Another day, another plan; That’s the way we need to roll around here. On stage 4, we controlled the race, but we also lost 7 minutes. According to the locals and the media, this was a major accomplishment for Cam to still be in yellow, but the time bomb was on. It was simply a matter of time until Pena Pena took the jersey from him they said. A rider from another team even had to audacity to come and tell me I should show my riders how to ride and stop messing up the breakaway attempts: “It doesn’t matter, I know Pena Pena from last year, and he’ll take 10 minutes on you today. We looked you up on the web, and you’re not that good!”
I did not need more to motivate the team and change the plan. The best defensive is the attack. After all, if I get three guys to work for the last five stages with this heat, they’ll all be dead before Sunday! We needed to put pressure on the local king, Pena Pena. If he owns this race like everyone says, he must take it and own it.
Within the first few k’s, Dustin went to work and made them panic a little bit. Not too long after, Pena Pena came to see Cam to ask for two Canadians to work with two Guadeloupians (he rider for a local team); deal! This would then bring us to the mountains with fresh legs for Dustin and Cam. Ryan and André punched in to work. Under these circumstances, I was confident Cam would not lose too much time on a one-on-one battle with Pena Pena in the mountains.
With Dustin fresh, this meant one or two mountains out of four well covered for Cam. On top of the last climb, the damage was not too bad, about 3:45. With about 20 km of smaller up and down roads, Cam’s group of 4 riders managed to bring down the lead to 3:00, something never seen over the king of Guadeloupe cycling!
At the end of the day, Pena Pena moved up to 2nd, but still is 3:28 from Cam. The Columbian is worried, we’re breathing. Although we know a lot of work needs to be done on tomorrow’s last mountain stage. It’s a big fight, but through it we seem to not only making enemies, but some locals and media are starting to lightly cheer for us!
Heat rashes and through jersey sun burns (yes, believe me, they do burn through there jersey!), and small dehydration are a common thing around here for the “guy from the cold” as they like to call us. It certainly keeps our soigneur, Nena Kennedy, busier then massages.
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