Posted by Editoress on 05/10/08
Pan Am Championships TT Report - A Birthday Present for Svein
By Denise Kelly - Team Manager
Photos by Jenn Turner
Svein Tuft found the perfect recipe for yet another gold medal at the 2008 Pan American Championships in Uruguay - mix 17 degrees of sunshine with a 19.5 km. loop X 2. Add 50.197 km/h to offset the strong winds and it produces an outstanding winning time of 46:37.
Tuft was fastest at the two checkpoints on the course as he powered his way along the shoreline of Montevideo. He was the third last starter and he picked off his minute men one by one in a metronome-like manner. Never letting up despite a heart-stopping near-brush with a random car on the course, he rode with strength unmatched by any of the other competitors. He attacked the last four kilometres of the course seemingly as assertively as the first four. At the end, he bested the second place rider, Matias Medici from Argentina by 34 seconds and third place Louis Ferrao of Brazil by 51 seconds.
Tuft celebrated his birthday in style with a fourth gold medal of these Championships. He was stoked by this success as it was something he had wanted for awhile - a Pan Am Championship Time Trial win.
Zach Bell (who was the final starter based on his second placing last year at the Championships) also contested the race with a very strong showing, missing the elite podium by one spot. He was 5th place overall as the 4th place finisher, Jame Suaza of Columbia was the winner in the Espoir category. No doubt the past few days of excellent track racing took their toll on the legs, but competing in the time trial contributed to his Olympic preparation.
In yet another display of Southern organization, teams were informed only yesterday, that a decision had been taken at the Pan Am Congress to only allow 2 riders per country - despite having published the start list. Canada was among many astonished countries who had not received this news and had to reduce their entries. David Veilleux did not take the start.
(Editor's Note: This again seems very suspicious, since the organizers were certainly aware that David Veilleux is the multi-time Canadian Espoir TT champion)
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