Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tour de Beauce, Take 2...

So a few weeks ago I mentioned that I was heading back toCanada to do the Tour de Beauce, a race that I was not particularly fond of due to the highly undulating terrain. In my last attempt, I missed the time cut on the 2nd last stage so, hence, did not complete the race. Here is what happened this time…

Stage 1: As we started the Tour of Beauce, memories that I managed to repress for the last couple of years came flooding back. The stage went relatively calmly until the final 5km. With 4km to go, a sharp pinch split the field up and riders were scattered as they crossed the line. I finished a couple of minutes behind the eventual winner but my team mate, Andrea Peron held on and sprinted for 3rd place.

Stage 2: The stage started fast. With wind and rain, it was single file in the gutter for the first 30km before the race settled down. I really couldn’t remember this stage from the last time that I did it nor what happened in the end. Then I got a violent reminder. 

With 20km to go, we took a sharp left turn straight into a ridiculously steep climb. Somehow, I ended up with a 23 cassette on my wheels and churned my way up the climb. The group split apart and I ended up 5mins down on the winner.

Stage 3: This is the queen stage of the Tour, finishing with a 7km climb up Mt Megantic. Team mate, Javier found himself in the break and we were able to sit in the bunch until the climb. I struggled my way up Megantic.

Stage 4: A relatively short individual time trial, this stage was seen by many as a chance to ‘recover’ from the previous days. I ‘recovered’ as best I could and rode a time to put me in the middle of the field.

Stage 5: This was as far as I made it in my last attempt so I was keen to better it. The stage was a circuit race around Quebec city with a steep climb each lap. It is known for being a difficult race.

The race started VERY fast with riders getting dropped on the first accent. I managed to hold on and completed the first 7 laps with the main field before dropping off with a small groupetto. All we had to do was pedal the last few laps to advance onto the final stage.

With only 1 lap remaining, we began the descent for the 2nd last time. I leaned into a sharp right turn and felt my rear wheel jump and slide out. I hit the road and slid as the rest of the group went past me. I got up and picked up my bike. The last of the cars went past assuming that I had just over cooked the turn. I looked down and realized I had rolled the tire off the rim.

I was disappointed to not finish the stage. In my mind, I had already considered the stage done and dusted. Instead, yet again, the Tour of Beauce got the better of me. I really am not fond of this race.

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