Monday, June 23, 2008

Coupe de la Paix - Meneuse du Classement General (mais avec des accents aigus)

Coupe de la Paix - General Classification winner! Check out the MONSTER trophy I got for winning the overall! Here I am with the wonderful Lemieux family that has hosted me while I've been here in Montreal. Special thanks to Catherine who has graciously allowed me to take over her appartment (and internet connection) for the duration of my stay - it was also awesome to spend some time with her!

I brought me home some hardware on this one. Yesterday and today I finished second (yesterday first in the field sprint as Karol-Ann Canuel of the Specialized team broke away in the closing laps of the race and held it) and today Joelle Numainville nipped me at the line for first. Going home I'm bringing with me two trophies, three medals, two jerseys, some cash - and I left the beautiful flowers for the Lemieux family. Not a bad haul all in all - and it was a great race to attend to boot!

And as for picture captions: The first is me winning the field sprint in Montreal-Nord for 2nd place. The second picture is the podium from Montreal-Nord with myself, Karol-Ann Canuel and Audrey Lemieux. The third and fourth pictures are me with the Lemieux family - the first with Isabelle and Serge and the second with Catherine!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Check La!

This is BY FAR the biggest trophy I have ever won (it may be the only one that I personally have ever won).

I'm hanging out in Montreal at the moment and competing in La Coupe de la Paix. Let me tell you - they sure know how to put on a bike race here in Quebec. The first event was last night and it came down to a field sprint. On corner 3 a girl got herself tangled in my handlebars and crashed, giving a few girls a moment's head start. Joelle Numainville (ESGL 93 something) made the best of the situation and got a good 10m gap on me with about 500m to go. I chased hard and closed the gap, but I was unable to respond to her sprint, so she won the drag race up the final hill quite handily.

Today, going into the event, I really wanted to get me the yellow jersey (once you start on a jersey streak - you get greedy!). About 3/4 of the way through the race, after a particular active section where Specialized had attacked left, right and centre, Julie Marceau made the final decisive attack and I went with her. It became evident very quickly that the pack was out of fight and we worked together for the last 13km to hold of the field. In the end, I won by about a tire width as I misjudged my strength on the final sprint and had to count on a well-timed bike toss...but a win is a win! To quote Andrew Pinfold - you only have to be in the front for the final few meters...or centimeters in my case!

I'm pretty stoked as I think this is my first ever win in a breakaway AND I go into the third of four events in Montreal Nord on Sunday wearing the yellow jersey. Plus how could life not be great with that trophy (which weighs a ton BTW) and the flowers?

13 in 14 - A Success!

If you are curious - that's 13 races in 14 days...and I think I'm finally recovering!
The madness started in Tulsa, OK where I attended Tulsa Tough with my Vanderkitten teammates. Personally that leg of the journey is one I would prefer to forget, but you have to have the bad days to appreciate the good!
After three days of crits in Tulsa, I was off to Montreal for le Grand Tour de Montreal - and there is no rest for the wicked. I left Tulsa at 6pm on Sunday (arrived in Montreal at 3am - but that's another story - although it's a good 'un) and raced in Montreal at 5pm Monday. I joined up with the National team (including VK teammate Moriah) under the direction of Luc Arseneau for the 5 day, 4 stage, Stage Race. It took me a couple of days, but eventually my legs came around and I was able to come 18th in the crit - although I really think I could have done better...but come on man - that finish was worth a WOPPING $ out - I am making the big bucks!
From Montreal we made the trek out to PEI by car (about 10 hours by car - 15 hours by bus I would find out on the way back) where we were given 1 travel day and 1 day of rest before starting the Tour of PEI. For me, this was the real highlight of the trip. It was super cool to be in PEI (even got to see Anne of Green Gable's house) and I rode the best I have all season. I started the tour with a 4th place finish behind Rochelle Gilmore (Menkini), Tanja Hennes (Specialized Designs for Women) and Sophie Creux (ESGL 93). However, the more exciting part was that in this case, 4th was NOT the worst spot as I got to sport the top Canadian jersey (as seen above) - lemme tell ya, it was a pretty special feeling.
The rest of the week continued to treat me well as I got another two top 10s (8th in the 3rd roadrace and 10th in the crit after taking myself out in corner 2) and as a team we got MJ into the top 10 on GC to finish 9th! Way to be MJ! It was a great group of girls to work with and I truly enjoyed my couple of weeks. My two requirements for bike racing: 1) to learn, and 2) to have fun - were fully met. A big thanks to Luc, Andrew, Nena and Sophie for keeping everything running smoothly - I was sad to move on back to Montreal.
Watch out PEI - I will be back!