Season 2013 – From Dominican Republic to Japan – It’s a start!

Did I find a cheaper way to Japan? ©Cory Wallace  - www.fortheplanet.net

Did I find a cheaper way to Japan? ©Cory Wallace – www.fortheplanet.net

After a good 2012 season, racing mostly criterium in the USA, I dediced to make it bigger and I will continue part time with the same structure captained by Emile Abraham and another one in Japan directed by Sebastien Pilotte; Positivi Peugeot cycling team!

Après une bonne saison 2012, à courir principalement des critériums aux USA, j’ai décidé de faire les choses en grand et ainsi, je vais continuer avec la même structure dirigée par Emile Abraham; Predator Cycling en plus d’une autre au Japon dirigée par le québécois Sébastien Pilotte établi au Japon; Positivi Peugeot cycling team!

I started 2013 with the Vuelta Independencia in Dominican Republic. Its my 4th participation in the event so I knew what to expect from it.

J’ai débuté 2013 avec la Vuelta Independencia en République Dominicaine. Il s’agit de ma quatrième participation, alors je savais à quoi m’en tenir.

I prepared as best as I could on the Computrainer and doing cross country skiing workouts, but it is always hard to replicate road trainning in the winter in Quebec city!

Je me suis préparé aussi bien que je l’ai pu en m’entraînant sur Computrainer et en ski de fond, mais c’est toujours un peu difficile de répliquer l’entraînement spécifique de route en hiver au Québec!

I flew to the Dominican Republic on the 14th, so I could at least do one long road ride before the vuelta began on the 20th. Getting to Dominica was a bit of chaos as most guys on the team booked their flight with Jetblue which doesn’t accept bikes only for Dom Rep! Last minute, I had to bring 2 additional bikes with me. Adding to that, my own last minute arrangments, I did not have time to sleep and so was very tired when I finally arrived where I was greeted by Guillermo Juan of Samana Backpackers where I enjoyed the few days before the Vuelta.

J’ai volé vers Saint-Domingue le 14 février, afin de pouvoir réaliser une longue sortie sur route avec le début de la vuelta le 20. Me rendre en République fut un peu compliqué… La plupart des coureurs de l’équipe avaient réserver avec Jetblue et on apprit à la dernière minute que la compagnie n’acceptait pas les vélos à destination de République Dominicaine. J’ai donc du partir avec 2 vélos supplémentaires. Ajoutons à cela mes propres arrangements de dernière minute et je n’ai pu dormir du tout avant mon vol du matin. Je suis donc arrivé quelques peu fatigué à Samana, où j’ai été accueilli par Guillermo Juan de Samana Backpackers où j’allais passé les quelques jours d’entraînement avant la vuelta.

Etappa7 ©Luis Barbosa

Etappa7 ©Luis Barbosa

My preparation for the Vuelta then consisted of a short 2h road ride on the 15th followed by a solid 4h30 the next day and then recovery rides up to the start of the race. I got my team predator bike the day before the race. I was amazed by it! Predator Cycling specialise in carbon repair. So, I will be racing a Kuota Kom with Di2 shifting and FSA components, a bike previously used by Hilton Clarke. Will I be as fast ? After 8 days of racing, all I can say is it’s a fantastic bike!

Ma préparation pour la vuelta a donc consisté en une petite sortie de 2h le 15 suivi d’un solide 4h30 le jour suivant et des sorties de récupérations jusqu’à ce que la vuelta commence. J’ai reçu mon vélo d’équipe le jour précédent la course. J’ai été tout à fait émerveillé. Predator Cycling se spécialise dans la réparation de vélo carbone. Je courerai donc aux USA sur l’ancien vélo d’Hilton Clarke, un Kuota Kom, réparé et remis à neuf, équipé en shimano Di2 et composantes FSA. Une vraie machine !

Predator Cycling Kuota ©Cory Wallace  - www.fortheplanet.net

Predator Cycling Kuota ©Cory Wallace – www.fortheplanet.net

The Vuelta was a good preparation for the season. 8 days of fast racing, 1000km with flat and mountainous terrain. We raced under Ekoi.ca / 1% for the Planet colours and the team consisted of myself, Cory Wallace, Etienne Samson, Louis-Charles Lacroix, Adam Andersen and Jordan Brochu.

La Vuelta constitue la préparation idéale pour entamer la saison. 8 jour de courses rythmées, 1000km de plat et terrain montagneux. Nous avons couru sous les couleurs d’ Ekoi.ca / 1% for the Planet et l’équipe consistait de moi même, Cory Wallace, Etienne Samson, Louis-Charles Lacroix, Adam Andersen et Jordan Brochu.

