Three-time Canadian Olympian and men’s Performance Manager Eric Wohlberg reports on the team’s big win in Quebec
Stage one of GP Saguenay was a 166 km circuit race, 11 laps on a 15 km loop. There was a short, difficult climb on every lap, approximately 750 meters to the summit, followed by a sweeping downhill run into the finish. The finish would suit our leadout combo of Young/Huff/Anderson if they could survive the 11 trips up the climb.
The plan was to cover significant moves and kill them by sitting on, or take the free ride to the finish and sprint for the win.
As anticipated, there was lots of action. Selander and Durrin had a great day, representing the team in many of the early moves and helped us control the race from the front of the group. Later on in the stage, Routley played a key role, following late and dangerous moves that may have went to the line without our sprinters.
The last time up the climb, we took the front, fanned out, and set a false tempo to keep our beefy leadout combo of Huff and Young fresh and escort them into the key final 2 km.
We pre rode the course yesterday and picked our leadout point, and the guys hit it perfectly. Soladay initiated the lead out as the field approached the 1 km mark. He took Huff and Young into the final uphill left hander and a deep 450 meter run to the line. Huff torched it from this point and delivered Young to the 250 meter point. Young rode all challengers off his wheel for our first victory here, and put himself in yellow and green.
The team suffered one casualty in the win – Anderson, who was vomiting on the plane ride over here and had a very rough night, did everything he possibly could to fight through the sickness, but unfortunately he was forced to abandon. One of the nasty sides of airplane flights and hotel rooms.
It is likely that tomorrow could be another field sprint, and we will aim for a similar result.
Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay Roster