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Recap | Men's Race Twincam's Eddy Matzger proved today that he still has what it takes to win a world-class race.
Six years after his last win in the New York 100K, the 43-year-old veteran rolled away from a world-class field to win the race in commanding fashion.
Among those he left behind today were 2010 Olympic gold medalist Olivier Jean and several former world champions, including Jorge Botero, Luca Presti and Francesco Zangarini.
"Eddy was strong today," said Speed Skate World's Peter Doucet, who finished seventh or eighth. "He was climbing really well."
Matzger of Floyd, VA was part of a large lead pack that formed at the start of the race. Among the early leaders were Doucet, K2/Empire's Francisco Ramirez and Itay's Andrea Bighin.
But Matzger was never far from the front. "I was determined to be a major animator today," Matzger said after the race.
During the middle of the race, Powerslide's Jorge Botero appeared to be taking control, putting in hard pulls at the front of the pack.
But Doucet, fighting hard for NROC and prem points, twice tried to get away on solo breakaways.
Matzger also went on a flyer. But no one was able to get away as the pack splintered and the distance wore out the skaters.
Finally, with three laps — about 15 kilometers — to go, Matzger took off.
"I was listening to everyone breathing and when they started breathing hard, I knew it was time to go," he said.
Ezeefit's Olivier Jean and Italy's Luca Presti went with them. After another two laps, Presti dropped back and it was just Matzger and Jean — the inline veteran and the Olympic short track gold medalist — contending for the victory.
Going up the final hill, Matzger left the Olympian behind and and went on to win by about a minute.
"It was sweet coming across the finish," Matzger said. "It was like eating cake."
It was Matzger's seventh New York 100K victory, but his first since 2004.
Jean finsihed second; Presti was third.
Women's race | Today's women's race was steady but fast — less about tactics than endurance.
A small lead pack of seven skaters formed at the start of the race and stuck together with few attempts at breakaways. "It wasn't a very active race," said Speed Skate World's Morgane Echardour. "But it was pretty fast.
The hard pace whittled away at the pack. Midway through the race, only six women remained: Echardour, K2/Empire's Karin Gabriel, and three Asphalt Beach skaters: Jessica Wright, Candy Wong and Nadine Currie Jackson.
But soon Wong dropped back, then Wright. And finally, with just four laps (20 kilometers) to go, Jackson also fell behind the leaders.
"The last three laps, it was just Karin and I, and we pushed it," said Echardour, who finished second in last year's 100K.
"The last laps … oh, man! … I was hurting. My feet were cramped. My legs were so heavy. At that point, it was just mental ... who could push through the pain and keep going."
The two women stayed together until the final two hundred meters. At that point, they slowed down and positioned themselves side by side for the sprint. "Then Karin started to go," said Echardour. "I was behind her for 100 meters and then I pushed really hard and passed her."
Echardour, 22, of Mississauga, Ontario finished ahead of Gabriel by 10 meters.
Her time of 3 hours and 30 minutes was 20 minutes faster than last year's winning time.
Gabriel was second. Jackson finsihed a few minutes later to claim third.
11:15 am | Echadour wins women's race: Speed Skate World's Morgane Echardour, last year's NROC champ, wins the sprint to claim victory in the New York 100K.
Finishing just behind her is K2/Empire's Karin Gabriel, who won the race in 2006.
Asphalt Beach's Nadine Currie Jackson rolls across the line later to claim third place.
10:35 am | Matzger wins: Twincam's Eddy Matzger is all alone as he wins the New York 100K, finishing at least a minute ahead of Ezeefit's Olivier Jean, second.
Italy's Marco Nuvolara is third.
The field sprint arrives about a minute later. It appears Speed Skate World's Peter Doucet arrives first to claim fourth. Next is Ezeefit's Luis Carlos Mejia, followed by Powerslide's Jorge Botero.
10:35 am | Matzger, Jean: Twincam's Eddy Matzger and Ezeefit's Olivier Jean are 30 seconds ahead with one lap to go.
10:26 am | Breakaway sticks ... so far: With two laps to go, Twincam's Eddy Matzger is at the head of a tight pack of three skaters. Just behind him is Italy's Marco Nuvolara, followed by Ezeefit's Olivier Jean.
They are 50 seconds ahead of the chase pack.
10:13 am | New leaders: Ezeefit's Olivier Jean, an Olympic gold medalist on ice, is in the lead. Just behind him is Twincam's Eddy Matzger and Italy's Marco Nuvolara.
They are 28 seconds ahead of the pack, lead by Peter Doucet and Jorge Botero.
The men have three laps to go.
The women's lead pack comes by with five laps to go. It's the same group — Morgane Echardour, Jessica Wright, Nadine Currie Jackson and Karin Gabriel — minus Candy Wong, who dropped back.
10:07 am | Doucet again: Speed Skate World's Peter Doucet doesn't quit. He's back in the lead again, several seconds ahead of the pack with four laps to go.
It's gotten quite humid and crowded on the racecourse with skaters sharing the road with cyclists, runners and walkers.
