Posted by Editoress on 07/2/10
Svein Tuft Returns to Win Yaletown & Compete in BC Superweek
Few results are available (see below), seems the timing crew left without presenting the results in a digital format
Svein Tuft still remembers his welcome to professional cycling moment well.
It came at BC Superweek in 2001, when the late-blooming Langley native got into a breakaway group at the historic Tour de White Rock and realized it included Canadian cycling legend and local product Brian Walton.
Now, almost a decade later, Tuft returns to BC Superweek as a local legend himself. In addition to an impressive Olympics and World Championship and Pan-Am Games medals in 2008, the 33-year-old comes back from Europe having recently raced in the prestigious the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana with a powerful Garmin-Transitions team in the ProTour.
"That was huge for me being in a break with Brian Walton," Tuft said after lapping an impressive field of US pros to win the Yaletown Grand Prix on Canada Day. "I didn't have a clue other than people telling me, 'that's Brian Walton' and for me that was a big thing. It's the same for guys coming here so to be able to race back home in BC, where I started, any chance I get to do that, I partake."
Tuft says stiff competition has been a big part of the growth of cycling in Canada, and an important part of developing more young riders for the future. He points not only to Christian Meier, a former Langley resident who now races with Tuft on the Garmin-Transitions team in Europe and will join him at BC Superweek, but also to their former teammates on the locally based Symmetrics squad that was a force in North American pro cycling before folding two years ago.
Tuft singles out ex-teammates like Andrew Pinfold, now with United Healthcare Pro Cycling, fellow Canadian Olympian Zach Bell and his teammate on the Kelly Benefit Strategies team, Ryan Anderson, as well as recently crowned Canadian Road Race champion Will Routley (Jelly Belly Pro Cycling) as important parts of the BC Superweek legacy. And he's happy all are returning to race this year - not just to chase the Canadian Criterium championship that will be on the line at this year's Tour de Delta, but also to inspire and test future cycling stars.
"It's important for our next generation of guys coming up to race at that level, and for people to come out see it," said Tuft. "This has been our trade for the last 10 years, so it's nice to share that. Maybe it's not nice if we're riding real hard and it makes it harder for them, but it helps bring up the level and if you are looking to develop and go to the next level, you need to race against guys that are at that level and get a taste of what it is. It's hard to know what that is if you don't."
Meier, who used to live in a trailer adjacent to Tuft's on a Langley property owned by the Symmetrics team manager -- they were nicknamed the Trailer Park Boys - echoed those sentiments after finishing third behind Pinfold in Yaletown.
"It's always our hometown race, even if we spend the year in Europe," he said. "To come home and race in front of friends and family, there's no better feeling."
Meier fondly remembers cheering wildly for another cycling legend - former Olympian and eight-time Canadian time trial champion Eric Wohlberg - from the sidelines as a junior, and then getting to race with him at BC Superweek.
"When I started out cycling I used to watch Eric come out and just dominate the field in the crits and I remember one year in particular at Nationals as a junior just sitting on the corner yelling and screaming for him," Meier said. "Eric was a real idol to me and a couple years later I was racing with him here [at BC Superweek and on Symmetrics] and for me it was a little dream come true to race with a guy I admired that much. I don't consider myself a huge star, but if some younger kids get a little motivation to get out there and get on the bike because of something Svein or I do here at home, for us that's a huge accomplishment."
If Tuft's comments about still getting better are any indication, those that do come out to watch him at the Tour de Delta and Tour de White Rock are in for a show.
Tuft set a record that still stands at the inaugural Tour de Delta Prologue in 2008, blazing around the leg-shaking 3.2-kilometer course in just three minutes and 44.16 seconds while wearing the Team Canada colours as the National Time Trial champion.
Tuft is back in BC having just won his third straight Canadian Time Trial Championship (and his sixth in seven years) in Edmonton last weekend. And he says he's riding better than ever after joining a very short list of Canadians to ride two Grand Tours: The 21-stage, 3,337.9-kilometer Vuelta a Espana last fall, and the gruelling 21-stage, 3,485-kilometer Giro d'Italia in May.
"Every time I race (in Europe) I'm learning something new," he said. "You get more depth and you can dig a but deeper. Because the races are that much harder and all the distances are that much longer, it just changes your ability as a rider and at the end of the day you can just push that much harder."
1 Rachel McBride (Glotman Simpson)
2 Leah Guloien (Total Restoration)
3 Leah Kirchmann (Trek/Red Truck Racing)
4 Steph Roorda
5 Laura Brown (Total Restoration)
6 Jean Ann McKirdy (Local Ride)
7 Shailie Sanbrooks
8 Sarah Coney
9 Leslie Vice (Glotman Simpson)
10 Claire Cameron (Mighty Riders)
11 Courtney Albert (Trek/Red Truck Racing)
12 Kristine Brynjolfson (Westwood Cycle)
13 Morgan Cabot
14 Stacey Hutton (Mighty Riders)
15 Shoshauna Laxon (Trek/Red Truck Racing)
1 Svein Tuft (Garmin-Transitions)
2 Andrew Pinfold (United Healthcare pb Maxxis)
3 Christian Meier (Garmin-Transitions)
4 Adrian Hegyvary (United Healthcare pb Maxxis)
5 Will Routley (Team Jelly Belly)
6 Mike Sidic (TEAM H&R BLOCK)
7 Marvin Isaza Guzman
8 Jeffrey Werner
9 Lang Reynolds
10 Marsh Cooper (Kelly Benefit Strategies)
11 shawn Goulet (TEAM H&R BLOCK)
12 Garrett Macleod (TEAM H&R BLOCK)
13 Aaron Schooler (TEAM H&R BLOCK)
14 Jamie Sparling
15 Morgan Schmitt (United Healthcare pb Maxxis)
16 Justin Kerr (TEAM H&R BLOCK)
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