Keller’s Guadeloupe diary
by Herman Keller
Hermann Keller (right) and his teammates at the Tour de Guadeloupe | Image: Embrace The World
07.08.2022 | (rsn) – Hello everyone, today is the first road stage of the tour of Guadeloupe (2.2) after yesterday’s open time trial. This was held in the eastern part of the island for 156 kilometers. Arriving at the starting point – we cycled about 7 kilometers to the center of the island’s capital Point-a-Pitre – we were really wet for the first time. After a short intermission, the start was cleared and after a few attacks, the two drivers were able to pull away.
The first part of the stage is quite stressful because everyone is still very fresh and can see the gap in the field. The pace was very high, the roads were partly wet and every now and then we reached the edge of the wind with a good easterly wind. But no one can truly destroy, which gives me hope. My plan was to compete in the plateau classification of the day to be able to wear the mountain jersey tomorrow. However, a short time later, two sports fans got up and left.
However, both were asked after about half of the stage, so “my” mountain shirt is within reach. When I finished this thought, the two colleagues hurried away, but luckily Decided to classify the mountains by myself. However, the rider who won the mountain classification left a lot of seeds behind after a short time he returned to the field, which until then was dominated by the leader’s team (Guillaume Dauschy / Premier Tech, ie editor) is controlled.
However, there is still no sign of others and when we are told that we are still almost two minutes ahead with a good 30 kilometers to go, although the yellow jersey has started to help in the track work. 30 kilometers before the finish line, the Italian continental team Corratec also joined. We think this may happen while they are playing against the Serbian champions (Dusan Rajovic, ie editor) have many fast sprinters in their ranks. The pace is very high and so I strongly assume that it will be a mass run for victory.
The road to the finish, which we can see in advance on the first road, is a slight wave with a few curves on a narrow road. Unfortunately, I am here alone, because my colleagues are flawed, not fully adjusted, or we lose each other. So I had to try to muddle through somehow and took advantage of the opportunity in the chicane and pushed myself directly behind the Corratec sprinter.
After the final 90 degree corner, a good 400 meters from the finish, the sprint began – to my delight. The Serbs cast me as an excellent leader. When I started to pass, I already had victory in my mind, but unfortunately, only for a short time because I had a clear view of the remaining fugitives (Florian Rapiteau, ie editor) see. He was able to save four seconds to finish.
The disappointment about the lack of victory was greater for my Serbian colleagues than for me. In fact, so big, while I drove by I saw him Sit down and just stop pedaling out of the corner of my eye. I won the sprint of the field and was second, the Serb was thirty. A good result, but of course I would like to win – and get a mountain shirt! But I have to say clearly, after solo 50 kilometers, it is a well-deserved victory for French sports fans.
Instead of a mountain jersey, tomorrow I can start in the jersey of the most active rider. I came here as a virgin with children because of the following constellation: the solo winner, who was awarded with it, wears the green jersey. The shoulder of his escaped colleague, who might otherwise have received it, was occupied by a mountain shirt. And at least one of the first two people who escaped wearing the orange jersey of the middle distance race.
We had a wonderful surprise after the award ceremony. Out of the corner of our eyes, we saw the driver’s bus and the van pulled out of its wheels. So we had no choice but to slip into our dirty and wet clothes again and cycle another 30km back to the hotel – again, of course, in the rain.
Finishing the first mountain awaits us tomorrow. Here are the “flat experts”, like Fabian, Thomas and I will try to get our “part of the mountain” (Oli, Scott and hopefully Marcel) into the final climb well. We are looking forward to the first exchange between the aspirants for overall victory and of course we also hope to be able to participate as far as possible.
I may have to say a final goodbye to the mountain jersey for this edition of the Tour de la Guadeloupe, since the final climb consists of three mountain categories in categories three, two and one. I think that before the first category 3 mountain classification my sails are painted, folded and contain.