9:57 am | Eddy off the front: Twincam's Eddy Matzger is attacking off the front of the lead pack at the end of Lap 14. He's 30 feet ahead of the lead pack, which is thinning out ehind him.
Speed Skate World's Peter Doucet and Ezeefit's Olivier Jean are going after Matzger.
But ... "Eddy is hurting them going up the hill," says Asphalt Beach's Steve Larios.
Adams Inline's Ty Fidler has fallen back into the chase pack. He's leading the NROC pro open men's division but will have to finish strong to prevent Peter Doucet from claiming the title.
9:50 am | Women's lead pack: Speed Skate World's Morgane Echardour leads the women's pack with eight laps to go. There are six women left in the pack, among them K2/Empire's Karin Gabriel and three Asphalt Beach women: Candy Wong, Nadine Currie Jackson and Jessica Wright.
9:40 am | Doucet caught: The pack catches Peter Docuet on the twelth lap. Everyone's together again. Eight laps to go.
9:30 am | Solo breakaway: Speed Skate World's Peter Doucet takes off on a solo breakaway. He finishes the eleventh lap 30 seconds ahead of the pack. Doucet needs lots of points today if he hopes to catch Ty Fidler for the NROC crown.
There are at least 15 men left in the lead pack. A second pack is another 15 seconds back.
9:20 am | Marathon: K2/Empire's Gustavo Naula wins the full marathon. Nikko Ramkissoon is second.
K2/Empire's Nicole Bischoff wins the women's marathon.
Powerslide's Jorge Botero and Luis Carlos Mejia lead the 100K.
Roger Olson just relayed the news of a nasty crash on the backside of the race course, involving some non-pros. Apparently an ambulance has been called.
9:10 am | Video: Men's lead pack goes by followed by drafting cyclists.
9:00 am | Botero's power: Powerslide's Jorge Botero leads the charge as the men's pack reels in the breakaway.
After the reunion, the pack lets off the gas a little. Among the leaders are the Cado Motus twins, James and Christopher Springer, and Ezeefit's Olivier Jean.
They've finished nine laps, nine to go.
8:40 am | End of Lap 5: A four man breakaway — Andrea Bighin, Peter Doucet , Luis Carlos Mejia and Luis Moreno — gets away on the fifth lap and finish the lap with a 30 second lead.
The main pack is now splintering into two groups. The front group of about 15 men includes Eddy Matzger.
Asphalt Beach's Hernan Diaz, who is leading NROC veteran's division, has dropped back into the second group.
8:20 am | Another prem lap: Andrea Bighin win's the sprint for the prem points at the end of the fifth lap. Nikko Ramkissoon is second.
Speed Skate World's Morgane Echardour wins the women's prem sprint ... again.
8:01 am | Second lap: It's a fast pace. "They're smokin'," says Asphalt Beach's Steve Larios. The lead pack finishes the second lap in a time of 18 minutes and 10 seconds.
Speed Skate World's Peter Doucet and Ezeefit's Olivier Jean are among the leaders.
7:52 am | First lap: K2/Empire Speed's Francisco Ramirez is at the front of a large lead pack at the end of the first lap. A second, smaller pack is about 10 seconds back, followed by some stragglers and then the pro women, all together.
7:39 am | The start: They are starting the race in waves. ... The pro men go first, starting with an easy rolling start on the incline.
Then the pro women go. They are a much smaller group than the men, about 15 and they rush the first hill.
Then they start the advanced field ... a lot of first-timers. There are about a hundred.
The turnout appears to be larger this year.
Finally, they start the rec skaters, about 75 of them.
The 100K skaters will do 19 laps on the hilly course through Prospect Park; the full marathoners will do 8 laps.
7 am | Scene: It's a beautiful morning in Brooklyn. Warm and dry. "There's a good crowd here," says Asphalt Beach's Steve Larios, who won't be skating due to a broken collar bone. "A great crowd."
It's the finale of the 2010 National Roller Cup and lots of titles are on the line, including the top men's and women's open divisions.
Among the skaters are: Adams Inline's Ty Fidler and Speed Skate World's Peter Doucet, who are vying for first place in the men's open division; Speed Skate World's Morgane Echardour, and Candy Wong and Nadine Currie Jackson, both of Asphalt Beach, vying for the women's NROC title.
One newcomer to the race is Ezeefit's Olivier Jean, a gold medalist in Vancouver Olympic Games and the winner of this year's Montreal Roller.
Of course, Twincam's Eddy Matzger is warming up. He's probably never missed the New York 100K.
Other skaters include:
Asphalt Beach's Jessica Wright, Bob Harwell, Robert Clare, Ron Tucker (marathon), Hernan Diaz;
Adams Inline's Dave Swan and David Sarmiento;
Skaters Quest's Arimboh Achu, Brian Oswald, Ron Tucker and Joe Webber;
Schankel Canada's Scott Pauley, Leo Frusteri and Morgan Williams;
Powerslide's Jorge Botero and Tony Muse;
Max Muscle's Michael Mullery;
Ezeefit's Luis Carlos Mejia, Steve Robillard and Roger Olson (marathon).
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