Posted by Editoress on 06/25/17
The road race portion of the Canadian national road championships in Ottawa concluded on Sunday with the Elite and Under-23 men's road race. Ottawa native Matteo Dal-Cin (Rally Cycling) made up for last year's crash in the final corner by taking the title after a day of torrential rain.
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The road races were held on a ten kilometre circuit west of the city center, along the Ottawa River. The 160 kilometre race began in sunny conditions, but roughly 65 kilometres into the race heavy rain swept in from the west. Racing continued for another lap before officials neutralized the competition due to nearby lightning, with riders taking shelter in tents and team vehicles at the start line.
After approximately 20 minutes, the worst of the storm had passed and the race was restarted, with the roads drying out and the sky turning sunny and hot. However, black clouds were again rolling in from the west, and with about 40 kilometres to go even heavier rain returned, only slackening off for the finish.
Attacks earlier in the race had not worked, but the rain led to even more aggressive racing. A small group opened a gap with three laps to go, but WorldTour pro Svein Tuft (Orica-Scott) went to the front of the rapidly disintegrating peloton to pull it back. Dal-Cin attacked with Under-23 rider Marc-Antoine Soucy (Garneau Quebecor) as the race went under 20 kilometres to go, and this move stuck, opening up 17 seconds during the final lap. It began shrinking through the lap, but there was no organization in the chase, in the teeming rain.
Matteo Dal-Cin (Rally Cycling) taking the win he was denied in 2016
Marc-Antoine Soucy, Matteo Dal-Cin, Pier-Andre Cote
Dal-Cin, who had crashed going into the final corner while in the lead last year, took the last turn more cautiously this time, but was able to pass Soucy in the final 100 metres to win the title. Soucy took the Under-23 title with his second place.
"It was a crazy day out there," agreed Dal-Cin, "from sun to rain, to sun and then back to rain. But I don't really care at this point, I'm just over the moon. To be honest, I don't even know how it happened [the winning break]. We just ended up out there with a lap and a half to go, and we just rolled really well together and duked it out in the sprint. I definitely didn't hot rod the corner this year! I waited until we were free and clear of it before I started my sprint. It's pretty amazing; there are just so many friends and family here."
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