Euro Beat w/ Spencer

So I have had a recent suggestion to take my weekly posts in a new direction. Instead of focusing on solely on what I am doing, I will try to explore the more general features of the European peloton as it surrounds me. Feedback, however, would be greatly appreciated and would help me find a solid topic base.
In the past as I have been detailing my schedule and racing, I have neglected to mention much about my team. I talked about its situation as a Division Nationale 1 team and what this entails, but not much else. I will take the opportunity now, to go into much more detail about the team.
Creusot Cyclisme, located in Le Creusot, is the only high level team in the town. Situated in the Bourgogne (or Burgundy in English) region, it is one of two DN1 level teams in this area. The other team, Sprinter Club Olympique Dijon (commonly known as SCO Dijon) is one of the best in France with a few riders, such as Jeremie Derangere, competing for the top amateur spot. The history of Creusot Cyclisme dates back to 1922 with the formation of La Pédale Sportive Creusotin. The club rose to prominence over the next 83 years becoming the top club in Bourgogne. In 2005 La Pédale Sportive Creusotin became Creusot Cyclisme and restructured with a focus on competition, development and organisation. In the past 3 years the team has continued to progress, furthering its position in the Coupe de France Clubs team classification.
The team has varying levels as do many teams in France. At the top level is the Category 1 team which competes in primarily in Elite National races and high level regional races. The Category 2 team races mostly medium to high level regional races, with the occasional Elite National races. The junior team can compete along with the Cat. 1 or 2 riders in many regional races, but are barred from Elite National. There are also national junior races which they compete in. The team begins young where the “Ecole de Cyclisme” brings up young kids on the bike. They ride mostly for fun as a part of their schooling, but it helps in the development of athletes who may later ride for a higher level on the team.

The team at the higher levels consists of 12 Cat. 1 riders: Bartosz Banach (Poland), Stéphane Benetiere, Nicolas Bourdillat, Loïc Breugniot, Emilien Broe, Franck Brucci, Aymeric Brunet, David De Vecchi, Cyril Lecler, Yannick Martinez, Jean-Cristophe Peraud, and Anthony Tevenot. The 7 Cat. 2 riders are: Fabrice Bost, Cedric Charles, Jérémy Lourenco, Simon Raymond, Spencer Smitheman, Lionel Joblot, and Romain Taricco. Between these 19 riders, the selection for the bigger races is made.

On a personal note, I will mention a few things. Last weekend’s race, Le Boucle de Troncais, found me in an improved state, albeit, not my best form. I finished at the front of the peloton while three of my teammates broke away to fill the podium. The two days after the race, my coach Andy and I were training in the Alps. The riding, which included Lac Annecy and Mont Revard provided spectacular scenery despite the latter taking place in a cold rain. I raced again on Thursday, the 1st. It was a 90 km criterium and proved to be a good race for me as I broke away with a group of 9 other riders. I felt strong and finished 7th. This weekend I race the Tour du Mirebellois, a stage race near Dijon. I am excited for my first flat time-trial of the season.

-Spencer

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One Response to “Euro Beat w/ Spencer”

  1. Jeff Barnes Says:

    Spencer – thanks for the posting. Good luck in your racing there. And yes, the climbs in the Chartreuse mountains are great, endless supply of them. The one climb I didn’t do in that area is the Col de la Grand Columbiere…it’s supposed to be a brute. 4 chevrons on the Michelin map. How long are you there for?

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