Posted by Editoress on 03/19/11
SpiderTech Team Director, Kevin Field talks about today's race, the Classic Loire-Atlantique in France:
We expected a hard race, and that Équipe Europcar would be the most active team trying to setup the win for Thomas Voeckler. We started two riders short due to illness in the team - and expected a few guys may still be a bit weak from recent illness (Lucas, David, Bruno). We wanted to make sure we had representation in the early break and hoped to keep Will, Pat and David fresh for the final.
The race was very aggressive in the first 60 km. An early move was established and we missed it. This was bad - but not devastating because Saxo Bank, Vacansoleil, Europcar and Francaise des Jeux also missed it.
Europcar took tight control after the midway point. But we lost Flavio and Lucas to the fast, early pace.
The second part of the race was really well controlled by Europcar. They feathered the gaps to breaks and brought things back to a super aggressive final 40 km. On the last 17 km lap, on the first hill, Voeckler attacked to start the final action. About 16 riders were of the front and our guys were not strong enough to match the attacks.
Bruno, Will and Pat were our guys to make it to the final group today. It was great to see both Bruno and Will getting their strength back. Pat was very good today, as we expected.
Next race is Cholet. We have a similar plan for each 1-day race: make the early break and conserve others for the final. But we have consistently missed early breaks in 1-day races, and this is an important skill for the guys to develop. They are doing fine in stage races - but it's just harder to get in that move in 1-day races. We don't want to miss it in Cholet.
We'll divide up the roles similar to Loire-Atlantique - but may swap Bruno and David after we see how they feel. The Cholet course will have more punchy hills - it will suit all the guys we have here. Lucas is struggling with health troubles, so we hope he comes around tomorrow.
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