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The race in France seen through Jacob Fetty's eyes
By Celine Tytgadt
Date: 8/8/2002
The race in France seen through Jacob Fetty's eyes
By Jacob Fetty

By Jacob Fetty

The nice sunny warm conditions that characterized last weekend's racing turned into cold and rain for this contest. 

The story began on the way to the race.  A stomach bug had been circulating the house and it bite me.  Driving to the race I felt a pretty noteworthy twinge in my stomach.  I urgently asked Corey to pull over at the next stop.  Sure enough.  Atomic explosion of the not so pleasant kind.  Get to the race, same story several more times, several more trips to the WC.  Interesting thing for me about venturing to France is that the bathroom situation always throws me a curve ball.  This time was no different.  The new addition for me was the block of soap bolted to the wall.

I am feeling pretty cleansed yet disappointed.  Not only is my tasty breakfast down the tubes (literally) but i am obviously not in the best situation to race.  Oh well.  That is racing.  Things never line up perfectly.  I can at least attempt to make a good thing come out of it.

While pinning my number on in the changing room.  I look around and notice a gloomy frown on everyone's face.  Then i look up and peer out the window.  I see why.  The sky has darkened and a cold, soaking rain is pouring down.  Deep sigh.  We hang around in the dry until it clears a little.  Go grab our bikes and try to spin around to get a little warm up in.  Boom!  Rain dumps down again.  Take cover.  Five minutes to departure and it has let up a bit.  At least we dont have to begin our day in the downpour (although it would rain heavily on and off throughout the day). 

My task for the day would be to begin my day early and look for break away situations.  Hopefully get up the road and take the pressure of racing off the other guys and while i am up there grab some primes and mountain points. 

We roll of and action begins right away.

I made it a goal to get to the first noteworthy climb of the day in good position.  Since my computer was not working, a lot of luck and guess work would be needed.  Brian had done this race before and had given some insight as to what the course looked like prior to the hill (a steep cobbled one).  Luckily i was able to sense the tension in the peloton as a reference to where the hill would be.  Then luck gave me a huge present.  I was first one on the climb.  I pushed it in an effort to create something.  A Domo guy attacked me and left me the second place mountain points.  A few of us came together at the top but never really got anything going.

 Finally a group goes away. Pete sneaks in the group with a good jump and some nice bike handling threw a rain drenched 90 degree cobbled turn.  I take inventory of who is not in the group and await the counter attack.  Just like clockwork one of the teams missing the break sends a rider to bridge.  I latch onto him for a free ride across.  We have 11 guy in this group now and everyone begins working very well together.  We drop two guys very fast.  Our situation is good.  We have two guys in a nine man group.  Only the Flanders team and the Aussie team (Team Down Under) have missed the group.  I can not remember or spell the other teams in our break but i will name drop that Domo was in our group. 

We built and maintained a lead of 45-50 seconds for a little over an hour.  My computer was shorting in and out due to the rain so I don't know how fast we were going but when it would short in it would read 50KPH and higher.  We were motoring.  While out there i managed to take second on three primes (although we find our after the fact that one of them was not a prime).  The Domo guy (who would win the race) made me look silly each time.  The guy was strong.

Once we got caught, RJ went with the counter attack.  I was pleased to sit in for a few kilometers and try to recover before attaching myself to groups that tried to go across to RJ.  My legs were aching and my stomach turning.  Ben was riding well and ripping things apart on the main climb, the wet steep cobbled climb.  For two laps i attempted to put him at the bottom in good position.  On one trip up the climb he rode away from everyone except two Domo guys.  The three of them would spend awhile in between the field and RJ's group.  The second time i tried to place Ben in good position was the end of my day. I was spent, tired, wet, getting cranky, and my stomach was killing me so i  looked for the shortest way back to shelter and warmth. 

From here on my race summary is second hand and i would advice reading the other guy's account on our website .  

RJ would get caught.  A group would get away.  Matt would get into a chase group.  Both RJ and Matt were top 20 and Ben was 21st.  Pete gutted out the race and came in somewhere between 21 and 40.  Brian got a flat early at the worst time and it cut his day short.

As a team, we rode well and are excited because we know we can ride better and are eager to do so.

Next up for us is a race Thursday in Kortrijk.

Thanks for reading


If you want to email Jacob or the other team-members from the ABC-Aitos team, click here for Jacob, Jed, Brian, Nick, Travis or Daniel. Or you can also visit the Cycling Center website (they have a guestbook now!) or the Cycling Center hub at the Daily Peloton (to be reached via the teams & riders link at the left) for more news.

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