The men’s road cycling took place on Saturday 2 July in Oran over a track of about 150 kilometers. France monopolized the podium and Paul Penhoët won the race ahead of Ewen Costiou and Valentin Retaileau. The Algerian runners who wanted to shine at home did not affect the course of the race.
From our special correspondent in Oran,
A light breeze, sea fog and no heat to start the morning. In Oran, the peloton for the men’s bike race took advantage of the optimal conditions to launch an attack on the title of Mediterranean champion who was promised a sprinter at the end of his 150 kilometers. Apparently the public is watching the Algerian team, which has prepared for the event with a three-week training course in Belgium and several races on the program.
“I really like the kindness of the people in Oran” “We are expected and we obviously have the pressure. But it’s great to play at home in front of their home crowd. And I, I really like Oranai’s kindness,” said Azzedine Lagab, a little tense. Algeria’s four-time champion on the road one of the cornerstones of the Algerian election.
Youcef Reguigui, a professional rider in a Malaysian team that has participated twice in the Tour of Spain, is delighted to be able to participate in the celebration as a team leader.
The best cycling nations gather in Oran. In addition, the Spaniards have five future professional riders in their selection. But the Iberian team is diminished by cases of Covid-19 and gastroenteritis.
As with the Belgian classics, which play with the windFor France, at least three participants have already signed a contract starting on 1 August. Even Slovenia’s Tadej Pogaçar and Primoz Roglic, both currently on the Tour de France, are in attendance. Italy and Portugal, other important cycling nations, are taking part in the race.
“These are the matches at home and we want a medal. It is not easy. Only a few countries like Belgium, Colombia or Great Britain are missing for a world championship,” comments Hakim Hamza, coach of the Algerian team. Not very far away gives the dietitian in the French team his last piece of advice for managing the moments of refueling for his runners.Each detail plays a role in today’s cycling.Including play with the wind that picked up and did some damage.
“They deserve this result, they took the race very quickly, they put us in the wind,” says Monegasque runner Antoine Berlin, who emphasizes the public’s enthusiasm along the track.
For Algeria, it’s a bit of a grimace. Sure, Azzedine Lagab admits the Tricolors were too strong. “We did our best, we wanted to see the new generation shine. We learn every day and we have to learn from it. It is difficult to compete with European riders,” he said.
This did not stop the Algerian public from crowding around their athletes to take pictures and congratulate them as soon as they crossed the border. “We did not come for nothing,” says today’s winner in conclusion.