After a tough Saturday at 37 degrees and disappointment of loosing our best young rider, Sunday had to be seen as another by the five remaining riders of the Atlantic Cycling Centre team at the Tour de la Guadeloupe. Nothing was easy on the menu either: a 100 km circuit race and a 30 km team time trial.
The 20 km loop was a very twisty one, and, of course, went from the gun! We have yet to receive the official results, but the average speed was around 48 km/h! Cameron was active very early. We knew Ste-Austroberthe, the new team with the leader’s jersey, would not chase him. So why not keep on logging up the minutes before the mountain stages. His break would not cooperate much, so Dustin decided to take charge. A new group of about 12 riders were now up the road, including the two Canadians. Again, lack of cooperation from the group, and only two riders managed to get up the road… to finally take the win.
For us, the bad luck (and frustration) streak kept on going. At about 50km/h, Ryan Taylor double flatted and hit the ditch very hard. Dedicated to continue his team mate job, he kept on riding with his left side full of blood. After receiving the treatments from the Tour doctor, he kept on riding for about 30 kms, but the pain got the best of him and had to be taken to the hospital to get x-rayed and stitched. He was released a few hours later with a few war wounds.
No need to say the team’s moral was a bit low approaching the TTT with only 4 guys left. We decided to forget about all those bad lucks, and show everyone we were here for a reason… and they did! Second place! We actually only lost by 18 seconds, no need to say a few pulls from either Garrett and / or Taylor would have put us on the top step on the podium. The boys showed a lot of courage, faced major adversity, and we can all be proud of them. Over that, we just received the official results, and we are now standing 2nd overall on GC (Cam) and 4th on the team classification. The worst part about this is the leader crashed hard today, so we’re actually a little worried he’ll pass us the jersey tomorrow morning! We want it, but not right now!
The moral has now shifted, everyone is smiling again. If only we could now get the rest of our luggage (yes, we still don’t have tools and water bottles!) and our vitamins, we’d be all set.
Tomorrow, 160 km with two Category 3 KOM’s. The big mountain stages are just around the corner, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thanks for reading!
This project is made possible under the Centre’s Selection program, sponsored by Giant, Nelsons, Yakima, Croissant Soleil, Université de Moncton, Shimano and Gu. For this special project, we also want to send a special thank you to some very special donations which made it possible for us to get down here:
Luc Arseneau, ChPC
Head Coach / Entraîneur Chef
200, Promenade du Parc / Park Drive
Dieppe, NB (Canada) E1A 7T6