Posted by Editoress on 05/6/11
Canadian cyclist Clara Hughes of Glen Sutton, Quebec, won the gold medal in the time trial road race at the 2011 UCI Pan-American Championships in Medellin, Colombia, on Friday.
Hughes, fresh off a General Classification win at the 2011 Tour of the Gila stage race, completed the 24.2-kilometer course in 25:59, a 28 seconds lead over her closest competitor, Evelyn Stevens of the United States.
"I'm really happy with today's result, after beginning to focus on the time trial just five weeks ago after the 2010 UCI Track World Championships. I am grateful the National Team believed in me enough to give me a spot on the team here, and I wanted to give Canada a good result here," said Hughes. "National Team Head Coach Vincent Jourdain and the support staff did everything possible to give us the setting to have our best races and it paid off today."
"I was up against two of the best racers in the world (Americans Stevens and Amber Neben) and to come out on top is extremely satisfying and a good indication of my potential in the time trial. Now I have time to train for the event and I can't wait to put in the work to get stronger. The bonus is that I qualified a spot for 2011 UCI Road World Championships with this victory. Everything I do in the coming months will be to bring my best to the start line in Denmark and see how I fare against the best racers in the world," added Hughes.
Vincent Jourdain, Head Coach of the Canadian Road Cycling Team, is thrilled by Hughes' race and return to competitive cycling. "It's a step in which Clara succeeded brilliantly for her return to competitive road cycling. She had a flawless race, and the fact that she beat the Americans Neben and Stevens is a good indication of where she currently sits. Working with an athlete like Clara, as talented, determined and professional, is truly a privilege," said Jourdain from Colombia.
Denise Ramsden of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories finished her time trial race in fifth place with a time of 27:50.
In the men's time trial, Rob Britton of Victoria, British Columbia, claimed fifth place with a time of 49:58 for 48.4 kilometres, while Hugo Houle of Sainte-Perpétue, Quebec, posted the 22nd fastest time (8th in Under-23) at 53:14.
The road races will be held on Sunday, May 8th.
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