His tenth place finish at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec made François Parisien not only the highest placed Canadian but also marked a personal victory after a very tough year for the Spidertech p/b C10 rider.
“It’s the best result of my career. Today (Friday), our team had a perfect race except for my sprint. I should have started a little bit more of the left to not get boxed in. It’s the only error that I made. “ Parisien told sportcom. He hopes that the result is enough to be selected to represent Canada at the upcoming World Championships.
Spidertech placed two riders, Lucas Euser and Hugo Houle, in the early break allowing Parisien to stay in the field for most of the race. With a little more than two laps to go in the 16-lap race in Quebec City, the break was reeled in and counterattacks flew until two other riders were off. But that break was doomed as the pace amped up, still Parisien kept in the thick of things. The decisive attack was made in the final kilometers when two riders escaped and held off the dwindling field until the finish line. Parisien was in the field sprinting for that final spot on the podium but ultimately finished 10th, scant four seconds behind winner Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge).
“I tried to manage my effort as best as possible. When we had our team meeting, I was supposed to only spend my energy in the last climb and that’s exactly what happened. I missed my sprint a little bit, I was boxed in, I should have started it a bit earlier but finishing tenth or seventh, it’s pretty much the same thing. I am really satisfied.”
It was Parisien third time at the WorldTour race. “I was a lot less stressed than the last two years. In the past months, I worked a lot on my mental toughness and it paid off. I showed more patience and didn’t start to expend my energy until the final five kilometers.”
Emotions bubbled close to the surface for Parisien who had been away from competition for the past seven months with a knee injury. The recovery was not easy, either physically or mentally for the 30-year old rider.
“It’s really satisfying because I went really deep this year. I had a depression at the start of the season following my injury. Staying alone at home, going around in circles while my knee was hurting, I was ready to explode.” he said.
“My result today (Friday) is a huge thank you to the people that helped me, starting with my coach Paul Saldanha and my physiotherapist Julie Gardiner. They really lifted me out of my hole and I think that they’ll be even happier than me.”
Parisien is looking forwards to Sunday’s race, the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal with its very difficult 12.1-km (7.5-mi) loop in downtown Montréal. The circuit includes the 1.8-km slog up Mont-Royal on chemin Camilien-Houde with its 8% average grade and the 780-m côte de la Polytechnique with a 6% average grade, including a 300-meter portion at 11%.
Parisien concluded, “It’s a course that is better suited for me and on top of that, it’s my hometown. I hope to really do well.”