Posted by Editoress on 10/4/18
Canadian pro mountain bikers Raphael Gagne and Andrew L'Esperance are in Israel for the three stage off-road event. In Stage 1 they finished 14th, 19:36 down on the leaders for the 87 kilometre race. They suffered multiple front and rear flats, chasing back to the lead group the first few times, before the heat and climbing (1800 metres) caught up with them.
"It was a really exciting day here at Epic Israel," said L'Esperance, "and I am happy to get it started after the anticipation since arriving in Tel Aviv on Monday. The day started off well with strong riding by both Raph and I to get in the lead group and do our best to save as much energy as possible for later in the race. It was a really cool experience being in a large group racing and smoothly flowing through the rough terrain. At 25 kilometres in we had our first mechanical of the day, a front flat on my bike that took multiple plugs in two different locations to fix. It was not a quick fix but it was also not a simple flat so we were happy with how we managed. Over the rest of the day we had a bit more bad luck with tires that saw us stop to top up the rear and do a wheel change at tech/feed 2 when my back tire picked up a nail that entered the tread and exited the sidewall. We worked really well as a team throughout these challenges I am confident we will be able to manage anything that comes up over the next 2 days. For the last hour of the race I suffered big time in the heat and it was a real team effort to make it to the finish and a lot of keeping it together for me."
Raphaël added: "We were very well received and hosted by the Israel Ministry of Tourism, they kept us busy with visiting Tel-Aviv; I personally really liked the Mediterranean beach front bike path, amazing. Great to visit Jerusalem, very rich history land. It was humbling to be able to support each other in a tough luck day with highs and lows to bring the best of each other. We worked well together and kept it positive. We did a really good job of being well prepared in terms of nutrition, hydration and mechanic. The heat and the dust is the challenge for everyone, in some spot its pretty scary and dangerous in the lead pack with the reduced visibility and obstacle coming our way. We are confident that with a bit of luck on our side we can have two strong days and progress in the overall standing."
|Stage 1, 86 km (1850 m climbing)|
|1 LEXWARE Mountain Bike Team (Branbl/Eger)||3:32:21|
|2 Mobel Morki MTB Pro Team (Raggl/Market)||3:32:29|
|3 Team Trek Selle San Marco (de Fararo/Cosmo)||3:35:28|
|4 Hungarian National Team (Morton/Valter)||3:36:53|
|5 Team Papival - Bergamon (Chenaux/Chenaux)||3:38:00|
|6 LEXWARE Mountain Bike Team 2 (Scharzbauer/List)||3:39:37|
|7 Monkey Town CT (Blums/Ocklean)||3:42:29|
|8 Israel Germany (Schulte-Lunzum/Sessler)||3:43:31|
|9 Serpantin (Seledkov/Filatov)||3:43:53|
|10 bischibikes / kopierpapier.ch (Spiess/Vitzthum)||3:44:47|
|14 Canadian National Team (Raphael Gagne/Andrew L'Esperance)||3:51:57|
|1 Hungarian Nation Team-Ghost (Terpstra/Benko)||4:10:39|
|2 Red and White (Tazreiter/Suss)||4:14:32|
|3 Scott Bresil/Trek GPL (Jaqueline Mourao/CindyMontambault)||4:41:56|
|4 Joe's No Flats (Daubermann/Noyman)||4:47:56|
|5 BWR Team (Michiels/Crnogorac)||5:03:58|
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