Edward Captures the Attention of Int'l Racers April 15, 2006
April 15 was the date on which Edward would participate in the Roseneau race, France, an internationally acclaimed race comprising of 3 rounds, 15 km each. Arriving at the location at 10 a.m, Edward, who now has a long history in handbike racing, met with his well-acquainted partners before having everything checked for the race. “I felt a little nervous, and this is normal before every race. But that race was really something else because all the top racers in the world were participating,” says Edward. Indeed, the large scale Roseneau race gathered 70 participants in Edward’s division, and 200 participants in total, including the European gold medal and silver medal champions, as well as top bikers from all around the world. Nonetheless, Edward was keen on scoring a better result than that of last year, despite the unexpected difficulties which always unfold in a professional race.
“The race started off quite well, but there was a lot of wind, and our pack was soon reduced to around 40 bikers in the first round. At the end of the second round, it started raining, which made it even more difficult. More hand bikers lagged behind, and at the beginning of the third round, we were only 16 bikers. Few wanted to take the lead because they were saving their energy for the final sprint. 5 km ahead of the finish line, Swiss racer Heins Frei made his first attack; he dashed through in front of me and I followed him because it was raining too hard to see clearly. Soon afterwards, last year’s European champion overtook the whole pack.” Yet such a scenario is not a precedent for Edward. His extensive participation in international races has taught him to endure and stay focused because results can change in the last few meters of the race. “20 meters ahead of the finish line, I put all my effort together to get to the front and score a good position. The final sprint began and I was riding real hard – 47 km/hr. I took the right side to pass as much racers as I could, though some were trying to block my way. I finished in 6th place, with approximately one second difference from the first.”
The European racers were all surprised with the progress Edward had made since last year. “They were asking me what I had done, and I could feel they had more consideration for me as a strong competitor.” Though not perfectly satisfied with the ranking, Edward is glad to have completed a good race with a time 3 minutes better than last year. With the support of NGO Act For Lebanon, Edward, like many other athletes and talents backed by the organization, continues to train and take part in more races, bringing Lebanon’s name to the front and earning recognition for Lebanese athletes and talents around the world. “I am looking forward to be on the podium in every coming race: and with support, patience, and determination, it is what I intend to do.”
And here you may see the ranking of Edward in the Roseneau race.
Donate for Edward Maalouf here.