Posted by Editoress on 06/24/17
The first day of competition at the Global Relay Canadian Road Championships p/b Lexus in Ottawa on Saturday saw closely fought sprint finishes for road race titles awarded for Junior Men and Women, and Elite and Under-23 Women.
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The ten kilometre 'T' shaped circuit along the Ottawa River did not feature any significant climbs, however, gusty winds discouraged solo breakaways. A four rider break containing Alison Jackson (Be Pink), Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels Dolman), Sara Bergen (Rally) and Jamie Gilgen (Rise Racing) went clear late in lap two of the 12 lap, 120 kilometre race. The break reached a high of 46 seconds by lap four and then began to shrink, although the peloton began shedding riders as the chase strung the field out.
However, Canuel and Jackson were keeping the pace high in the break and the gap began to grow again; up to 50 seconds with five laps to go. That lap proved to be decisive, as a chase group of six jumped away from the field and joined the leaders with less than 40 kilometres to go. That group included three more Rally riders - Beveridge, Kirsti Lay and Sarah Poidevin - plus Steph Roorda (Sho Air Twenty20), Catherine Ouellette (The Cyclery-4iiii) and Karlee Gendron (Rise Racing). Jasmin Duehring (Sho Air Twenty20) tried to bridge across but came up 30 seconds short as the four Rally riders began to drive the pace.
Coming into the final ten kilometres, Rally tried launching attacks to get a rider clear, but Canuel and Jackson quickly shut down those attempts, setting up a ten rider sprint. Rally went through the final corner with 200 metres to go with Beveridge on third wheel behind Poidevin and Lay, and came off Lay's wheel with 100 metres to go to take the title, followed by Lay and Jackson in third.
Allison Beveridge takes the win in the Elite Women's race
Kirsti Lay, Allison Beveridge, Alison Jackson
"It's a bit weird to be honest," admitted Beveridge, "I didn't think going in that I could do it. But we had the strongest team here and when we stacked the break with four Rally riders in ten total, we knew we had to do it. It was hard, we had a couple of girls really commit to pushing the break, but it was a bit of a balancing game, trying not to use all our energy. It's not something I ever though I could do, but this course suits a track rider. With the team we had, all I had to do was go out there and finish it off."
"I know I have a lot of fitness from being in Europe from a lot of high speed races," said Jackson. "So it wasn't so bad, and at Nationals, where there aren't so many teams, you can get a lot of team. I thought the Rally riders would attack more. Into the final corner I was in good position on third wheel, and then a couple of the Rally girls came up for their leadout and I went to fifth wheel into the corner ... I needed to be on Ally's [Allison Beveridge] wheel for the final sprint. They did a great job."
Charles-Etienne Chretien wins Junior Men's race
Laurie Jussaume wins Junior Women's race
In earlier races, Charles-Etienne Chretien (Equipe du Quebec) took the Junior men's title just ahead of the peloton, with Félix Boutin (IAMGOLD) finishing second and Michael Foley (Team Ontario/La Bicicletta) taking third. Chretien was the sole remaining member of a three rider breakaway that held on for the win. Laurie Jussaume (Equipe du Quebec) won the Junior women's title in a field sprint, ahead of defending champion Erin Attwell (Cycling BC) and Simone Boilard (Equipe du Quebec).
Racing continues on Sunday with the Elite and Under-23 Men's road race.
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