Posted by Editoress on 07/20/07
Giro di Burnaby July 19th, Burnaby BC
By Matt Hansen
Shelley Olds and Kirk O'Bee took top honours at the second annual Giro di Burnaby tonight, under grey skies and in front of large crowds. After a day of intermittent drizzle, the precipitation stopped just in time for the evening's festivities.
Set on a dumbbell-shaped, 1.85km course, the Giro di Burnaby is a fast, technical course that is known to be difficult to break away on the evening's racing showed that solo moves had little chance of success.
The women set off for 20 laps just after dinnertime. The two strongest teams of the evening were Gina Grain's expresscopy.com squad and the Symmetrics team, led by Leah Goldstein. Goldstein, who placed second behind expresscopy.com's Erinne Willock the night before at Gastown, was eager to seek revenge.
The flurry of yellow attacks-whether Symmetrics or expresscopy.com's was constant throughout the race, with Giant doing its best to make sure no danger moves got away. Ultimately, nothing stuck and the stage was set for a wild dash to the line. Just like the men's race to follow, it was clear that with the super-fast final sprint would require perfect calculations to win.
"There were a lot of attacks out there, but nothing stuck," Grain's teammate Willock said after the race. "The course is pretty much a vacuum so it wasn't surprising when it all came down to a sprint."
In the final gallop, it was lesser known Shelley Olds (PROMAN/Paradigm) that surprised the field-beating Malindills Maclean (NZl) JAZZ Apple Cycling Team and Grain, who could only manage third.
The large men's field set off at 8pm for 30 laps, for a total of 55km. Just like the women's race, attacks were everywhere from the start the only difference was that a very dangerous move of 9 riders managed to stick. In the move were Symmetrics Cycling's Brandon Crichton and Cam Evans, Navigators Insurance's Oleg Grischkin and David O'Loughlin, Jittery Joes' David Veilleux, Red Truck's Ryan Anderson, Health Net's Kirk O'Bee and Roman Kilun, and Italpasta's David Richter.
With only two members of the Symmetrics team present, Andrew Pinfold made a hard solo effort to join the escape, making the total of breakaway riders ten.
Several other riders tried to bridge to the move once the group was established, but it was to no avail: with all of the major teams represented, the race was all but over for first. The breakaway's gap kept climbing to the better part of a minute before infighting began. Symmetrics Cycling new National Champion Cam Evans was particularly active in trying to break things up in the move, as well as O'Loughlin, but again and again, nothing stuck. In the closing laps a variety of small groups would form-at three laps to a promising move led by Pinfold and O'Bee got slightly ahead, followed by a gusty solo move by Veilleux on the final two laps-but by the final lap bell rang, everyone was together.
Once the riders came around the final corner, it was Cam Evans that burst through trying to lead his teammate Pinfold to the line, but both Grischkin and O'Bee had other ideas. It was O'Bee that would nail the win, just head of the Russian and Pinfold. After the race, O'Bee said he was overjoyed and surprised with the win. "My legs were pretty sore when we started so it took a while to warm up. My son Samuel told me last night I had to win again today, so I gave it my best shot."
For Pinfold, it was a disappointing result to a promising breakaway. "I'm a bit bummed-two nights in a row we got third. In cycling there's physicals, mechanicals, and mentals. Tonight I just had a mental. I just couldn't come around them in the final."
BC Superweek continues tomorrow with the Tour of Delta hillclimb.
Results when available
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