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November 26/12 17:23 pm - Forest City Velodrome CanAmQue Challenge Report

Posted by Editoress on 11/26/12

What a dynamic weekend at the Forest City Velodrome, in London, Ontario.  Thirty four (34) super talented Cadets and Juniors taking part in the Cycling Canada Youth Talent ID Camp.  Then showing the Elite racers not to take any of them for granted in a race situation at the CanAmQue Challenge.

The Under 19 track racers took to the 138m FCV on Friday night to stretch their legs and get ready for the weekend of work that will start the process of building the strongest Canadian Junior team to compete at the Pan Am Championships for Juniors in 2013.

The Burnaby Velodrome in B.C. held a similar camp two weeks ago with almost the same number of youth taking part.  With over 80 Cadets and Juniors to choose from, the 2013 campaign is sure to be exciting.

After a two hour session on Saturday afternoon, the kids rested up for a tough night of racing against some of the best Elite and Masters track racers on the East coast.  Racers were entered from New York, Michigan, T-Town in Pennsylvania, as well as Quebec and Ontario.

Forty four (44) racers took to the boards to see who could reach the top of the podium in the Elimination style endurance format event.  The racers had to qualify through four opening rounds to make it to the semi-finals, from there they raced to see who was the in the top-12, to make it to the featured race of the night - a 138 lap (30 minute) marathon.

The race program was right on schedule and the final began at 9:15 pm, with 14 of the top track racers duking it out like a heavy weight prize fight.  The first Preem of the night was announced while the racers were being introduced to the excited spectators .... $100.00 to the first rider to lap the field.

It did not take ten seconds and the first attack of the night served to stretch the field out and introduce the racers to what was to come.  After 15 laps of chasing the group came back together and the next flurry of preems started to come from the spectators, who were being treated to an average speed in the first 50 laps of 51 kph.  With 80 laps to go the riders were feeling the constant pressure from Ryan Aitcheson (Panther Racing) and Martin Veccio (Giant Racing), both wanted the $100 bonus that was still up for grabs.  Another preem of $30, which Aitcheson took easily as Veccio was recovering from a big effort to bring back three Juniors who slipped off the front; Simonds, Jamieson and Rainsville had gained a 30m gap and looked like they were going to stretch it out, until Veccio pulled the group together with 70 to go.

At the half distance mark of the race the top two riders (Aitcheson and Veccio) had to rest; they had won the preems and been trying to lap the field in the first 70 laps.... That's when a young racer from Ottawa decided it was his turn to see if he could put a dent in the competition.  With a teammate setting tempo at the from of the pack, young Cadet Connor Byway (Ottawa Bicycle Club), attacked off the front of the race.  Byway seemed to have an extra motor on his bike (even though his bike was checked at the beginning of the race), as he quickly gained half a lap of the snarling pack that woke up to the fact that they were about to lose the Preem for lapping the field.

Byway struggled to keep his margin while Occto - Cervelo riders, along with Aitcheson and Veccio, went to the front in an attempt to hold off the hard charging Byway.  With 35 laps to go, Byway finally took his lap and was in command of the race.  After a $50.00 Preem when Veccio attacked the field and quickly took a lap, then there was another $35.00 Preem and tired legs began to show, as Aitcheson used the Preem to take his lap.

Now three riders were up a lap and five riders were still battling to stay in contention.  Dave Byers (Occto-Cervelo) attacked with 15 to go in a late attempt to get on even terms.  He did pocket the Gamblers Preem with three laps to go, however, all eyes were on the three contenders.

In the closing laps, Veccio had a five bike length lead on Aitcheson, who started his charge at the bell.  Just over a lap remaining and Aitcheson came up alongside his buddy from Detroit; the two have had this battle before at the FCV.  Coming out of the final corner, Aitcheson seemed to find a fourth gear and accelerated over the top and at the line the announcer gave the win to Aitcheson (the difference was less than a tire width).... The spectators were on their feet and the other racers were also watching one of the top-5 races ever at the FCV.

Veccio's attack caught Byway near the back and he could not respond to the vicious attack and had to settle for third overall.  Great result for the racer who is both an endurance and sprint racer.

Report courtesy Rob Good

Top 3:
Ryan Aitcheson (Panther Racing)
Martin Veccio (Giant Racing)
Connor Byway (Ottawa Bicycle Club)


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