Dr. Vie Tibco Joëlle Numainville from Montreal was a rockstar on the climbs at the GP Stad Roeselare in Belgium. Racing for the Canadian National Team, she crested the top of the Kemmelberg, the race’s hardest climb, just behind eventual race winner Amber Neben. We’re still waiting on official results but couldn’t hold off on bragging about her efforts. Congrats, Joëlle from all at home.
Rising like a monument from the rolling farmland of northern Belgium is the infamous climb known as the Kemmelberg. Named after the village of Kemmel on its eastern slopes, during World War One it was the scene of brutal slaughter. Now it is the focal point of the Gent-Wevelgem, one of the great Classics and whose two ascents of the Kemmelberg’s notorious cobbled pavement, or pavé, continue to court controversy. For if the riders must climb the Kemmel twice, they must also descend. With its 20 per cent gradient over unpredictable terrain, the Kemmelberg has witnessed some truly horrendous crashes, most recently in the Gent-Wevelgem of 2007.
But the race brings memories of the Kemmelberg’s violent past. Famous now for playing the pivotal role in a bike race, the Kemmelberg saw thousands die during the First World War. At 159 metres high the hill is a key strategic point, and it came under attack during the 1918 Spring offensive by the German army. It was held by the allies but later lost, and in the fighting more than 120,000 lives were lost. So many that their memory cannot be set aside from the Kemmelberg, and the hill is littered with stark reminders of their passing.
Yes the World Cup action began in April in Europe with the European Spring classics, and Canada’s women are on the start lines once again this year. Six women have been chosen to wear the maple leaf while racing across Belgium and Holland. Some have already tested themselves against the best women in the world at these classics last year and will no doubt share their experiences with the newcomers.
Dr. Vie athletes include Joelle Numainville (Montreal), Erinne Willock (Vancouver Island) and of course Alison Testroete (Vancouver-now based in Holland). Each of these young women are amazing athletes and role models for our youngsters indeed.
Whether it is over the cobbles in Drenthe, Netherlands or up the surprising hills of Belgium, each of the races has challenges the riders are looking forward to conquering. The team is staying at the European National Team base in Tielt-Winge, Belgium between races.
In USA Dr. Vie Team Tibco girl Samantha Schneider took the win in the Pro Women’s 1/2 race at the Whitnall Spring Classic in Wisconsin. She lapped the field with two breakaway companions before taking the field sprint to secure victory. Big weekend of local racing for Dr. Vie Team TIBCO before Gila and Speedweek!
Another podium for Dr. Vie Team TIBCO yesterday. Junior Alexis Ryan took third in the Pro Women’s 1/2/3 road race at Devil’s Punchbowl in Pearblossom, CA. Today she’ll race the Chuck Pontius Criterium in Valencia, CA.
Also yesterday Jennifer Wheeler rode her Specialized Bicycles Shiv to victory at the Pedal Dynamics Green Valley Time Trial in Auburn, WA. Congrats, Jen!
Our girls are doing great…..in Europe and North Americas the past week.
Congrats to all from Dr. Vie Team in Montreal.
Join our Team Tibco Dr. Vie girls in Gatineau 19-22 May 2011. Visit our tent, meet our girls, get some hot tips from them about fitness and cycling and more.
April 3: Tour of Flanders, UCI World Cup
April 4: Grand Prix de Dottignies, UCI 1.2
April 7-10: Van Lauwerszee tot Dollard tour, UCI 2.2
April 14: Drenthe 8, UCI 1.1
April 16: Ronde van Drenthe, UCI World Cup
April 17: Ronde van Gelderland, UCI 1.2
April 23: EPZ Omloop van Borsele WE, UCI 1.2
April 24: Grand Prix Stad Roeselare, UCI 1.1
April 29 : Grand Prix de la Ville de Luxembourg, Team Time Trial
April 30: Grand Prix Elsy Jacobs, UCI 1.1
May 1: Grand Prix Nicolas Frantz, UCI 1.1