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Live Blog: Marathon Roller Montreal, 2012

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June 9, 2012

Planet report

Photos of the Marathon Roller Montreal

Marathon Roller Montreal, 2012

Top 20

  1. Christopher Fiola
  2. Jesse Pauley
  3. Constant Montpellier
  4. Marc-Olivier Lemay
  5. Alex Fedak
  6. Miguel Angel Diaz Lopez
  7. Jerome Comtois-Urbain
  8. Peter Doucet
  9. Morgan Williams
  10. Brian Oswald
  11. Philippe Clément
  12. Simon Clement
  13. Sergio Almeralla
  14. Marc Belanger
  15. Martine Charbonneau
  16. Cédrik Blais
  17. Devin Firek
  18. Eric Gee
  19. Morgane Echardour
  20. Jonathan Royer

10:25 am | Youngster wins (updated at 11:30 am with more about the winners)

Fifteen-year-old Christopher Fiola broadcast the emergence of a strong new field of Canadian skaters today with his win in the Marathon Roller Montreal.

The Montreal teen finished the race 12 seconds ahead of the pack that contained many of the veteran skaters who have dominated Canadian skate racing for years.

Fiola's time was 1 hour, 10 minutes and 35 seconds.

"They were catching him a little at the end," says Stephane Charron. "He saw them and decided to give all the energy he had, and he sprinted and did a hawk at the line."

Shift Racing's Jesse Pauley was second; Il Peloton's Constant Montpellier, third.

Another young Canadian skater, Marc Olivier Lemay, 13, of Montreal, finished fourth. Simmons' Alex Fedak of Oklahoma was fifth.

Field sprint video

Charbonneau wins again

VRAM's Martine Charbonneau, tucked away in the lead pack, won the women's race with a time of 1 hour, 10 minutes and 54 seconds.

Calvano's Morgane Echardour finished three minutes later with a time of 1:14:09.

Shift Racing's Shannon Hegarty finished six minutes later to claim third place in the women's race.

Charbonneau, a 34-year-old graphic designer from Montreal, also won the race last year. But the results were clouded due to confusion over the number of laps skated. Most of the racers, including Charbonneau and Echardour, thought they had one more lap to skate after crossing the finish line. So they did not sprint to the line.

More about Christopher Fiola

The young winner of today's marathon is a French Canadian who hopes one day to compete in the Olympics.

He trains with the VRAM inline speed skating club — indoors in the winter and outdoors in the summer — and with a short-track ice team.

"He is probalby a future Olympian on ice," Charron says.

And he is an inline commuter. "He travels all round the city on his inline skates to get to his ice practices," Charron says. "He is very passionate about skating."

One of his teammates is Juan Diego Zuluaga, the 13-year-old who finished fifth in last year's race. "He skates all the time with Juan Diego."

Both Fiola and Zuluaga were injured at practice Thursday night. In the crash, Fiola broke his helmet and was slightly injured but insisted on racing today.

Fiola and other young Canadian skaters have been inspired by the success of Olivier Jean, an Olympic gold medalist in short-track ice skating who also trains and races on inline skates.

"We have a lot of young skaters now who are doing inline," Charron says. "Everybody can see that doing inline is good for short track. Young skaters see that and they want to be like Olivier."

10:15 am | Last lap

VRAM's Christopher Fiola, 15, of Montreal broke away from the pack and had a lead of at least 400 meters as he started the final lap.

"He alone. He's gone. I don't think they can catch him," says Stephane Charron.

Jérôme Comtois Urbain, 23, is pulling the chase pack.

The order of women has changed.

VRAM's Martine Charbonneau is the only woman left in the lead pack. Morgane Echardour has dropped back.

9:54 am | Breakaway caught

The pack finally caught the breakaway. But then Miguel Lopez and Constant Montpellier took off on one of their own.

Simmon's Devin Firek pulled the pack hard until it caught the two. Then Firek's teammate, Alex Fedak, took off on his own. But he wasn't able to hold the lead and was quickly reabsorbed into the pack.

Roller Montreal's Jérôme Comtois Urbain, 23, is skating at the front of the pack, which has dwindled to 25 skaters.

There are six laps to go.

Calvano Racing's Morgane Echardour is tucked into the lead pack ahead of VRAM's Martine Charbonneau. They are the two top women.

"Both of the women are in very good shape," says Stephane Charron."So It's going to be very close."

Lead pack early in the race

9:35 am | Almeralla and Firek

Il Peloton's Sergio Almeralla and Devin Firek, a new member of the Simmons Racing team, are still off on a breakaway. But they are only three seconds ahead of the chase pack of 25 skaters.

They have skated five laps on the 3-kilometer road course. They have nine laps left to go.

9:08 am | Almeralla jumps to the lead

Il Peloton's Sergio Almeralla jumps to the lead on the first lap of the 2012 Marathon Roller Montreal. With him, about 100 meters in front of the pack, is Devin Firek, a member of the 2011 U.S. World Team.

Marc Olivier, Almeralla's teammate, is skating at the front of the large chase pack, slowing it down, Charrron says. But nonetheless, the pack is gaining on the leaders.

8:30 am | Weather Gods Are Smiling

"The weather is perfect," says Stephane Charron at the PMG track in Blainsville. "It is around 21 degrees" — 70 F — "and sunny."

The skaters are warming up. Among them are most of Canada's top inline speed skaters, including Peter Doucet, Sergio Almeralla, Jesse Pauley, Morgan Williams, Morgane Echardour and Martine Charbonneau.

One skater who won't be racing today is the Colombian transplant Juan Diego Zuluaga, the 13-year-old who finished fifth in last year's race. He injured himself at practice on Thursday. "He fell on his face and his doctor said he should not skate today," Charron says.

The track is still a little wet from Friday's rain showers. "But it's drying very fast," Charron says.

Two more U.S. skaters arrived: the Gyorfi brothers: Tibor, 17, and Samuel, 12, from Leesburg, GA. They skate for GT Speed.

Go to Planet preview of the Marathon Roller Montreal


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