July 2/14 20:56 pm - BC Superweek Riders to Watch
Posted by Editoress on 07/2/14
The fastest week in Canadian cycling kicks off this Friday, July 4th, as BC Superweek gets underway with the Tour de Delta - the first of nine races over 10 days.
With $120,000 on the line and some of the top Canadian cyclists and professional American teams, the racing figures to be fast-paced and exciting from start to finish line. Below is a list of the top riders coming into BC Superweek, though, if history has taught us anything, it's to never count out top locals. Many of them now on this list are returning pros after catching the eye of team directors at past races.
Will Routley (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
Routley, 31, is coming off an impressive Tour of California in May, where he won the Stage 4 as well as the overall Mountains Classification. He also won Stage 2 and the overall title at the Chico Stage Race in March. He had his most successful season in 2011, finishing second at the 28th Tro-bro Léon in France and second at the Canadian National Road Race Championships. Routley's been outstanding in the past at BC Superweek as the Whistler product won the first stage of the 2008 and 2011 Tour de White Rock as well as the first stage of the 2009 Tour de Delta.
Ryan Anderson (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
Born in Edmonton, but a resident of North Vancouver, this is Anderson's sixth season on the professional cycling circuit and second with Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies. Three weeks ago, Anderson won the Cannon Falls road race and overall title at the North Star Grand Prix. The 26-year-old wore the Climber's Jersey for four stages of the 2010 Tour of California and was a silver medallist at the 2005 and 2009 Canadian National Road Championships. He made four podium appearances at BC Superweek last year, including a win at the UBC Grand Prix. In addition, Anderson won Stage 2 of the Tour de Delta and finished second at the Gastown Grand Prix and Stage 2 of the Tour de White Rock in 2012.
Ken Hanson (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling)
After wins at BC Superweek last year at the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix and stage one of the Tour de Delta, Hanson looks for another solid showing in 2014. The 31-year-old from San Diego had two, Top 10 finishes at the 2013 Amgen Tour of California, including runner-up on Stage 4, and in 2012, landed on the podium in more than a dozen races on four continents. After victories in 2012 and last year at the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, the former US Pro Criterium champion hopes to win a third straight title and tie the 32-year-old men's record for most wins, held by the legendary 7-Eleven rider Ron Hayman (1981-1983).
Florenz Knauer (Team Heizomat)
BC Superweek must be marked on Knauer's calendar, as he is a familiar face on the podium every time he races the series. The 25-year-old made five podium appearances in 2013, including a first place finish at the Giro di Burnaby and second place finishes in Stages 1 and 2 of the Tour de White Rock and at the UBC Grand Prix. In 2012, Knauer won Stage 1 and was third in Stage 3 of the Tour de White Rock, which gave him the overall Men's Omnium. His best result recently is a win at the Augsburg 2014 Schwarzbräu-Straßenpreis.
Steve Fisher (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis)
Fisher won the first ever International Cycling Union sanctioned race in BC in 2013, and in doing so, also won his second straight first place finish in Stage 3 of the Tour de Delta. He goes for the three-peat this year. Fisher was fourth in the Bucks County Classic last year, which earned him valuable UCI points. In addition to professional road racing, the 24-year-old from Seattle also competes in cyclo-cross, in which a rider dismounts during a race and carries his bicycle while navigating an obstruction and then remounts. He finished third in such an event in Surrey in 2012.
Ryan Roth (Silber Pro Cycling Team)
A professional since 2002, Roth raced for Spidertech from 2008 to 2012, before joining Champion System in 2013. He started 2014 with Jet Fuel-Norco before joining Silber Pro Cycling. In 2011, the 32-year-old from Kitchener, Ontario, won the Univest Grand Prix and in 2012 had a spectacular win at Tro-Bro Léon. That same year, he won Canada's National Championship Road Race. So far this year, Roth has three wins and finished 2nd overall at the Joe Martin Stage Race, and was third in stage 3 of the Tour de Beauce, second in the road race and third in the time trial at Nationals.
Kris Dahl (Team Smart Stop)
A 21-year-old from Calgary, Dahl has been racing competitively for the past five years. He finished first in the U23 Canadian National Championships Individual Time Trial last month. An engineering student at the University of Calgary, Dahl won three stages at last year's Banff Bike Fest and was the 2012 Alberta Provincial Road Champion. He also was the Top Canadian at the Road and Time Trial Junior World Championships in 2010 and the only Albertan to compete in the 2013 Tour of Alberta, placing tenth in the Mountains Classification.
Garrett McLeod (Team H&R Block)
McLeod has had a stellar season thus far in 2014, taking the overall win in both the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race and the Victoria Cycling Classic. In addition, he posted a win at the Madera Stage Race and a second place finish at Sea Otter Classic. A native of Wolfville, Nova Scotia, McLeod was the 2010 Canadian National U23 Criterium Champion, fourth overall at the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic in 2011 and third at the 2008 U23 Canadian National Time Trial Championships. His favourite cyclist is listed as long-time BC Superweek supporter and participant Svein Tuft.
Leah Kirchmann (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
Kirchmann, who is a marquee rider in the women's field at BC Superweek, finished first last year at UBC Grand Prix, Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix, and Stage 3 of the Tour de Delta. The 24-year-old was dominant at last month's Canadian National Championships, sweeping the Criterium, Road Race and Individual Time Trial. She was also first in both Stages 3 and 4 at the Redlands Cycling Classic in Redlands, California in April. The Winnipeg native is a three-time Canadian Criterium National Champion (2013, 2011, 2010) and also claimed silver at the 2012 Pan American Championships road race.
Elle Anderson (Vanderkitten Racing)
Anderson finished second at this past January's USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships. She also topped the USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross women's standings last year. The Dartmouth grad made four podium appearances at BC Superweek in 2013, with third place finishes in Stages 1 and 2 of the Tour de Delta and the UBC Grand Prix, along with a second place finish in Stage 3 of the Tour de Delta. In addition to her success at BC Superweek, the 26-year-old had no less than seven podium finishes last year.
Anika Todd (Team TIBCO - To The Top)
Todd is definitely an up-and-comer in the cycling world. The 24-year-old started racing only last year, but already has two podium finishes at the Canadian National Championships. She was second in 2013 and third this year in the Individual Time Trial. The Victoria product rode in the final five during Stage 2 of the Tour de White Rock and sprinted to a photo finish to claim one of the most exciting primes during the Giro di Burnaby last year. Todd's ultimate goal is to represent Canada at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
Denise Ramsden (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
One of Canada's most decorated cyclists, Ramsden was a member of the 2012 Canadian Olympic team at the London Games, competing in the Road Race and Individual Time Trials. This year, she's finished atop the podium at the Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau and second at the Canadian National Championships Road Race. The 24-year-old was first at the Giro di Burnaby and second in Stage 2 of the Tour de Delta in 2013. The Yellowknife native was also the 2011 and 2012 Canadian Elite Road Champion and U23 Road Champion.
BC Superweek features $120,000 in prize money available during nine races over 10 days. BC Superweek runs from July 4-13, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 4, 5, 6), UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahony & Sons (July 8), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 9), Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Developments (July 10) and the Tour de White Rock (July 11, 12, 13). For more information, visit www.bcsuperweek.ca.