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Home Foreign races reports Tour de Guyane 2009
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Diary from Guyane part 7

A queen stage, 120km long, awaited us today. Start city being the capital, Cayenne, and finish in a town of Regina in the direction to Brazil. Overall classification as well as stage results have been uploaded to the race calendar 2009 section, a photogallery will follow soon.

Since I knew the hills are coming and I also knew I was not going to last long in the peloton in the mountains, I decided to be active in the beginning of the stage. This decision was also good for the publicity of our team due to a live RFO coverage on TV. I got today's newspaper and was nicely surprised with the photo from yesterday's sprint – I had a nicer picture in the sprint than the winner. Because of yesterday's sprint and also the following publicity, media started to be interested more in our team. After few unsuccessful attempts I finally succeeded in breaking away from the peloton. Just me and the German Rammler. Well, not exactly the type of rider I was hoping for since he's really strong and thus dangerous. Remember he came second in the time-trial the other day. Peloton is chasing after us. Rammler being strong in time-trials doesn't have a problem setting his tempo to almost 50km/h what causes me quite some pain in my legs with the front wind. There's an intermediate sprint ahead of us, at 12km. I could have outsprinted Rammler without any problem, but I let him past first as he's riding better than me and it just didn't seem fair to me to sprint with him in these conditions. I take 3 points in the sprint. Peloton reaches us soon after. There's no real racing until the first climb – speed is constant and high enough so as to prevent anyone from breaking-away from the peloton. We pass a military control point and that's about where the civilization also ends. Behind the control check point, only a newly asphalted road with jungle on the left and even some more jungle on the right. After the first 3km climb the peloton is torn to pieces. As I get on the top of the second one, I turn and see there's a big group behind me, including maybe some 30 riders longing to survive this stage. I know it'll hurt less in this group, so I drop off voluntarily from the small group I was in at the moment and wait for my grupetto companions. There are still plenty of small climbs ahead of us, but none of it dangerous – they are all steep but short. Also yesterday's stage winner Marc Joseph is here along with his team-mates who try to set the right pace for him. Great. I have nothing to worry about till the finish, I will just follow the Velo Club Guyanais guys who are to do all the work for the rest of the group today. They are not riding hard in the climbs either, so really a nice ride, kind of calm down. I take my time to even observe the countryside. There are still 3 hard days ahead of us, so I better save all the energy I can for the stages that suit me best. I have nothing to loose by staying in the last group as I'm way far in the back in the general classification. There are burned car wrecks all along the road leading to the Brazil border. Poor Brazilians rob passing cars and later burn the wrecks here. It's not very safe to visit this place on one's on, hence the police car with every group of cyclists. Cyclists get regroupped in bigger groups after the two bigger hills in the middle of the stage. 29 people finishe in the leading group. French rider wins the stage and Daniel Korevaar finishes 24th. Second group arrives 12 minutes later with the yellow-jersey Leusen with and our group of 30 people comes with a 21 minute gap. Leussen didn't protect his yellow-jersey and a guadeloupeen Martial Gene claims it after today's stage. I move to a 3rd place in the Combined sprints competition after adding todays' 3 points to my score including stage finishes, sprints and overall classification. We eat our lunch in a tiny little village of Regina in the middle of a jungle. The village has about 130 inhabitants and there’s also a small army airport. That's about the village and it’s surroundings. I get to learn there are many wild tribes living in the jungle. No one really knows how many of them is hiding themselves in the jungle and no one really cares. Why should they. This really is the end of the world. We take a short pee break on our way back to the hotel. We stop by a river where local kids were swimming and splashing around, playing. Suddenly we see a crocodile not too far from the kids. We all shout to the kids and try to point their attention towards the crocodile. They don't seem to care, they continue their having fun and as they only scream back to us their“Ca va”, we get back on the bus. It surely is wild here. In the past years, the stage finish used to be on the Brazilian border where the population is higher, slightly more inhabited. This middle part of the newly rebuild road is really deserted. From time to time we see a person walking out of the jungle that waves to us, but that's about it, no real population, no real towns or villages.

Tomorrow we have a stage after lunch, leading from Montsinery to the own of space centre, Kourou. It's on a sea shore and pretty densely populated due to an important army headquaters. Lot's of white people live in the city in general. When I was here for the first time back in 2006, I remember meeting a local woman telling me she used to live 2 years in Slovakia as her husband is some kind of special automotive engineer. So PSA hired him as a specialist and he was appointed in Trnava for 2 years. World is small.

The French team Sarthe Joulais have a really nicely updated website covering this race. Check it out, there are even some videos to watch – mostly downloaded from RFO.

Thoroughtful analysis of optimal position on the bike provided by BG FIT technology, by BIKEPRO BANKÁ BYSTRICA.

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