Posted by Editoress on 06/26/16
After years of coming close, Bruno Langlois (Garneau Quebecor) finally won the Elite Men's title on Sunday, at the Canadian Road Championships, in Ottawa. Ben Perry (Silber) finished second, and was also awarded the Under-23 national title, with Will Routley (Rally Cycling) taking third.
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Langlois was literally the last man on his bike, after a crash in the final corner took three of four members of the leading break out of contention. Matteo Dal-Cin (Silber) led into the corner but was carrying too much speed and slid across the pavement into the grass verge. Routley managed to avoid him, but rolled his rear tire in the effort, while Perry crashed into Dal-Cin. Perry was able to ride his bike to the finish line, while Routley ran with his bike. Dal-Cin was taken to hospital, but latest reports from the team say that he has no serious injuries.
Ready to start
The 180 kilometre race was one of attrition, with only 18 finishers out of 141 starters, due to the heat and intense pace. The 37 year old Langlois was one of ten riders that broke away from the main field early in the 18 lap race and steadily built up an insurmountable lead over the rest of the field. In addition to the final four, the break included Rob Britton (Rally), David Boily and Olivier Brisebois (both Garneau Quebecor), Nicolas Masbourian (Silber), Danick Vandale and Travis Samuel (both H&R Block).
The early break lead by Rob Britton
Significantly, missing from the break were Euro-based pros Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge), Hugo Houle (AG2R la mondiale) and Ryan Anderson (Direct Energie). All had been heavily marked in the peloton, and were aggressively chased down whenever they attempted to bridge across to the break.
Svein Tuft couldn't shake followers whenever he attacked
The final composition of the break was formed at the halfway mark, and began to pull away rapidly from the field, with all the main domestic teams in the group. By the time the race entered the final 60 kilometres, the gap to the next chase group was over six minutes, and the peloton was approaching 12 minutes in arrears, and in danger of being lapped. With four laps remaining the bunch was pulled, and the race for the title was down to ten riders.
Ten rider break
The final selection: Perry, Dal-Cin, Langlois, Routley
The attacks began in the next lap, starting with Britton, which was then countered by Langlois, setting the stage for the final four riders. Langlois tried a couple of attacks but was brought back, leading to the final crash-marred finish.
"I think I've done all the top ten places except the win," said Langlois. "Today I raced from the front, because on this course it was one where you had to gamble. I tried to attack at the end because I don't have a good sprint, but the others guys were too strong. At the end I think the others guys went too fast into the last corner and unfortunately they crashed, so I was able to come around. Nationals is always a game of poker, especially on a course like this. It's my best result; to be champion of your country. Everybody wants this, and I've been chasing it for a long time."
Perry, the Under-23 champion, while happy with his title, admitted to being disappointed. "We came here today without thoughts of the Under-23 title. I was really, really wanting to win the elite title. It's an opportunity missed due to bad luck."
Routley, who was clearly one of the strongest riders in the break, was also bitterly disappointed, commenting "it's virtually flat, so everyone talked about it not being a hard enough race, but it was ridiculously hot and windy, and the race was full gas right from the get-go. At the end the attacks start happening and that was perfect for me, I love those accelerations. I had just latched onto Matteo's [Dal-Cin] wheel, and it was 100% perfect; there was no way I was going to lose the race ... and then he took a massive yardsale in the corner. I managed to keep it up but I rolled my tire right off the rim. I figured I was going to win the race, so it's a little disappointing."
Podium: Perry, Langlois, Routley