Off to a good start in Canada

Our team – Menikini Selle Italia – arrived in Montréal Wednesday afternoon after a long haul from...

June 10, 2008

Montréal World Cup, Quebec, Canada, May 31, 2008

Our team – Menikini Selle Italia – arrived in Montréal Wednesday afternoon after a long haul from Milan to Montréal via Zürich. We had all day Thursday and Friday to relax and try to adjust to the time difference. We found that we were very tired by 8pm, hence we all woke up at 5am for the first two mornings here in Montréal!

Saturday morning we woke up feeling rested, motivated and ready to race – despite the really bad weather! Amongst our team of six was the defending Montréal World Cup winner – Fabiana Luperini. Our other members of the team were Kori Kelly Seehafer, Natalie Bates, Trine Schmidt, Lorena Foresi and myself.

Fabiana is a class above all of us when it comes to climbing so all we could do was give her some words of encouragement during the race and make sure she had all the food and drink she required… the rest was up to her…

As the race went, it was only Fabiana and Kori of Menikini who remained in the front group with a few laps to go (of 11 laps). The last time up the climb Judith Arndt and Fabiana pulled clear of the small group that was left – Judith worked really hard on the final lap while Fabiana was too tired to contribute. Fabiana knew all she could do was hang on for second place – which was a fantastic effort considering she had not peaked for this event this year.

Menikini is very pleased with another podium finish at the Montréal World Cup – it's a great start to our block of racing in Canada. Fabiana returned to Italy the day after the World Cup to focus on a tour in Spain and the Giro d'Italia. The rest of us will stay on and race the Grand Tour De Montréal and the Tour de Prince Edward Island as a team of five.

I felt surprisingly fit in the World Cup yesterday so I'm super motivated to start racing the tour tomorrow!

Montréal Tour, stage one – June 2: Chateauguay Road Race 85.5km

We started today's race under beautiful blue skies and in warm weather. The race was rather controlled until after the first sprint, just a few laps into the race; then the bunch really started moving with aggression! It was a fast, fun and active race. We (Menikini- Selle Italia) had a rider with most of the moves. Lorena Foresi, Trina Schmidt and Kori Kelly Seehafer monitored the breaks for the first three quarters of the race – I raced near the front but hid myself well out of the wind. Nat Bates moved forward with a few laps to go and followed the final dangerous moves.

The weather turned bad midway through the race, the black clouds rolled in- and in no time we were drenched with heavy rain, the roads were wet and slippery and our vision was challenged by beams of sunlight breaking through the clouds. At this point in the race things didn't slow up, riders continued to attack aggressively but nothing went too far up the road.

The bunch came back together with a lap to go, so Team High Road and Nürnberger took control for their sprinters. I tried to take advantage of the High Road train but in the final kilometres many other riders fought to do the same. I wasted a little energy until the pace picked up again with 800m to go – and then things settled.

I had a good position behind a couple of High Road riders, including Oenone Wood; Regina Schleicher was also just in front of me. With a 150m to go Regina kicked to Oenone's right and I went to the left maybe I should have kicked earlier because I gave myself no time to hit max speed/power before the line! I finished where I started my sprint – third.

Regina won toady, Oenone was second and I was third. Our team rode a perfect race tonight and I'm confident they'll do the same tomorrow – hopefully we won't have to wait long for our turn to stand on top!


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