We missed out on stage 1 as the main breakaway went after only 5km into the 146km race. In the end we lost 11min and all GC hopes. Anyway, the first stage was still tough for us as we tried hard to establish a counter attack to limit the time losses. As the vuelta continued, our form was also improving. On stage 5, I got myself in a breakaway before we hit the real mountains. Tough that I did not push myself very hard to follow the leaders when they passed me in fear of bonking later, but maybe I should have, as I completed the whole race alone without getting caught by a single rider.

Nous avons manqué de chance à la première étape alors que LA bonne échappée est partie après seulement 5km de course sur la première étape de 146km. Au final, je perd plus de 11min et toute chance de classement général. Quoi qu’il en soit, cette première étape aura été difficile puisque je n’ai pas ménagé mes efforts afin d’établir un groupe de contre pour limiter les écarts. Nous n’avions aucun splits de temps durant la course… Plus les étapes évoluait, plus je me sentais en jambe. Lors de l’étape 5, je me suis retrouvé dans le premier groupe au pied de l’ascension. Je n’ai pas poussé lorsque les leaders m’ont passés, par peur d’exploser plus tard, mais peut-être aurais-je du puisque j’ai par la suite complété toute l’étape solo sans me faire reprendre par un seul coureur.

Etappa6b ©Luis Barbosa

Etappa6b ©Luis Barbosa

The next day, I did a good time trial averaging 47,5km/h on my first lap and fading a little on the second lap to finish 10th, a minute and 11 sec behind the winner Bruno Langlois, not bad for someone who trained inside and skiing in Quebec.

Le lendemain, j’ai fait un bon contre-la-montre complétant le premier tour en 47,5km/h de moyenne. J’ai faiblit lors du deuxième tour pour finalement terminer à 1min11 de Bruno Langlois en 10ème position. Plutôt satisfaisant pour l’entraînement hivernal.

On stage 7, the next day, I was feeling even better and made the early breakaway of 6 after only 10km of racing. We averaged 48km/h in the first hour of racing before the peloton let us increase our gap more signigicantly. By mid race, some GC riders bridged up to us to make it a group of around 10. Meanwhile, some riders from the early break were fading off. A little while later, a crash happened in the group and we got down to 5 riders of which two were strong riders from Inteja; Diego Milan and Augusto Sanchez. In the end, I played my cards right except for the final sprint in which I led into the last corner but first to get passed by the lead out of Augusto Sanchez, to finish just outside the podium in 4th.

Lors de l’étape 7, le jour suivant, je me sentais encore mieux et j’ai décidé de joindre l’échappée du début après seulement 10km de course. Nous éti.ons 6 et le rythme était assez rapide à en témoigner la moyenne de 48km/h pour la première heure. À la mi-course, quelques coureurs nous ont rejoint alors que d’autres ont faiblit et rejoint le peloton. Quelques instants plus tard, une chute réduisit notre groupe à 5 coureurs, emportant Pablo Mudarra virtuel 2ème du général, alors que notre avance était de 3min30. En somme, j’ai bien joué mes cartes tout au long de la course, à l’exception du sprint final, lequel comportait un virage dangereux que j’ai entammé en premier pour me voir dépassé immédiatement par Augusto Sanchez qui lança le sprint pour son coéquipier Diego Milan. Je termine donc au pied du podium.

After the last race in Santo Domingo, I headed to Samana Backpackers again to rest a bit in Samana and explore some of the area. I am now heading to Tucson where I will be racing March with Team Predator before heading to Japan in early April for solid races in Asia. Funny fact, I’ve started learning Japanese with audio courses and it’s easier than I thought!

Après la course, je me suis dirigé vers Samana à nouveau pour me reposer de la course et découvrir un peu les attraits de cette région. Je me dirige maintenant pour Tucson en Arizona, où je rejoindrai mes coéquipied de Team Predator pour le Old Pueblo Grand Prix et d’autres critériums aux USA par la suite. J’irai ensuite au Japon à la fin du mois pour courrir avec Positivi Peugeot cycling team. Petite annectode, j’ai commencé les cours audio de japonais et c’est pas mal plus facile qu’on pourrait le penser!

positivi

positivi

Thanks for reading ! Sayonara!

Merci de me lire ! Sayonara!

