Posted by Editoress on 05/14/07
Equipe Volkswagen/Trek on Podium at Bear Mountain Classic - New York
Courtesy Josée Robitaille
For the second week in a row the Equipe Volkswagen/Trek p/b Astral Media & Eska Water out of Montreal, Quebec doubled up on podiums.
The weekend started off with a simple but windy 19.2km time trial in Granby, Quebec. It was Greg Reain, Canadian Cyclocross Champion and newest addition to the Calyon Litespeed Professional Team who took the victory in a time of 24:02. Close behind was VW veteran Alex Cloutier at 24:20 followed by Ryan Mckenzie in third twelve seconds behind. Fourth and fifth were rounded out by William Goodfellow, also a member of the VW/Trek squad, and David Veilleux, 2006 Canadian National Espoir TT and RR Champion. (Full results posted in Daily News)
With two podiums already, the team of eight senoir riders and junior Guillaume Blais-Dufour, along with Manager Josée Robitaille jumped in the Passats and drove 500 km south to race in the 100 mile Bear Mountain Classic. The course is rated among the country's best, with two solid 5 km climbs per lap (of 7) along with a mix of crosswinds, fast descents and winding New York state park roads that allow for plenty of action.
No more than two minutes into the race, last year's Bear Mountain Classic winner, Jittery Joes Pro Team member David Veilleux broke away from the pack, with VW's Ryan Mckenzie on his wheel. The two rode a steady tempo trying to gain as much time before the pack woke up. Their leash was kept short and the two marked men were brought back around the 40k mark.
The counter attacks flew until a group of eight broke away. Among those included were again Mckenzie, joined by comeback kid Kevin Lacombe. Small groups bridged up from the field bringing up another new addition to the VW team, Nick Rowe, and the lead group total to 18. Lacombe was unable to recover quickly enough from a mechanical at the base of one of the climbs to rejoin the lead pack immediately, leaving Mckenzie to cover the attacks from TargetTraining, RiteAid and Sakonnet - among the rest of Northeast's strongest.
Just before the start of the 4th lap (3/70km to go) Mckenzie made another split of six riders who quickly took 1:30 on the chase. The group worked well together with hopes of making it to the line. Meanwhile small chases and groups brought Lacombe back in the race where he picked away at the shattered peleton.
Mckenzie was patient and followed the attacks up the final climb until launching one of his own at the 5km mark to be followed by only one of the other five, whom he out-sprinted at the line, putting the W back in VW/Trek, and another notch on his bike. Lacombe was also relentless and managed to chase down the riders Mckenzie had left behind to sprint in for third. Nick Rowe made it a sprint hat-trick by winning the field sprint to take 14th on the day.
Lacombe and Mckenzie couldn't ask for their form to come at a better time. The two teammates will head to Valencia, Venezuela in the next couple weeks to represent Canada at the Pan American Road and Track Cycling Championships.
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