The weather was perfect, there was a slight breeze, blue sky, and it was just hot enough to need a few more bottles than usual. This year's edition was longer than the previous years, just over 130km. There was a great spectator turn out, hearing the crowd's enthusiastic cheers, and their blue cowbells clanging was extra motivation.
Canadian Tara Whitten was out ahead of the pack for a good part of the race and when she was brought back, the attacks began. No break ended up staying away. With about 2km to go, there was a crash on an off ramp coming out of the Gatineau Park (which is kind of like the little cousin of my FAVORITE place to ride in Québec: Le Parc National de la Mauricie) and onto Boulevard les Allumetières. This split the pack up a little bit, but fortunately Optum riders, Joëlle Numainville and Carmen Small were ahead, and not affected in the slightest. In the hairpin turn with about 400m to the finish, nobody went down this year, luckily. (In the first two editions of the GP Cycliste Gatineau there were NASTY crashes there).
Joëlle and Carmen continued working together and ended up in 4th and 5th overall.
We're flying off to Boise, ID right after the race for the Exergy Tour where we'll continue to race our Orbeas hard.