July 11/10 7:45 am - Tour de Delta: Stage 1/Canadian Criterium Championship report, photos and (brief) results
Posted by Editoress on 07/11/10
Tour de Delta crowns Canadian Criterium Champions
Men (Pro 1/2 and 3/4)
by Greg Descantes
Svein Tuft expected David Veilleux to try and make a break for it.
He just didn’t expect the powerful young Canadian to do it so soon.
Veilleux , a 22-year-old from Quebec who rides for the American-based Kelly Benefits Pro Cycling team, broke away from Tuft with one lap left and stayed out in front right to the finish line to win the Canadian Criterium Championship at the 10th annual Tour de Delta on Saturday night.
Tuft, a Langley native who rides for Garmin-Transitions Pro Tour team in Europe, and Veilleux broke away with 22 laps left around the 900-meter course through the streets of Ladner. They stayed close, with Tuft winning a $2,400 crowd prime with eight laps left, but Veilleux made his move at the finish line as the bell lap sounded and stayed away.
“I knew if I went earlier Svein was way too strong and he would catch me easily,” said Veilleux. “I was afraid he would just attack me, so with one lap left I thought I would just take a chance and try to stay out there.”
Tuft, who was also second in Friday’s Prologue and will wear the leader’s jersey in Sunday’s Road race, was caught off guard by the early move.
“We were just giving it everything and he caught me off guard,” said Tuft, who recently won a third straight National Time Trial championship. “He’s such a great sprinter I was expecting him to just kind of wait for that final bit, but he caught me off guard and he’s got really good acceleration so it was pretty tough to try and bring him back for that final stretch.”
Tyler Trace of Vancouver’s Trek Red Truck won a sprint for third, barely staying ahead of a hard charging Andrew Pinfold of United Healthcare.
“These are big races for us as a Vancouver team so we tried hard to get up there,” said Trace. “Those are some great riders so I’m real happy.”
In addition to Tuft and Christian Meier, his Pro Tour teammate on Garmin Transitions, that field included several top American teams. Veilleux was backed up by Kelly Benefits teammates that included Canadian Olympian Zach Bell and Ryan Anderson, who won this race last year, and the Tour de Delta overall title. But Saturday night was Veilleux’s time to shine.
After winning the general classification of the 51st annual Fitchburg Longsjo Classic back east a week earlier, Veilleux finally collected a Maple Leaf jersey he can wear for the rest of the year. He’d already won four National under-23 Time Trial and two Espoir Road Race championships, but none of those come with the right to wear the Canadian jersey.
“It’s good visibility for the team,” he said. “Lots of the best Canadians riders showed up and as a Canadian I wanted to be here.”
Leah Kirchmann, a Winnipeg native now riding for Vancouver-based Trek Red Truck, jumping past Laura Brown of Total Restorations Cycling with 200 meters left to win the women’s National Criterium Championship.
“I managed to get on a fast wheel and came around her on the last straightaway,” said Kirchmann, who finished the 40-lap race in 57 minutes and 46 seconds. “It worked out perfect at the end.”
Brown, who won the MK Delta Prologue on Friday night, maintained the GC lead and will wear the Tour de Delta leader’s jersey to start the White Spot Road Race on Sunday morning. Jasmin Glaesser, a German riding for Total Resorations, finished third, so Heather Kay of United Cycle moved up from fourth to third in the Canadian criterium championship.
Kirchmann, who turned 20 less than two weeks ago, also won the under-23 Canadian Road Race title in late June in Edmonton. But that doesn’t come with a jersey. This race did, meaning she will wear a Maple Leaf as part of a special Trek Red Truck jersey at criteriums for the next year.
“It means so much to be wearing the Canadian flag,” Kirchman said. “You are representing your country and people know where you are from and that you’ve won a big race so it’s definitely exciting and it feels great.”
Kirchmann and her teammates kept a close eye on the Okanagan-based Total Restorations team took the top-4 spots in the MK Delta Prologue the night before. But she was still left without a friendly wheel to lead her out on the final sprint, so Kirchman looked instead for a fast one. She found one in Brown, then jumped past her after the final corner.
“We were expecting them to be very aggressive and were prepared to chase their attacks down and counter anything they were going to do,” said Kirchmann. “It was aggressive the whole race and coming into the finish I was able to move into a good position and move into second wheel on the last corner and throwing out a good sprint ... My teammates worked so hard chasing during the race that it just ended up I had to jump on another team there. I just had to improvise.”
Tour de Delta press release
Full results unavailable at this time
1 Leah Kirchmann (Can) Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes
2 Laura Brown (Can) Total Restoration Cycling Team
3Jasmin Glaesser (Ger) Total Restoration Cycling Team
4 Heather Kay (Can) United Cycle
1 David Veilleux (Can) Kelly Benefit Strategies
2 Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin – Transitions
3 Tyler Trace (Can) Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes
4 Andrew Pinfold (Can) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling