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September 17/06 9:29 am - Parisien Takes Climber's Jersey

Posted by Editor on 09/17/06

François Parisien Once Again Best Climber
Courtesy Sportcom

Translated by Amanda Leigh Cox

Cyclist François Parisien (TIAA-CREF) once again snapped up a Best Climber jersey during the 148 K of Stage One of Tour de la Somme, currently taking place in France. Parisien, who finished the stage in 8th place, adds this jersey to the Climber's jersey he earned at the recent Grand Prix de Fourmies.

A mere 5 K after the start, it was Parisien who was first at the top of a mounting false flat - an appetizer of the race to come. Surrounded by some nineteen other riders, the Repentigny, Quebec native was in good company for the break-away that formed, hotly pursued by the peloton. The escapees eventually gained themselves a 19 second lead.

"At 40 K to the finish line, the break-away attacked again and broke up our peloton." recounted the 2005 Canadian Road Champion. "The problem is that the region is relatively flat, so as a result, it's hard for stronger riders to distinguish themselves. Additionally, since we weren't a team of sprinters but rather climbers, that made the race a little more difficult. Given that the team (TIAA-CREF) took the lead today while racing, and that no one was in front of us in the break-away until 20 K to the finish, we're all fairly tired. We tried to get the other teams to work, but no one wanted to take pulls." Parisien was first in his pack to cross the line at 40 seconds from the stage winner (full results and names not available at time of press).

"The GC should be up soon today." enthused the Québécois. "At 40 seconds from the rest of the riders, the leaders are almost untouchable, saving any serious attacks which force the rest of the riders into working, and driving everyone into the wind. However the weather looks to be calm tomorrow, so my focus will be on keeping the Best Climber's jersey."

Saturday, the second and final stage of the Tour takes place, another road race of roughly 90 to 100 K. The Tour de la Somme this year is celebrating its 21st anniversary. Originally created in 1986 for amateur riders, it was opened to professional teams in 1999.


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