|Waiting for a ceremony to begin... the energy tank is past empty, but the spirits are high.|
We skipped the opening ceremonies of the Francophone Games that night. It made me sad to hear the fireworks and see them flash through the trees of the campus where I was staying. But I knew I was better off resting. I was already sleep deprived and the race start was at 9 am the following morning.
We started in a heavy rainfall on the Promenade des Anglais and headed out towards the hills. With the 100 SPF sunscreen running down my face in the downpour, much too often I could only see out of one eye, even with my Spy sunglasses. There were climbs, attacks, flats, and plenty of crashes on the extremely slippery roads out there. Fortunately, even in Cyclops-mode, I had no such issues other than my wheel slipping across the pavement a few times.
In the final kilometers, there were 7 of us up the road, ahead of the peloton. One French rider attacked and got away, but I jumped on her wheel and went with her. We sped down the road and as the finish line neared, we started playing a bit of cat-and-mouse. I was on the front, and didn't want to be. She attacked hard, and even though my legs were tired, I pounded on my Time Xpresso pedals and jumped in her draft. HA! Now I was in the favorable position, and she just burnt half a match... A large, blue, inflatable arch was coming into sight. There was no red flag (or flamme rouge). I was sure it was the finish. Jumping off her wheel and crossing under it first was a mistake. 1km was left. I felt silly for my mistake but determined to fight to the end. I was now on the front, and she was in my draft. With 275m to go, I stood up on my pedals and tried to start a long sprint, but the French rider used her momentum from riding behind me, and accelerated so fast out of my draft that I couldn't catch her before the line. She won. I got silver. I was a bit disappointed. But very happy at the same time.
|Ministre de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport : Marie Malavoy et Lex Albrecht. Jeux de la Francophonie. Nice, France|
|Lex Albrecht et chef de mission et coordonnateur sport de l’équipe du Québec, Éric Pilote.|
|La plus belle médaille que j'ai eu à vie! (Et du vernis à ongle qui s'agence avec l'uniform de l'équipe du Québec.. :) )|