June 12, 2008
Montréal Tour, stage three – June 4: Lachine - Lachine, 2.9km
We experienced a nail-biter today! Trine went out and posted a super fast time while there were still about 50 riders to complete the short time trial! Trine rode the 2.9kms in four minutes and 15 seconds and as we watched each rider come in, Trine still had the fastest time with three riders to go. Only two of the final three riders bettered Trine's time- the first was Nürnberger's Suzanne De Goede and only by tenths of a second, that was tough to take…I imagine Trine's knows exactly where she could have found an extra half a second! Then High Road's Judith Arndt came flying home in four minutes and 11 seconds, a well deserved win!
Kori rode strong to finish 12th and I was also happy with a top 20… 19th actually- but much better than 54th last year! I'm not so experienced with riding TT's and pacing myself- I blew up before the turning point, my legs exploded and I had to float/roll for 30 seconds before I could push on the pedals again and build into a rhythm… Ouch!
Montréal Tour, stage four – June 4: Petite-Italie Criterium, 50km
The highlight of our day was the 'staff' race which had been talked up a little by confident staff members during the past few days.
It was really exciting for us professional cyclist to watch our team staff (who are mostly ex- professionals themselves) participate in a fun race which many quietly took serious! The race was only four laps of the crit circuit and started 30 minutes before our race. Our representative was Klas Johannson (Menikini mechanic), but we had no idea what competition he was up against.
We know he's strong but untrained and out of condition… we knew the young 'High Road' mechanic Gregor looked mighty fit and we also knew Jim Williams from 'Advil' and Jens Zemke from 'Nürnberg' would be participating. Klas surprised everyone by smashing it out of the blocks, he put a full length of the straight into the bunch before one 'unknown' rider bridged across and kept going!
Klas fought for another lap before drifting back to the pack with a lap to go and hanging in until the line. The strong unknown rider won the race and took home the cash! Klas will represent us again on the final day of the Tour De Prince Edward Island.
Our race was interesting given that only five seconds separated the leaders Judith Arndt and Suzanne De Goede; this meant that the race was really between High Road and Nürnberger. Our goal was to set the race up for a sprint and my team-mates did exactly that! I only had two team-mates in the race – Kori and Trine – but that was enough; they did a great job towards the end of the race and I started the final lap in perfect position.
Things got a little messy, or should I say 'aggressive', down the back straight and it was a real fight for position. I went into the final corner, 250m from the line, in fourth position behind Suzanne, Regina and Oenone. Suzanne got through the corner first and powered to the line. Regina did a great job of slowing Oenone and me through the final corner, so Oenone and I finished second and third while Brook Miller came flying home for fourth.
Montréal Tour, stage five – June 5: Mont-Saint - Hilaire, 115km
We went into today's stage with one main objective – to protect Trine's sixth position on the general classification. Our action plan was to make sure Trine was at the front of the bunch at the bottom of the climb each lap…. We accomplished this.
Our next objective was to have Kori in any of the threatening breakaways; she made one strong solo attempt but missed a few decisive moves, which were fortunately unsuccessful.
My job for the day was to stick with Trine. I did just that until 100m from the top of the last climb, which was just three or four kilometres from the finish. I jumped hard over the top of the last climb, trying to get myself back into the action before the finish. I just made it to the front of the group with 500m to go and I had no idea what was going on! I could see one rider in the distance and I also noticed Suzanne De Goede was chasing hard on the front, so I assumed there was a breakaway but I didn't realise it was only Judith off the front, and we were sprinting for a podium! Brooke Miller took an early flyer and held off the bunch to take second, Audrey Cordon took third and I came in fourth.
So that's the end of the Montréal tour for another year! We (Menikini) managed three podium finishes and two fourth places… of course we were hoping for a win but we're definitely on track. We'll now head to Prince Edward Island for another five-day tour.
More after tour de PEI!