August 10/06 5:59 am - Reports from Tour of Utah
Posted by Editor on 08/10/06
Tour of Utah Reports
Translated by Amanda Leigh Cox
Dominique Perras Starts the Tour de Utah With A Bang
Montreal, August 7 2006 - Dominique Perras (KodakGallery.com/Sierra Nevada) took eighth place in Monday's Stage One of the Tour de Utah, in the USA. Uzbekistani rider Sergey Lagutin (Navigators)- Tour de Toona Grand Champion - took the win.
Stage One was a relatively flat circuit road race around Lake Utah. Heavy winds and high tempertatures 'welcomed' riders and added to the difficulty of the race.
After some mechanical problems, Canadian Dominique Perras was taken safely back to the lead peleton by teammates. Roughly 40 K into the race, two riders - including one from Perras' team KodakGallery.com/Sierra Nevada - made an escape; their lead was at points as much as ten minutes. Their break-away was unfortunately caught 2 K from the finish line. The Stage cumulated in a pack sprint which saw Lagutin as winner; Perras came in for eighth place. 'I am thrilled!' exclaimed the rider from Saint-Lambert, Quebec. 'I'm not a great sprinter, but I still had an excellent sprint today.'
Tuesday Stage Two takes place - a road race of 156 K which resembles Stage One in terms of elevation. The Tour de Utah is the third largest Stage Race in the USA, and takes place over six days.
Thursday and Friday's races should also favour Perras; 'Those two stages finish in climbs. I'm more a climber than a sprinter, I should be able to make things interesting. I'm at the very least going to try!'
Perras Gets A Pedal in the Wheel
Montreal, August 8, 2006 - Heat, wind and altitude: these elements combined to give cyclists a tough race Stage Two at the Tour of Utah; which consequently lives up to claims of being the toughest Stage Race in the USA. American Chris Wherry (Toyota United) won the stage in a sprint finish after having completed 149 K between the towns of Provo and Tooele. Dominique Perras (KodakGallery.com/Sierra Nevada) finished just behind the first pack of sprinters - due to an errant pedal in the wheel.
In the final minutes of the race, Perras was well positioned; as was the pedal of another racer - right into Perras's wheel, consequently destroying it. 'At 500 m to the finish there was a corner and the other guy's pedal went right into my wheel. It's a shame because I was in a great position up front at that point. I know I would not have been able to win the sprint because I was already pretty tired, but I would have finished amoung the top ten, since the guy who got his pedal into my wheel was ninth.' explained Perras, who completed the stage in place.
Altitude was also a factor for Perras, the change between Utah and his native Quebec affecting his sleep patterns. 'I was amazed at my shape - I felt really good during Stage Two, in contrast to how badly I felt on Tuesday. I think I'm coming back to life.' Perras mused.
In the General Classement, Sergey Lagutin (Navigators) hangs on to his winner's jersey while Perras sits in 9th place, 22 seconds behind. Stage Three, an Individual Time Trial of 12.7 K will take place Wednesday in Heber, Utah.
Dominique Perras 33rd in Time Trial
Montreal, August 9 2006 - Dominique Perras of Saint-Lambert, Quebec took the 33rd place in yesterday's 13.7 K Stage Three Individual Time Trial at the Tour de l'Utah, in Heber City. Perras (KodakGallery/Sierra Nevada) is at 1 minute 23 seconds from Stage winner, American Chris Wherry (Toyota United); Chris Baldwin (Toyota United) finished seconds, 8 seconds back, and Sergey Lagutin (Navigators) grabbed third 18 seconds back.
In the General Classement, Perras occupies the 28th place at 1minute 42 seconds from newly yellow-jersey-ed leader Wherry, who himself is separated by former leader Lagutin by a mere 14 seconds.
'It was an ok race, but I would have liked to have gone a little faster, since it was a relatively flat but windy. The GC is rather tight and the next two stages are going to be difficult. I think the next stages will be decisive in terms of the totally readjusting the GC.' analyzed Perras.
Stages Four and Five will take place on rather hilly terrain, to say nothing of the effects of altitude in Utah, which could also be a deciding factor for racers.
'I'm still not totally acclimatized to the altitude, by day after day I feel better' explained Perras, who is looking forward to the hilly stages to show off the skills he used to earn the second place standing in the Climber's category at the recently ended Tour de Toona.
The Tour de Utah is a new offering on the American racing calendar; organized by Utah Jazz owner and cycling aficionado Larry Miller, the competition is the third largest race in the US behind the Tours of Georgia and California.
'It's a well-organized race, they have the UCI sanction for next year as well.' explained Perras, who participated in both the Tours of Georgia and California earlier this year.
Thursday the peleton embarks on the road between Provo and Nebo - a race of 112K, 28 K of which are climbing.