Posted by Editoress on 06/24/18
The 2018 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships p/b Quebecor concluded on Sunday with the Criterium Challenge in Chicoutimi. Rally Cycling took their fourth title of the week with Sara Bergen's win in the women's event, while Silber Pro Cycling swept the men's podium, led by Nickolas Zukowsky.
Held on a 1.6 kilometre circuit, the course was more physically challenging than in the past, finishing at the top of a steep climb. The men and women each raced for 60 minutes plus three laps.
Rally dominated the women's race, sending off a series of attacks and chasing down moves by danger riders Leah Kirchmann (Team Sunweb) and Alison Jackson (Tibco-SVB). Bergen soloed off the front in the final ten minutes of the race, after an attack by Jackson was brought back, and came close to lapping the field. Kirchmann attacked the group to chase, but was marked by Bergen's team mate and new Road champion Katherine Maine, who outsprinted Kirchmann for second.
"It's been a great week," said Bergen, "and a huge shoutout to all of my team mates. We were definitely eager to go for the win, and we respect the other riders are strong, but we were confident in the legs we had. Alison came back from a go and Leah put in a dig, so I knew that was the time to go, after that came back. When you feel the worst, that's the time to go and I felt pretty terrible, so it was time to go!"
The men's race was dominated by Silber, with 12 riders in the race. The team sent off waves of attacks, with Rally Cycling's Adam de Vos and Nigel Ellsay, and others, chasing down the Silber riders repeatedly, until Zukowsky was able to make a move stick. de Vos set off in pursuit, marked by Silber's Ryan Roth, but was unable to make a dent in Zukowsky's lead. Roth took second, while a third Silber rider, Pier-Andre Cote, grabbed the final podium spot.
"The plan was to be super aggressive because we had 12 guys in there," said Zukowsky. "We always had numbers up the road and put pressure on the strong guys, like Rally and [Alex] Cataford from UHC. So we were aggressive and it paid off pretty good. I just followed de Vos' move and Ryan [Roth] bridged up to us and Ryan told me to go, so I went and didn't look back. I still can't believe it worked out."
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