C Canada’s Dus­sault 4th at Transcon­ti­nen­tal Race

Pedal Magazine - - Out In Front - BY JOHN SYMON

ana­dian rider Ge­of­froy Dus­sault (@team­gris) fin­ished the ex­treme, un­sup­ported 4,000km 2017 PEdAL ED Transcon­ti­nen­tal Race from Bel­gium to Greece in fourth place. His re­sult was even more re­mark­able as Dus­sault was hit by a car in Italy. His bi­cy­cle sus­tained dam­age but luck­ily he was un­in­jured.

Dus­sault, pre­vi­ously with Garneau-Que­becor, left Bel­gium on July 28 and cov­ered the

4,000km jour­ney in 10 days, reach­ing the fin­ish line in Greece on Aug. 7. The race was won by Bri­tish rider James Hay­den, who fin­ished on Aug. 6 with a time of eight days, 23 hours and 14 min­utes. It was the race’s fifth an­nual stag­ing.

The in­ci­dent in Italy oc­curred on Aug. 1 and caused Dus­su­alt on­go­ing me­chan­i­cal prob­lems dur­ing the rest of his ride. Only a few days ear­lier, the tragic death of Dutch par­tic­i­pant Frank Si­mons stunned ev­ery­one, as some re­ports sug­gested he was the vic­tim of a hit-and-run driver.

“Frank Si­mons’ death in the early hours of this race is a tragedy that has af­fected the cy­cling com­mu­nity deeply, and will con­tinue to af­fect ev­ery­one close to the Transcon­ti­nen­tal for a long time to come,” read a state­ment on the event web­site.

The dam­age to Dus­sault’s bike was ad­dressed ini­tially by a bike shop in Italy. “Philippe and his team suc­ceeded in restor­ing my rear wheel so that it is func­tional,” wrote Dus­sault on Face­book. Later, he needed a re­place­ment wheel and a “clan­des­tine” bike shop in Slo­vakia in­stalled a moun­tain bike wheel com­pat­i­ble with his road bike.

The 300 rid­ers who par­tic­i­pated in this year’s event were free to choose their own itin­er­ar­ies but had to pass fixed con­trol points. Dus­sault trav­elled from Ger­aards­ber­gen, Bel­gium, head­ing for Schloss Licht­en­stein, mak­ing the 600km trip to the first con­trol in less than 24 hours.

The next con­trol point was Se­monzo, Italy, where Dus­sault ar­rived at 10:56 a.m. on July

31. From there he headed for The High Ta­tras, Slo­vakia. where he ar­rived at 9:12 on Aug. 3, fol­lowed by a stop in Ro­ma­nia at 3:43 p.m. on Aug. 5. He fi­nally reached the fin­ish at the Me­te­ora Monas­ter­ies near Kalam­baka, Greece, at 10 p.m. on Aug. 7.

Dus­sault planned his route, mak­ing ho­tel reser­va­tions along the way, but gen­er­ally

“dined” at gas sta­tions to save time. A ma­jor chal­lenge was hot weather of about 40° C and he had to drink a lot of wa­ter to pre­vent heat­stroke.

Dus­sault’s girl­friend awaited him at the fin­ish in Me­te­ora and the cou­ple spent a few days re­lax­ing in Greece be­fore head­ing back to Que­bec City. Dus­sault says his next big chal­lenge is to start a fam­ily.

Dus­sault cel­e­brates with his girl­friend at the fin­ish in Greece.

Que­bec’s Ge­of­froy Dus­sault claimed fourth over­all at the 4,000km Transcon­ti­nen­tal Race in Europe.

A shop helped re­pair Dus­sault’s wheel af­ter he was hit by a car in Italy.

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