Jean-Michel

 

 

UCI Track Cycling World Cup – Day 2 Report

Jessica Varnish of Great Britain leads Olivia Montauban of France in the Women’s Sprint 1/8 Finals. – ©Alex Broadway/SWPIX.COM

Men’s Keirin

 

GOLD – Germany (BOETTICHER)

SILVER – Team Jayco-AIS (LEWIS)

BRONZE – Japan (SAKAMOTO)

 

When the gold medal race eventually got underway – after a false start by Japan’s rider Takashi Sakamoto, a faulty gun and a few issues with the derny –  it was Australia’s Peter Lewis at the front and Kenny trailing in third. Once the derny left the track it was Kenny and German rider Stefan Boetticher who went head-to-head on the final lap. However, there was a dramatic twist as Kenny turned into Boetticher and crashed out taking France’s rider Quentin Lafargue with him. In the end Boetticher held his nerve and took the gold.

 

Earlier on there was more bad luck for British riders as Welshman Lewis Oliva crashed with Australia’s Andrew Taylor in the second round.

 

World Cup standings after 2 round:

 

  1. BOETTICHER (12 points)
  2. PUERTA (12 points)
  3. LAFARGUE (12 points)

 

===

 

Women’s Sprint

 

GOLD – Germany (VOGEL)

SILVER – Great Britain (VARNISH)

BRONZE – Great Britain (JAMES)

 

The semi-final saw last night’s Team Sprint gold medallist Great Britain teammates Rebecca James and Jessica Varnish go head-to-head to earn a place in the gold medal race. After the first two legs of the semi-final the riders it was 1-1, with it all coming down to the decider. In a strong display by Varnish, she earned her place in the gold medal race.

 

Vogel took the shine out of Varnish in the opening race of the gold medal Women’s Sprint final with a solid performance. The second race followed the same vein as Varnish attempted to go out early with the sprint only for Vogel to come back and take the win and secure gold.

 

James took the first of three races with a solid performance but Lee came back in the second to force a deciding duel.

 

World Cup standings after 2 round:

 

  1. LEE (19 points)
  2. VARNISH (18 points)
  3. JAMES (18 points)

 

===

 

Men’s Individual Pursuit

 

GOLD – Denmark (HANSEN) – 4:20.875

SILVER – Ireland (IRVINE) – 4:22.745

BRONZE – Spain (MUNTANER JUANEDA) – 4:28.429

 

Martyn Irvine and Lasse Norman Hansen went head-to-head for the gold. Hansen made the better start and grew a good lead by the first time check. The gap was not clawed back and the Dane took the win with ease – adding another gold medal to the Team Pursuit medal he achieved yesterday.

 

The bronze medal race started with Spanish rider David Muntaner Juaneda taking an early advantage and building a 2 second lead at the midway point. The gap was too much for the New Zealand rider Dylan Kennett to pull back and Muntaner Juaneda took the bronze.

 

World Cup standings after 2 round:

 

  1. HANSEN (12 points)
  2. IRVINE (10 points)
  3. MUNTANER JUANEDA (8 points)

 

===

 

Men’s Omnium

 

GOLD – Germany (LISS)

SILVER – Australia (O’SHEA)

BRONZE – Spain (ELORRIAGA ZUBIAUR)

 

Omnium IV – 4km Individual Pursuit

Rank 1 Great Britain (DIBBEN) – 4:26.982

Rank 2 Belgium (DE KETELE) – 4:28.908

Rank 3 Australia (O’SHEA) – 4:29.699

 

Omnium V – Scratch Race 15km

Rank 1 Denmark (KRIGBAUM)

Rank 2 Kazakstan (LYALKO)

Rank 3 Japan (HASHIMOTO)

 

Omnium VI – 1km Time Trail

Rank 1 Germany (LISS) – 1:02.768

Rank 2 Australia (O’SHEA) – 1:03.475

Rank 3 Great Britain (DIBBEN) – 1:03.955

 

Great Britain’s Jonathan Dibben came out on top in the individual pursuit, placing him in sixth in the overall Omnium standings. The race saw Belgium’s Kenny De Ketele and Australia’s Glenn O’Shea finish second and third respectively.

 

The scratch race started with the home crowd hoping for a win by fancied Jonathan Dibben. He faced stiff competition in world champion Australia rider Glenn O’Shea who was involved in a number of break-away groups in the early stages. In the end it was Mathias Wichmann Krigbaum, Alexey Lyalko and Eiya Hashimoto who succeeded in lapping the main group and went on to claim the top 3 positions.

 

Heading into the last event of the Omnium, the table was tight at the top with only 2 points separating the top three. Dibben put in a solid time and ended up third behind rank 1 Lucas Liss and rank 2 O’Shea.

 

After some fantastic racing over the six events, Germany’s Lucas Liss was too strong for the competition, taking the gold medal with Australia’s World Champion O’Shea taking silver and Spain’s Unai Elorriaga Zubiaur with the last place on the podium in bronze.

