. Arrived at the hotel, I start to suffer from stomach upset and my throat was sore. I doubled up on probiotics, hoping for the best.
Stage 1b results here.
Sunday October 26th Stage 2 – Chiquimula – Sanarate – 116,5km
The following day, the mountain stages started. With a sore throat, the stomach messed up, and fully aware of my limits in the mountains, I did the race as easy as possible. Midway, a dangerous Colombian rider from Sevilla’s team was solo with a 3min lead. Canel’s Turbo having 3 serious candidates for the overall of the Vuelta, we contributed to the chase and the rider was quickly caught. Around 90km into the race, the peloton reached the first of two cat 2 climb. I followed up until 500m to go and then I took it easy and save my legs for the next day.
Stage 2 results here.
Monday October 27th – Stage 3 – San Lucas – Solola – 106km
This morning, I was feeling better, the previous stage having been much easier on me than the first day of racing. Though, my sore throat turned into a sinus infection and fever. Still, I was prepared for a strong performance. In the beginning of the race, I tried to make the breakaway but came short by a few meters on a hill. The stage turned out to be extremely hard and the field was reduced to half its size for the final. I was confident for the sprint but the finish was unknown and the street was a bit twisty and narrow. I got boxed in with one to go and then I confused the 100m for the 500m and start my sprint too late to have a shot of winning. Anyways, I am proud of the performance given the difficulty of the stage and my shape. The next days are very hilly so I will do my best to hang on until the final stage that suits me and I have another shot of winning a stage.
Stage 3 results here.