Posted by Editoress on 06/5/14
Plenty of new faces were on hand at the team presentation for the fifth edition of the Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau and the Chrono Gatineau. In comparison to previous years, fewer American teams have made the trip north of the border, giving the field a strong Canadian presence.
Two home-grown riders hoping to make an impact are Annie Ewart and Lex Albrecht, both of whom are currently on good form.
Albrecht is fresh off a second-place finish at the Philadelphia Parx Cycling Classic. "It's the highlight of my season so far. It was my first UCI 1.1 podium." The 27-year old is racing this weekend with Équipe du Québec, on loan from her normal trade team, TWENTY16 Pro Cycling.
With a go-big-or-go-home attitude, Albrecht is concentrating more on the time trial than the road race, but isn't discounting her chances in either event. "This course is really good for sprinters and that's not necessarily my specialty, so I'm definitely focusing a little bit more on the time trial."
"Last year I was in a breakaway (in the road race) and that was fun so maybe this year it will be fun to see if we can get a breakaway going again. I think that we have a better chance of winning if we're in a breakaway than in a bunch sprint."
A resident of Victoria BC, Ewart recently set a new course record in the opening time trial of the Robert Cameron Law Cycling Series. The Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies team member is looking forward to Friday's Chrono Gatineau. "It's a fun course. We pre-rode it this morning and hopefully I can put out a good result."
"I'm talking to my coach after this to go over my file from today and go over the course, but I think (I will) start off pretty hard and hang on. It's not a very long TT but its not a super short TT. You've got to leave it all out there."
"We have a good team here and we're hoping we can pull off a good result," says Ewart, who is also a part-time student in economics and political science at the University of Victoria. "The whole team is actually doing the time trial so we're going to go out and race hard tomorrow and race hard Saturday and hopefully end up with some good results."
"In past years it's come down to a sprint so we'll be working for Leah Kirchmann and Lauren Hall, but you never know if a breakaway goes away. It depends on how the race plays out."
Ewart's teammate and double national champion Joelle Numainville did not attend the team presentation, and isn't confirmed for either event. Also unconfirmed is national time-trial silver medalist Anika Todd (Tibco To The Top).
Report by Emil van Dijk
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