Sunday, 12 August 2007

STAGE 1 FRANCE: DIRTY DOMESTIQUE

The first road race of 'La Route de France' and I'm not lying when telling you that I was extremely nervous. The race consisted of 130kms with two Cat 2 climbs, both of which Kate ran 4th in, giving her 5th in the QOM classification. My legs are not as they were in Limousin and although never in any real trouble today, my form is not what I would like it to be. Broso said it takes 3 days to find your legs in long tours, I'm counting. Kori Seehafer, US National Team, was in yellow after the short prologue so when I was involved in a short tumble after assisting Bel over the second QOM, I was fortunate to have the American train put me back in contact with 10kms remaining. Passing under the 1km banner I found myself 5th wheel on the shoulder of Rochelle Gilmore, unable to find Bel in the bunch, hoping that she would find me...

With 450mtrs to race I heard a familiar voice yell "Yep, Pete!" Without turning I hit out down the left hand side and began my lead-out. We experienced unexpected cobbles and a gradual uphill incline with 200 to go as I watched Rochelle come off my wheel and take her first win for the season ahead of Bel in second. Although disappointed that we had come this far to lose to a fellow Aussie, Bel was appreciative, apologetic that she had allowed Rochelle to steal her lead-out. I finished in 6th as the first young rider, excited about my domestique duties despite the loss and walking away with a mere scratch from the fall, on my new Bianchi lever! Still seated in 17th on GC and 2nd YR it was nice to add the Team's Classification stage win to the list with Tiff finishing 12th on the day. Time to eat and the question stands... what surprises will dinner present?

Results: La Route De France Feminine, Stage 1, F├ęcamp - Neuchatel, 129.2 kms