Grand Prix de Denain. #2

17Apr09

Thirteen degrees and rain doesn’t seem so bad after some of the conditions I have raced through. It wasn’t even that uncomfortable. The race was actually very relaxed as well. The break went with the second attack of the day with three riders that were allowed over 5mins as we rolled along eating, drinking and chatting.

 

Sign on

Sign on

Four previous winners still riding. With Team Cinelli rider Bert

Four previous winners still riding. With Team Cinelli rider Bert

 

 

This year for whatever reason I have found the back of the car in nearly every neutral section. This has allowed me to be in a perfect position to launch early attacks and go with the breaks. Denain was no different and I was the first attacker. When the car accelerated away and the flag was dropped there was a clash of wheels amongst the front guys that made everyone sit up. I went. Head down driving away, I took my chance. I had a break that was hovering close to 20sec. Right at the point where they could let me go or bring me back whenever they choose. My only option was to bury myself. I was bought. Straight away three riders went off the front that would stay away for most of the day.

Seagulls around Frank

Seagulls around Frank

View from the stage. Note the team bus in the background

View from the stage. Note the team bus in the background

Up until this week of racing we have raced from the gun till the finish. This week has shown relaxed and controlled racing where a break of riders from smaller teams is allowed to go before the bunch sits up for awhile will riders stop for a piss or go back to drop off excess clothes or pick up more clothes. Then the chase starts as one or two teams start to control the break. 5min seems like a good amount of time. It is incredibly easy for a bunch of riders to eliminate a time gap to a small group if they want.

Me and Bert in the Bunch

Me and Bert in the Bunch

And that is what happened. With around 60km to go the pace got hard and the race was put in the gutter and in no time the break was back and fresh attacks were going. With teams that included Petacchi, Napolitano, Goss, Casper and many other sprinters it was always going to come down to a bunch kick. Our team did our best to get our two sprinters Nick Walker and Tommy Nankervis into position. We are still learning how to do this well and it is starting to come together.

Me and Logan during the local laps

Me and Logan during the local laps

Moving forward I will be racing one or two kermesses this weekend before a week training leading up to a weekend of racing in The Netherlands with Arno Wollard on Saturday and Nord Holland on Sunday.

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