La Classique Louis-Garneau

10 août 2003

La Classique Montréal-Québec Louis-Garneau 2003 a été marquée d'un incident alors que les coureurs Czeslaw Lukaszewicz, Sébastien Moquin, Peter Morse, François Parisien, Steve Rover et Torben Wieditz ont été disqualifiés. Voici trois récits de ce qui est survenu.

La version de Peter McCaffery racontée à The Canadian Cyclist:
With about about 55 kilometers to go, four riders had broken away from the 18 man break - Jeff Hansen - Ital Pasta, Peter Morse - Midweek Elite, Czeslaw Lukaszewicz, and Torben Wieditz, Thornhill SAAB. They approached a level crossing 30 seconds ahead of the chasers and over 5 minutes ahead of the main pack as the bell started to ring and were waved down by the police. Czeslaw charged straight through and the other three followed him but the remaining 14 stopped at the crossing. A commissaire followed the lead quartet and disqualified them. The rest of the breakaway remained at the crossing and the peleton caught them. They were then started off once the train had gone with their original 5 minute gap.

Alexandre Nadeau et David DeGrandpré de l'équipe AD OPT (qu'on voit ici entre les coureurs
Ariel de Cardenas #105 et Mike Ruthledge #97) ont attendu le OK des commissaires avant
de traverser la voie ferrée et n'ont pas été disqualifiés, terminant respectivement 2e et 9e.
photo : Pierre Bissonnette

Le récit de Dave Butler de Jet Fuel à The Canadian Cyclist:
The break formed approximately 100 kilometres into the 250 kilometre race, with riders bridging up to create a lead group of 18. With most major teams represented, including Navigators and Saturn, the group was four plus minutes clear with about 55 kilometres remaining.

At the train crossing, Jeff Hansen (Atlas Cold/Italpasta) had a gap at the front, with Czeslaw Lukaszewicz (Opus/Élio Pizzeria) and Steve Rover (Opus/Élio Pizzeria) bridging up. The lights of the crossing were flashing, with a police officer standing on the tracks to flag the riders down (apparently the train was stopped, very close to the crossing). Hansen, Lukaszewicz and Rover went by the police officer, with the rest of the break slowing down as they approached the crossing. Thorben Weiditz (Midweek Elite/Thornhill SAAB), Fran?ois Parisien (Espoirs de Laval), Peter Morse (Midweek Elite/Thornhill SAAB) and Sébastien Moquin (Colnago-Carrera) then decided to also cross the tracks, evading the police.

The rest of the break waited for the train to cross, as did the peloton (held behind the break). The peloton was started with the same time gap behind the break after the train went by. The seven riders who had gone on ahead were disqualified when the commissaires caught up to them.

Sur les lieux de l'incident, Louis Garneau discute avec les coureurs Adam Garlapow (20),
Jeff Louder (77), Ciaran Power (80) et Kevin Miller (8) qui, s'étant arrêtés au passage
à niveau n'ont pas été disqualifiés et ont terminé respectivement 5e, 8e, 3e et 7e.
photo : Pierre Bissonnette

Et puis voici la version de Jeff Hansen
Seeing as I was there I can say exactly what happened :

Steve Rover, Czeslaw Lukaszewicz and I had formed a break of around 30 seconds (reported correctly) and we were together at the tracks.

Rover (i.e. not me) led the charge over the tracks - while Czeslaw and I slowed down a bit. But we both eventually followed.

The remaining 4 riders who were disqualified came across after we passed -- one of which (Peter Morse) made it across to our group of 3.

We then continued for 3 or 4 kms before we were told to stop by one of the lead motos and then utimately DQed 15 minutes later...

Note: that this situation was a little exceptional in the fact that our break was told nothing of a train crossing before we got to it. It was at the bottom of a hill and we did not even see it until several hundred metres because of the curve of the road and the hill. Seeing as there was a commissaire **right** beside us on a moto the sitution could have been handled a lot better if he gave us some direct instructions to avoid all the confusion.

All we saw was a bunch of policemen with their arms outstretched saying 'stop'. After 5 hours of racing in the rain it takes a little while to process that.

Anyway -- the only other thing I can say about the situation was that after 15 years of racing it was a pretty dumb move to cross the tracks in this situation -- especially since I was feeling pretty good with just over 50km to go -- and I probablly cost the team some prize money and UCI points.

It was also the first time I have ever been disqualified while at the front of a race....

Le commissaire Pierre Blanchard ordonne à Czeslaw Lukaszewicz d'abandonner la course.
photo : Pierre Bissonnette, chauffeur du commissaire Pierre Blanchard

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