Sunday, February 19, 2006
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Report
WIC Incheon
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   City Circuit Incheon, S. Korea
   Monday, June 06, 2005

 

For the second time this season the SAAB Salomon World Team returned to Korea to participate in the sixth stage of the World Inline Cup.  First Seoul then Taiwan, and now June 5th, 2005, the guys participated in the Incheon Marathon. 

As always, impeccable Korean organization - the event took place on a highway close to the airport.  The highway, running 11km next to the sea, allowed for two large laps during the race.  Numerous races were scheduled during this event. 

For example, an 11km and a 21km fitness race, the 42km race as well as a slalom competition and various Inline shows. 





All in all, the event brought about 6000 skaters together; adults as well as children came to rub shoulders with the famous athletes and to have fun on skates at their own pace.  The teams showed up two hours early to prepare and to figure out the track, as this race is one of the new additions to the World Inline Cup calendar. 

The women race took off at 9:35 and the men at 9:40.  After a somewhat surprising mens start without a clear kick-off, the tempo was quickly established within the pack.  11km on a flat highway, wind pushing from behind40km/h then 45 km/h the heading pack got up to 47km/h!! A strong cadence which clearly separated the elite skaters from the ones running for national teams. 

The way back was a different storywind blowing in their faces, the highway flat, yet a bit on the rise; in the excruciating heat, the skaters had to work much harder to keep up the rhythm; this part of the race became much more physical than the beginning. 

Each team took their turn at the head of the pack leading the race: SAAB Salomon, Rollerblade, Fila, Bont and some Korean teams. 

A few attacks and escapes here and there, but with no real results. It was obviously difficult to keep the speed up against the wind.  Everything was played out in the second part of the race.  After 22 kilometers, a 12 skater escape was formed: Pascal Briand (SAAB Salomon), Alexis Contin (Rollerblade), Massi Presti (Fila), Pier Davide Romani (SAAB Salomon), Shane Dobbin (Rollerblade), Francesco Zangarini (Bont) and some Korean skaters. 

Later, Jorge Botero (Rollerblade) and Baptiste Grandgirard (Fila) succeed in reaching this escape as well.  The pack behind, through small successive attacks closed in on the pack ahead. 

Ten kilometres before the finish line, Franck Cardin (SAAB Salomon), Thomas Boucher (SAAB Salomon), Diego Rosero (Rollerblade), Wouter Hebbrecht (Bont) and Tristan Loy (MX team) also decided to join the leading group.  Unfortunately for them, they never succeeded to really integrate and escape ahead of the leading pack. 

At the same time Shane Dobbin, Jorge Botero and Massi Presti took an initiative and attacked; a risky and decisive move that helped these three cross the finish line in the first three places. 

Despite Jorge Boteros fall, caused by a cramp during the last few meters, the podiums were distributed to:1 Massi Presti, 2 Jorge Botero, 3 Shane Dobbin.  The pack that followed, allowed Thomas Boucher (SAAB Salomon) to take the sixth place and Pascal Briand (SAAB Salomon) to finish 9th. 

The womens race finished with the first three places for Rollerblade and a close fourth for Nicole Begg from the Swiss Saab Salomon team.  As this very physical race in the unbearable heat of Incheon comes to an end, the skaters will need to recuperate and start preparing for the Sembach and Dijon races coming up soon!

Results

1. Mass Presti - Fila
2. Jorge Botero - Rollerblade
3. Shane Dobbin - Rollerblade
4. Wouter Hebbrecht - Bont
5. Diego Rosero - Rollerblade
6. Thomas Boucher - Saab Salomon
7. Tristan Loy - MX Team
8. Luca Saggiorato - Fila
9. Pascal Briand - Saab Salomon
10. Francesco Zangarini - Bont

 

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