2011 World Deaf Cycling Championships – Cross-country (XCO)
The French won gold in a second consecutive event during these 2011 World Deaf Cycling Championships. Remi Girardet (FRA) maintained his pace behind Jan Capek (CZE) for three laps and then switched to the front. Capek stayed in second place behind Giradet for the remaining laps. In the final lap, Remi explosively escaped an open field and extended his lead to 45 seconds until he reached the finish line. Jess Tremblay (CAN) finished third behind Capek.
Remi Girardet (FRA) races down the rocky hill. (Photo credit: Ralph Fernandez)Before the race began, the referees asked that the number of laps be reduced from 6 to 4 or 3 due to concerns about the cyclists' ability to finish within two hours to remain in compliance with UCI rules that no race go over two hours. The referees made that request based on their review of the time trial finishes. However, representatives from all participating countries voted to reduce the race to just 5 laps. The winner completed the race course in just over 2 hours. Adrien Pelletier, the coach of the French team, was elated to see one of his cyclists win. When he originally compiled his list of team members and their specializations, French sports officials rejected his request to include mountain bike cyclists because they did not see mountain events as part of the Deaflympics. Pelletier persisted and eventually got his way. Giradet's victory proves that Pelletier had good instincts.
Remi Girardet (FRA) races down the rocky hill. (Photo credit: Ralph Fernandez)