Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Flèche de Locminé

After a very pleasant week at my teammates house (see his website here: www.fouache-kevin.blogg.org/) it was time for another race in Brittany called Flèche de Locminé.
It started with a big loop of 96 km until we came onto a short circuit of 7km which we had to cover 8 times. Many false flats and short climbs with little time for recovery in between made it a tough race. Oh and did I mention the wind is really strong in Brittany for most of the time? 

The little climbs and false flats made for a lot of splits in the peloton and it was a constant fight to not be left in one of the groups behind and coming back to a group that just attacked. 
I was pretty active, covering quite a lot of moves and staying mostly in the first few groups.  

Even when a break left, it wasn't much easier as some teams took up the chase and other teams tried sending riders across on every single climb. 
So as we arrived on the finishing circuit I had already burnt quite a few matches and was hurting a little. 

The circuit didn't make things easier. The finish line was on top of a hard short climb, which was followed by another short climb and a looooooooong false flat afterwards. Which again didn't give any chance for recovery. But it seemed like that was a good thing for me as I was always in the first 20 up the drag, but started cracking a couple of times just before the top.

On the circuit I was even more active, covering attacks, as I tried to take the pressure off my teammates who were clearly in a better position to have a go at the victory than me. However they seemed to struggle a lot too and sometimes I was scared the race might leave without us.

The last 3 laps we decided to work and try to bring back 3 riders that were still up front. We caught 2 of them quite quickly but there was still a lone survivor out and we couldn't bring him back. We did try though.
Leading onto the last lap my teammate did such a strong pull at the front that I had to leave a gap, as I just couldn't follow anymore. Strangely enough I was able to hang on during the long false flat, but the adrenaline pumping riders in the peloton (on the last lap everyone gets overly excited) made it such a nervous group that I didn't manage to go back to the front to pull for a bit more.

The lone rider survived and the sprint was for 2nd.
I finished way down in 66th, but was still happy as how the race went and how I was able to dig so deep even when I thought I couldn't do a single pedal stroke anymore.
The form is there, I hope the rest will follow soon.

Next Saturday I will be on the team for the French Cup "Gilbert Bousquet".
Around the last bend and up towards the finish


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