 

World Cup standings after 2 round:

 

  1. LISS (12 points)
  2. SIMION (12 points)
  3. O’SHEA (10 points)

 

 

Laura Trott of Great Britain competes in the Women’s Omnium Points Race 20Km – ©Alex Broadway/SWPIX.COM

 

Women’s Omnium

 

Omnium I – Flying Lap

Rank 1 Australian (ANKUDINOFF) – 14.340

Rank 2 Fullgass.org (OLABERRIA DORRONSORO) – 14.364

Rank 3 Poland (PAWLOWSKA) – 14.524

 

Omnium II – Points Race 20km

Rank 1 Bulguria (SHARAKOVA)

Rank 2 Lithuania (TREBAITE)

Rank 3 Mexico (ARREOLA NAVARRO)

 

Omnium III – Elimination Race

Rank 1 Great Britain (TROTT)

Rank 2 Poland (PAWLOWSKA)

Rank 3 Russia (BALABOLINA)

 

In the first of the women’s Omnium Flying Lap the current world champion came an unexpected fourth with the Australian, Ashlee Ankudinoff, taking the win with a solid performance.

 

Trott entered the Points Race as World and Olympic champion but faced tough competition from a strong field. In the end a couple 20 point lapping from the likes of Tatsiana Sharakova and Ausrine Trebaite were too much for Trott and she finished ninth.

 

The elimination race saw a rider go down hard and have to be taken off on a stretcher. After the restart Trott rode a great race with an enthralling sprint over the last lap to take the win.

 

The Omnium is set up well for the next stages tomorrow.

 

===

 

 

UK BBC Broadcast Times

UCI Track Cycling World Cup – Day 1 Report

©Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com

Men’s Team Pursuit

 

GOLD – Denmark (FOLSACH, HANSEN, NIELSEN, QUAADE) – 4:01.289

SILVER – Germany (BEYER, BOMMEL, REINHARDT, THIELE) – OVL

BRONZE – Belgium (DE KETELE, DE BUYST, DE PAUW, VAN HOECKE) – 4:06.951

 

Denmark took GOLD in the Men’s Team Pursuit Final, beating Germany convincingly to win the first gold medal of  the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Glasgow. Germany lost two riders which gave Denmark the chance to catch their opponents finishing with a time of 4:01.289.

 

Spain and Belgium faced each other in the bronze medal shoot out on the track, both evenly matched.  Spain was the first team to make a mistake as Spain went down to three riders, giving Belgium an immediate advantage. Spain never recovered from their error, resulting in Belgium taking the bronze medal with a time of 4.06.951.

 

The big shock of the day came in the qualifying when the relatively inexperienced Great Britain team crashed out earlier in the day, with Owain Doull the only rider to stay on his bike as Sam Harrison, Joe Kelly and World Champion Andrew Tennant crashed onto the boards.

 

World Cup standings after 2 round:

 

  1. Belgium (15 points)
  2. Switzerland (14 points)
  3. Denmark (12 points)

 

===

 

Women’s Team Sprint

 

GOLD – Great Britain (VARNISH, JAMES) – 33.428

SILVER – Spain (CALVO BARBERO, CASAS ROIGE) – 34.102

BRONZE – France (CLAIR, MONTAUBAN) – 34.197

 

Jess VARNISH and Becky JAMES won Great Britain’s first gold medal of the competition, riding a great race to take gold against Spain in a time of 33.428. James replaced the retired Victoria PENDLETON and she and Varnish brought the packed Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome crowd to their feet with a fine ride. This was the second World Cup win for the pair who took gold in the first round in Cali last month and are already proving themselves on the road to Rio 2016.

 

The bronze medal race saw France and Russia go head-to-head. The race was tipped to be close but France edged out Russia for the medal with a fine performance on track.

 

World Cup standings after 2 round:

 

  1. Great Britain (24 points)
  2. Japan (13 points)
  3. Spain (10 points)

 

===

 

Women’s Team Pursuit

 

GOLD – Great Britain (TROTT, BARKER, KING) – 3:21.043

SILVER – Australia (ANKUDINOFF, CURE, HOSKINS) – 3:22.026

BRONZE – Belarus (SHARAKOVA, DYLKO, PAPKO) – 3:25.737

 

The two big rivals went head to head in the Women’s team pursuit. The race was a closely fought in the early stages but Great Britain started to pull away at the later stages, gaining a narrow lead over their rivals. The Great Britain trio featured two of the Olympic gold medal winning squad in Laura Trott and Dani King alongside British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme rider 18 year old Elinor Barker.

