Sep 9, 2012

Big Day: Two Stages, and Some Big Results

Go big or go home.  There was no fooling around on the third day of the Tour Cyclist Feminin International de l’Ardèche (Tour of Ardèche for short).

We woke up early, got the coffee rolling, and headed out to the start of the time trial course.  Most of the girls opted to not even use a time trial bike.  The course was less than 4km long, beginning with a steep uphill section, and then a long, technical descent.  The winner would have to be able to crank  it hard on the uphill, but most importantly, be the one who would have the most guts in the descent.  The steep downhill part was on narrow, twisty, village roads where whatever was behind the next corner was pretty much a surprise. 

Joëlle Numainville and Leah Kirchmann got 8th and 9th place respectively out of the 100+ starters.  Nice handling, girls!

But things didn’t end there.  In the afternoon we took to the start line again for the second road race and the fourth start of the Tour.  Joëlle ended up on second place by no means of chance.

Emma Pooley who had escaped on her own, kilometers before the finish got the victory that afternoon but Leah Kirchmann gave Joëlle an awesome leadout, and Joëlle won the group sprint.  Talk about textbook perfect teamwork.  What's more is that Joëlle is now in the sprinter's jersey, and Leah in the Best Young Rider Jersey.

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