Printed: Thursday, February 23, 2006
WIC Rennes
   City Streets Rennes, FRA
   Sunday, May 22, 2005


Another podium for the Saab Salomon world team! 



This was definitely not the easiest race to finish second in! Having to race with a team temporarily reduced by two members, the Saab Salomon team showed an excellent physical and mental preparation and proved to the world that they can really race under any circumstances!

Rennes is a very particular World Inline Cup event as the urban circuit differs largely from the Swiss race tracks around lakes, and it is also longer than most races (50km for men)also, you can almost be sure it will rain at some point during the race!

It was on this uncommon, yet well secured urban track that our skaters competed last Sunday; And of course, as each year, the 19 lap circuit was animated by episodes of pouring rain.

In order to put pressure on the other teams, and to attempt a quick escape, Frank Cardin (SAAB Salomon) imposed an impressive rhythm from the very beginning.  Pouring rain caused countless dangerous falls which forced many skaters to surrender all their efforts, and abandon the race.

Four skaters were able to break away from the rest of the group during the 5th lap. Franck Cardin (SAAB Salomon), Alexis Contin (Rollerblade), Christoph Luginbuhl (Bont) et Shane Dobin (Rollerblade) quickly got 45 seconds ahead of the pack.

Despite the repeated attempts from the Rollerblade team-mates to leave Franck and Christoph behind, the four stuck together far ahead of the rest of the pack.

Three laps from the finish line, a second pack created with the purpose of catching the four escapees before the final sprint.  This pack was composed of Pascal Briand (SAAB Salomon), Jorge Botero (Rollerblade), Marc Christen (Bont), Massi Presti (Fila) and Mikael Lannezval (Inline Center).  Unfortunately for them, they only got the chance to compete for the 5th through 9th places as Franck Cardins group was over a minute ahead!!

The final sprint for the first place was played out between Salomon, Rollerblade and Bont, with a two person advantage for Rollerblade.  Francks experience and incontestable strength under trying weather conditions worked in his favour.  He came out of the final turn shoulder to shoulder with Alexis Contin.  It all happened in the final meters of the race...Alexis crossed the finish line first, leaving the second place to Franck just a few milliseconds behind.

A more than praiseworthy finish for Franck seeing as this time he was only one out of three and not five yellows..
Pascal Briand (SAAB Salomon) came in 9th and Pier Davide Romani (SAAB Salomon) 11th.

In other exciting news:



The womens race saw the return of the strong and beautiful Pia Knecht (Saab Salomon Switzerland), who dominated the entire race and with a one one-woman escape took the first place.







Also, five minutes before the race, Mickael Bourgain, the Cycling vice World Champion in individual speed, organized a challenge with one of the skaters to show the similarities of these two sports.  This was his way of showing that he believes in the Inline Skating Olympic dream. 

Men's Results:

1

01:31:22 

CONTIN ALEXIS

2

01:31:22

CARDIN FRANCK

3

01:31:23

DOBBIN SHANE

4

01:31:24

LUGINBUHL CHRISTOPH

5

01:32:32

CHRISTEN MARC

6

01:32:33

PRESTI MASSIMILIANO

7

01:32:33

BOTERO JORGE

8

01:32:33

LANNEZVAL MIKAEL

9

01:32:33

BRIAND PASCAL

10

01:33:22

PRESTI LUCA

11

01:33:22

GUYADER YANN

12

01:33:22

ROMANI PIERRE DAVIDE

 

 












Women's Results:

1

01:20:44

KNECHT PIA

2

01:21:56

BARBOTIN NATHALIE

3

01:21:56

LARDANI LAURA

4

01:21:57

BEGG NICOLE

5

01:22:00

GLOOR NADINE

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