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June 23/16 11:33 am - Road Nationals Begin on Saturday - Preview

Posted by Editoress on 06/23/16

In less then 48 hours, the 2016 Canadian Road Nationals will begin for the Junior, Under-23, Elite and Para categories. This year, the Nationals is split between Ottawa and Gatineau.

"We are very excited about the upcoming Global Relay Canadian Road Championships p/b Lexus," said Mathieu Boucher, Director of Performance Development at Cycling Canada. "Riders will be treated to an amazing set of challenging courses with all the hospitality the Nation's Capital region has to offer. The Canadian Championships are the premier event to showcase the top talent our country has to offer."

The Nationals begin on Saturday with the road races for Junior men (120 km) and women (80 km), Elite women/Under-23 women(110 km) - Note that there is no official U23 women's category on the road - and all Para categories for Tandem, Trike, Bicycle and Handcycle (20 km to 70 km). The Under-23 and Elite men will race on Sunday for 180 km.

The races will take place on a ten kilometre circuit, centered around the Tunney's Pasture Campus in Ottawa. The circuit does not include any significant climbs, so we are likely to see sprint finishes in many of the races.

While start lists are not out, we will see a number of top Canadian pros in the field. On the men's side, it will include Svein Tuft (Orica GreenEdge), Hugo Houle (AG2R la mondial) and Ryan Anderson (Direct Energie). The major domestic squads will have a strong presence - Silber, H&R Block, Rally (U.S.-based) - and have the numbers to control the race.  There will be a new men's Road Race champion, as defending champ Guillaume Boivin was serously injured at the GP Saguenay and is out of action.

The women's field is similarly strong, with defending champion Joelle Numainville (Bigla), Leah Kirchmann (Liv-Plantur), Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels-Dolmans), Lex Albrecht (BePink) and Tara Whitten (The Cyclery-Opus) all scheduled to attend.

The time trials for all categories will take place on Tuesday (June 28th), on the Gatineau Parkway. The Para cyclists will race 12 kilometres, Junior women 16 km, Junior men and Elite/U23 women 26 km, and and U23/Elite men 36 km. All races feature a long steady climb out, with a turnaround and fast descent return.

Most of the same riders will race the time trials, and we should see some good battles between Tuft, Houle and Ryan Roth (Silber) for the men, and Whitten and Canuel for the women.

The following day (Wednesday, June 29th) is the Criterium Challenge - not a UCI recognized championship, but medals and a special jersey will be awarded. Race will be held for Junior men and women, and Elite men and women.

The Criterium Challenge will also be the site of the official announcement of Canada's cycling teams for Olympic and Paralympic Games, with a number of Team Canada's athletes in attendance.

"This is the first time in many years that the Canadian Championships road races are taking place in an urban setting," points out Doug Corner, who, along with John Large, is the local organizer for the Championships. "Ottawa and Gatineau residents, and visitors from across the country, are in for a spectacular set of races with these Global Relay Canadian Road Championships p/b Lexus. There will be challenging courses for the riders, and for the spectators there will be lots to see in addition to the races. We encourage everyone to come out and see Canada's best cyclists and para-cyclists compete for the Championship titles."

Further information can be found in the Technical Guide for the Championships.


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