 

In the bronze medal race Lithuania always had a lot of work to do if they hoped to beat Belarus. The pattern was set early with Belarus starting well and leaving too big a gap to the Lithuanians to close. Belarus took the bronze medal and lead the standings after two rounds of the series.

 

World Cup standings after 2 round:

 

  1. Belarus (15 points)
  2. Great Britain (12 points)
  3. Italy (12 points)

 

===

 

Men’s Team Sprint

 

GOLD – Germany (ENDERS, FOERSTEMANN, BOETTICHER) – 43.887

SILVER – Great Britain (HINDES, KENNY, CLANCY) – 44.175

BRONZE – France (PALMA, SIREAU, LAFARGUE) – 44.803

 

Germany won Gold in the Men’s Team Sprint, beating Great Britain in the final. Germany’s performance was just too good for the Olympic Champions who took silver in Ed Clancy’s first race since making the transition from endurance to sprint to fill the place of Sir Chris Hoy’s in the new-look team.

 

Bronze medal went to France who beat Poland.

 

World Cup standings after 2 round:

 

  1. Germany (24 points)
  2. Japan (12 points)
  3. Russia (12 points)

 

===

 

Women’s 500m TT

 

GOLD – Belarus (PANARINA) – 34.121

SILVER – Germany (VOGEL) – 34.318

BRONZE – Spain (CALVO BARBERO) – 34.451

 

The Women’s 500m Time Trial race saw Olga PANARINA take gold with Germany’s Kristina VOGEL taking silver and Spain’s Tania CALVO BARBERO taking bronze. Fresh from winning gold in the Team Sprint Great Britain’s Jess Varnish took to the track again, this time finishing 6th.

 

World Cup standings after 2 round:

 

  1. Belarus (12 points)
  2. Germany (10 points)
  3. Spain (8 points)

 

===

 

Men’s Scratch Race

 

GOLD – Switzerland (MARGUET, Tristan)

SILVER – Ireland (IRVINE, Martyn)

BRONZE –  Netherlands (EEFTING, Roy)

 

The race saw a lot of movement in the initial stages with a number of break-out groups through the race. With 23 laps to go, the group came back together with nobody able to get a decent amount of daylight between themselves and the main pack. No one seemed able to make that move that would separate themselves from the pack. Great Britain’s Simon YATES was involved in a number of attempted break away packs. With 15 laps to go another breakout group tried to break away from the peloton but in the end it came down to a sprint which was won by Tristan MARGUET from Switzerland. Martyn IRVINE from Ireland was hugely committed through the entire race and was rewarded with silver. In the bronze medal place was Roy Eefting of the Netherlands.

 

===

 

Men’s Omnium

 

Omnium I – Flying Lap

Rank 1 Germany (LISS) – 13.252

Rank 2 Switzerland (BEER) – 13.349

Rank 3 Australia (O’SHEA) – 13.354

 

Omnium II – Points Race 30km

Rank 1 Australia (O’SHEA)

Rank 2 France (BRISSE)

Rank 3 Netherlands (VELDT)

 

Omnium III – Elimination Race

Rank 1 Spain (ELORRIAGA ZUBIAUR)

Rank 2 Australia (O’SHEA)

Rank 3 Czech Republic (RYBIN)

 

Overall standings after 3 events

Rank 1 Spain (ELORRIAGA ZUBIAUR)

Rank 2 Germany (LISS)

Rank 3 Switzerland (BEER)

 

The crowd were treated to some great action during the first three of six Omnium events on Day 1 of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Glasgow.

 

Germany’s Lucas Liss drew first blood, posting the fastest time (13.252) in the Flying Lap. Next up was the 30km Points Race which was won by current World Champion Glenn O’Shea of Australia. O’Shea narrowly missed out on a second win as he was outsprinted by Spain’s Unai ELORRIAGA ZUBIAUR on the final lap of the Elimination Race.

 

ELORRIAGA ZUBIAUR, who now leads the Omnium at the midway stage. The German, LISS, is in second overall with BEER in third.  Great Britain’s Jon Dibben lies in 11thoverall.

 

BBC Broadcast Times

Keirin: Speed Racers

Keirin: Speed Racers
Inside the High-Octane and Lucrative World of Japan’s Cycling Spectacle

Here’s a short film I stumbled upon by fashion and portrait photographer Jonathan de Villiers. It’s an arty look into the often brutal world of Japanese Keirin racing. This is quite a sedate view of the sport compared to other films but no less engaging. It’s not heavy on detail but it’s certainly beautifully shot. Filmed at the National Keirin school in Tokyo and the Tachikawa and Yokkaichi velodromes.

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