Posted by Editoress on 08/20/12
Francois Parisien of Team SpiderTech powered by C10 took another step in his impressive comeback from a knee injury with a fourth-place finish in the Tre Valli Varesine in Italy, on Saturday.
Parisien, who two weeks ago won the Tour of Elk Grove stage race in the U.S., was part of a 15-rider group that formed on a tough finishing circuit next to Lake Maggiore, using some of the roads that will be used in the Il Lombardia classic.
Team SpiderTech went into the race hoping to anticipate the hard finale by putting as many guys up the road as possible in the early going while Parisien held back and waited for the finishing circuits.
However, most teams had similar plans so making the early break was difficult. Martin Gilbert, Ryan Anderson, Antoine Duchesne and Bjorn Selander got into moves, but all of them proved short-lived.
Shortly before the half-way point, a large group of 20 riders rode off the front. Selander narrowly missed the move and, with no SpiderTech riders up front, the team was in jeopardy and decided to nail the group back - and to the jeers of the Italian teams succeeded. Parisien was now well positioned, but it came at a cost as most of the team was dropped on the Cassano Valcuvia climb.
Another dangerous move went off on the flat run-in to Liuno and this time the Colnago-CSF Inox team paid the price, bringing it back but losing most of their riders in the process.
With the race on the finishing circuits, it was Parisien’s time to hit the front and he was involved in every major attack from that point on.
After a series of attacks, fellow Canadian David Veilleux (Europcar) broke clear with about 15 kilometres to race and soloed in for the win, 1:05 ahead of the chase group. Behind, Parisien’s aggression was nearly his undoing on the final lap as he briefly lost contact with the chase group, but he rallied on the descent and sprinted to fourth place among some of the biggest names in the sport, including Danilo Di Luca (third, Aqua & Sapone) and Thomas Voeckler (ninth, Europcar).
“I’m really happy with the race today - to see Dave win and how the guys set me up for my result, it’s fantastic for Canadian cycling,” said Parisien. “For me this is my best-ever race in Europe at this level. The team was fantastic today. It’s been a hard year for me, with injury. Steve (Bauer) and the team showed me so much support during my rehab. In many ways these past few races (Elk Grove, the Trittico Lombardo) are a big thank you to the team for that support.”
“I really feel Frank was 'the animator' of the finale in Liuno - the most aggressive for sure,” said director Kevin Field. “It’s awesome to see how positive he is right now. It’s showing in his racing. You need that kind of tenacity in a race like this - it rewards aggression.”
The team was also happy to see Veilleux score his career-best victory.
“Dave's attack was perfectly timed - beautiful,” said Field. “He went on a flat section from a group that was whittled down to climber-types. For sure having Voeckler there disrupted the chase, and Dave hung tough on the climbs and consolidated his lead on the descents and flats. Amazing win, really well-played. And the whole team appreciated being here to see a fellow Canadian win such a historic race.”
|Return to Canadian Cyclist homepage | Back to Top|