September 5/99 4:06 am - Shep and Seamus Reports
Posted by Editor on 09/5/99
After far too many hours of flying, I arrived in the land of chips and mayonnaise with uncertainty overwhelming me. I mean, when a country is famous for the chip concoction how do you think the rest of the food will be? Turns out I give it two thumbs up. There's nothing like staying in the countryside, having our own converted barn/bed and breakfast and have the weather be sunny! The course was awesome with many paved climbs looping in and around Houffalize...also included were technical descents, roots and way too much dust. When the gun sounded, the attacks were crazy! Dupouey went nuts and had a one min lead after the first lap...a chase pack of various french riders, belgians, and I-ties pursued while the Canadians tried to pace themselves in the mess of 170 starters.
I lurked in the mid thirties the whole day thinking that if I conserved I would have big juice for the last lap....I did have juice but I needed it to fend off the ever present person behind me! It was unreal, that is the pace of this race....it was definitely the hardest race I've done this year and when I finished I was messed up. Roland climbed up to 20 but faded to the 24th spot. I ended up 34th after passing four people before the final descent...Shamoe sat in 47, Dre in 52, Kabush in 54, and Dry Ryder in 67. Chicken (Rasmussen) jumped the chase (Evans and Martinez)with one and a half to go to finish second, while the other two finished in that order.
I wish there was more to report but bottom line is today was a personal battle due to having good legs and not really going anywhere! I hope it was the jet lag...maybe the Euros were eatting chips and mayonnaise to go fast?
Report From Seamus
Haro pro Seamus Mcgrath also telephoned in a post-race report, saying that Houffalize was "the hardest final ever. There was no backing off at all, if you took it easy for even a second, 5 guys passed you. Chris and I both started well, in the mid-30s, but I couldn't hold the position. The descents were very technical, and the climbs were steep and on pavement. It was like doing a road race - in your big ring and sprinting! I would have liked to do better in this final race, but I held onto my 24th overall, which is top North American - which I'm pretty pleased with."
From here the men go to France to do a road race before heading to Sweden for the Worlds.