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Peter Stetina Diary #2

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Hey there Loopys,

I know you guys are all into some fantasy league VDS thingy. So I have some insider info for you: Ramunas Navardauskas, aka Eastern Bloc or Comrade, is a certifiable badass. Buy him.

I had the pleasure of rooming with him at Sarthe. He's not only strong like ox, but a funny guy too.

The last day of Sarthe, after riding the front with me for three days in support of the Daves, Comrad wakes up with "Oh, my back is fuck. I feel like race finish 3 minutes ago." (Say it in a russian accent and it's funny.)

Then, a few hours later. We're racing hard, a break rolls away with 20 guys and miraculously Français des Jeux lets it go. Millar yells at Comrade to bridge up. "Ok," is all he says.

He attacks, and proceeds to chase a 20 man group solo. The best part is a group of three tried to go across right after him. They were literally 5 seconds behind him forever. Three guys, rotating flat out, and they couldn't get up to go with him and they eventually didn't bridge the gap. Somehow, Comrade did.

Eventually that massive move came back thanks to some teams that missed it rolling the front. At this point Comrade attacks the break and his eastern bloc compatriot, Rein Taaramae of Cofidis, goes with him.

Well, FdJ doesn't like that so much and they don't give them much leash. Before we know it the gap has snuck up to 4 minutes and FdJ is chasing flat out. And the gap stays! They were getting so pissed. I remember at one point the camera moto got too close and FdJ got a draft and we were hauling. Just sitting in the peloton hurt. I'm sure they thought, "Ha! Now we've got some back." 1k later the time check moto comes back... Nope, suckers, they just put 5 more seconds into you! That almost broke the entire FdJ team right there.

Comrade did end up getting caught in the finish circuits. But, man, if that's what he can do when he's tired...