Posted by: Double-Dee | May 18, 2008

TTT at Port La Nouvelle

Some days are good and some are bad today was one of those days that was a little bit of both…..  Great weather.  Good Crowds. Rebecca crashed during the race.  Gina and Amy got dropped. The van broke down.  I can’t upload pics.  I am tired and several hours behind schedule because of the van and a visit from Team Swifts Directeur Sportif-  Stefen Wyman.  A nice chap of sorts… Anyway.  I am off to bed we head to the Pyrenees tomorrow (somehow)  and we will be there for a few days.  Until next time, here is Erinne Willock’s account of the TTT, enjoy


Here is Erinne’s Report:
Stage 2 of Tour de L’Aude today was the Team Time Trial.  We were hoping it would be a decent chance for us to possibly make some time on Menikini (Susan Ljungskog) and USA (Amber Neben).   That would allow for Christine to move up in time on GC. 
We started at Port La Nouvelle which is a town on the east coast of France and a very windy area at that.  It was a 27km loop around with some technical roundabouts, and corners, but the most technical and difficult part was staying up right and forming the echelon.  We started out of the blocks with Gina leading us around the first 180 degree corner.  Than the next 2km consisted of 3 or 4 roundabouts and those all went smooth.  We hit the first straight stretch of road and at the same time hit the first bit of cross wind.  We got a little confused with the direction to pull off and I guess some crossing of wheels was happening and someone bumped and our Rebecca went down pretty hard, (she’ll have some bad bruises as it was a hard impact with no slide but we’ll take good care of her so that her recovery is quick).   So after that there was a hesitation about whether to wait for Rebecca or to keep going.  We were hoping for Rebecca to be our fourth strong rider so we wanted to make sure she couldn’t get up fast enough to get back on before leaving her, but her chain fell off in the crash and it took her a little too long and we had to take off without her. 
After the crash we took a left onto a very straight road with a head/cross wind.  Even with the wind we were still flying pretty fast at about 47km/hr.   Unfortunately some of the girls had a big effort after the crash and the head wind was very strong so within another couple kilometers we lost Amy and Gina.  We were now down to 3 riders with still about 20km to go.  It was smoother with only 3 of us rolling through as it was just easier to organize.  At about 15km there a pretty good hill in the course and Christine pulled Alex and Erinne up that at a very good and steady pace.  Once the descent was over we luckily and finally turned into a very needed tail wind!!!  It was about 10km to the finish now in either tail/cross or full tail.  We were going fast.  So we went as hard as we could and than the last 2km Christine again took over the majority of the pulling until the finish. 
As a result we finish 6th out of 19 teams with a time of 37:20.  We put 5 seconds into Menikini but unfortunately Christine moved from 7th to 8th in GC because two riders from Nurnberger and Highroad bumped ahead of her.   But on the bright side we are hoping that those two riders will eventually have to do work for their team leaders and Christine will once again be able to move ahead.   Alex is now 17th and Erinne 18th in GC.  And we have now moved up to 4th in Team GC.  
Tomorrow’s stage is the only day without GPM’s so it will most likely be a sprint finish were we will hope for Gina to have fast legs, or if it’s a breakaway day than we will look for opportunities to have a possible stage win or to have someone move up on GC.
Wish us luck and thanks for reading Stage 2 of the Webcor Tour de L’Aude Race Reports!


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