24h Roller Montreal
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Sept 4 and 5, 2011
11:15 am | Il Peloton by four
Shankel-Kallisto's Leo Frusteri beat Il Peloton's Jesse Pauley in the final sprint. But it didn't matter.
Il Peloton still won the rain-shortened event by four laps.
In all, Il Peloton skaters pounded and splashed their way through 158 laps in 21 hours. That's 679 km, or 420 miles.
The Shankel-Kallisto team managed 154 laps to finish second, one lap ahead of third-place Roazhon Roller Team-Air Transat.
"We'd like to think that if it wasn't for all the crashes, we would have done better," says Shankel's manager Georg Nikodym of Mississauga, ON. "But we feel good."
In the early morning, Shankel got a scare when Roazhon Roller Team started posting quicker lap times. But eventually, the skaters for the top three teams — Il Peloton, Shankel and Roazhon — formed into a paceline, and from there on in, there was no change in the order of finish.
- Il Peloton 158 laps
- Shankel-Kallisto 154
- Roazhon Roller Team - Air Transat 153
- Les Rockets de Coop 151
- Big Wheel 149
The wet conditions resulted in lots of crashes. In one, Ron Tucker of the Skater's Quest White team reportedly broke his collar bone. "So I guess the organizers decided enough is enough," says Nikodym. "Lots of people didn't sign up for 18 hours of skating in the rain."
Nikodym said the wet conditions were especially hard on feet, causing a lot of extra blisters. But remarkably, bearings held up fine. "It was so wet that our bearings weren't able to rust," he said.
10:45 am | 15 minutes to go
10:28 am | Event shortened due to rain
The 24h Roller organizers announced this morning that they are shortening the event by three hours due to rain. "The weather conditions have meant that the race was reduced to a period 21 hours," they announced on their website.
More than an inch of rain fell during the night.
This means that the race will end in a half an hour.
Last report has Il Peloton three laps ahead and Shankel Kallisto one and a half laps ahead of the French team, Roazhan Roller.
1:17 am | Night skating and rain skating pics from Peter Doucet (updated 10:20 a.m.)
Night skating at the 24h Roller Montreal
10:50 pm | 8-hours plus
After nearly nine hours on the racecourse, Il Peloton maintains a two lap lead ahead of Schankel Kallisto.
To keep its edge, Il Peloton has revised it race strategy. Instead of rotating through two squads of five skaters, it has gone to a two skater rotation.
Currently, team members Constant Montpelier and Peter Doucet are trading laps. Each one skates one lap and then turns the baton over to the other. They will repeat this five times, logging 10 laps. Then they will turn over the baton to teammates Alex Fedak and Ty Fidler, who will do the same.
The idea is to keep warmed-up skaters on the racecourse. "If you rotate betwen five skaters, the skaters tend to get cold," Doucet says.
It rained in the afternoon and earlier in the evening, and the track is still wet. "But it's a beautiful evening," Doucet says. "Nice and warm."
Fatigue hasn't set in yet on the racecourse, Doucet says. "The energy level is pretty high. But we'll be feeling it by five or six in the morning."
8:02 pm | Leaders after four hours
Il Peloton has pulled ahead after the first four hours of racing and is two laps ahead of second-place Shankel Kallisto.
We learn from Speed Skate World that Shankel, which had been leading, suffered a setback when team member Adrian Loewn crashed after losing a frame mid-lap.
The 10-skater Il Peloton team has logged 33 laps.
At 4.3 km per lap, that's 141 kms.
The Roazhon Roller Team Air Transat team is in third place, right behind Shankel. Big Wheel Roller Montreal is in fourth
Here's the top ten after four hours:
- Il Peloton
- Schankel - Kallisto
- Roazhon Roller Team - Air Transat
- Big Wheel - Roller-Montreal
- Les Rockets de COOP
- Skater's Quest White
- Pentathlon des neiges
- Flying Fossils
- Horizon Roc
The organizer has posted the full list here.
3:30 pm | Photos from Peter Doucet (updated: 8:28 pm)
24h Roller Montreal album
2:50 pm | Underway
The Schankel Kallisto team has a 20 second lead after the first 50 minutes of skating. But need we say it ... a lot can happen in 23 hours and 10 minutes.
Il Peloton is in second place.
The race began with the traditional mass rolling start, led by Simon Clement, the event's executive director. Clement raced the inaugural 24h Roller in 2004, competing on hockey skates.
Each team has its own strategy for how to rotate its skaters.
Il Peloton split their 10-skater team into two squads of five each, says Peter Doucet. Team captain Sergio Almeralla led off the race for the first squad. After a lap, he handed the baton to short-track ice skater Steve Robillard. Robillard then handed off to the No. 3 skater, and so on until the No. 5 skater handed the baton back to Almeralla, and the rotation started over again.
This will go on for two hours. Then the second squad will take over.
During each 2-hour session, each squad member can expect to skate five or six 4.3-km laps, Doucet said.
Between 2-hour sessions, team members relax, "resting, eating, talking and visiting with other skaters," says Doucet. "It's a great time."
1:30 pm | Pre Race
With a half an hour to go before the start of the race, skaters are assembling for team photos and getting ready for the traditional group warmup lap.
The forecast is for showers or thunderstorms today and tonight — in other words, the usual challenging weather conditions for the 24h Roller. "But it's dry right now, and there's a big turnout," says Peter Doucet, who is skating on the powerful Il Peloton 24h team.
Doucet will be posting updates and photos on his website, Speed Skate World. So check their as well for race coverage.
Planet preview of the 24h Roller Montreal