Posted by Editoress on 06/29/19
Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels Dolmans), a two-time Canadian national time trial champion, won her first road title on Saturday in St-Georges, Quebec, with a daring late race solo attack. Leah Kirchmann (Team Sunweb) won the field sprint for second and Ariane Bonhomme (The Cyclery Racing) was third. Olivia Baril (Macogep Tornatech Specialized), winner of the Under-23 time trial a day earlier, also took the U23 road title.
The 108.5 kilometre course took the riders on a 31 kilometre run out to a 15 kilometre circuit, which the riders completed three times before heading back in to the finish. The rolling terrain and intermittent rain whittled away at the field.
Former cyclo-cross champion Maghalie Rochette (Specialized) was the first to attack, going clear 20 kilometres into the race and quickly joined by Marie-Soleil Blais (Astana). The bunch, controlled by Rally UHC, didn't let them get too far, and they were brought back halfway into the first circuit. After an attack from Rally, which was quickly brought back, Kinley Gibson (The Cyclery) countered and opened up a sizable gap almost immediately.
Maghalie Rochette and Marie-Soleil Blais
The climb at St Odilon
By the halfway mark of the second lap, Gibson was nearly three minutes up, and Rally began to chase in earnest. The chase split the field, with 14 riders making the front group, which exited the circuit 50 seconds down on Gibson. Gibson was caught with 25 kilometres to go, and the leading group contained most of the top contenders, including Canuel, Kirchmann, Alison Jackson (Tibco SVB), Blais, Rochette, Allison Beveridge (Rally UHC), Sara Bergen (Rally UHC) and Ariane Bonhomme (The Cyclery). Also in the group was Baril.
The group seemed content to ride together, as the weather got worse with wind and rain, until eight kilometres to go, when Canuel attacked on a climb. The group hesitated, and Canuel got eight seconds, then 12 and eventually 20. Coming up the final climb to the finish, Canuel was grinning, despite the rain, as she coasted across the line.
"It's funny, I woke up this morning hoping for rain," admitted Canuel. "It didn't bother me. Everyone in that group was strong, and you just had to pick your moment; it could have been anyone in the group. I think I was just smart with my move, and then everyone looked at each other for a couple of seconds. That's all I needed, and I just time trialed to the end. Last year was a similar situation, but I was caught in the last 100 metres, so this year I was just hoping I could make it."
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