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April 28/24 16:59 pm - Clarke Repeats as Paris to Ancaster Champion

Posted by Editoress on 04/28/24

The 30th annual Paris to Ancaster (P2A) saw approximately 2700 riders race over three distances - Cento (100 kilometres), Classic (70 kilometres) and Brève (45 kilometres) - on Sunday, with riders facing intermittent rain throughout the day. American cyclo-crosser Lane Maher was the first to finish the Cento, only one second ahead of Canadian Gravel Champion Evan Russell (Hustle Pro Cycling), as they sprinted for the finish at the top of a 20% climb. Devon Clarke, the women's Canadian Gravel Champion and defending P2A winner, took the women's title, after her main rival, two-time winner Maghalie Rochette, suffered a flat while both were at the front of the race.


Men's/Overall winner Lane Maher pulls away from the group in the final 250m

Women's winner Devon Clarke

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From the start at the Paris Fairgrounds, riders zig-zagged their way north and east on mainly gravel roads to the bridge crossing over the Grand River at Glen Morris, before entering the rail trail to head north to Cambridge. Five riders got away early, taking a lead of over a minute, but the pace of the group behind them was too high to sustain the gap.

From Cambridge, the route took riders south and east on a mix of off-road sections and gravel roads, before hitting the rail trail at Harrisburg with approximately 40 kilometres to go. Noah Ramsay entered the rail trail with a ten second lead on mountain bike pro Gunnar Holmgren, who was just a few seconds in front of a group of 20 riders that included all of the favourites. However, the group quickly came back together, and mostly stayed intact until the final muddy chute section leading into the Ancaster area.

The final obstacle is the 500 metre gravel climb to the finish line up Martin Road, that tops out at 20% and has seen many riders crack. This time, there was an unusually large group of six that hit the base of the climb together. Maher went to the front on the steepest section in the final 250 metres, and no one could match his pace. Behind, Russell and another American - Ashlin Barry - battled for second, with the Canadian just managing to gain a couple of seconds in the final 200 metres. Former winners Gunnar Holmgren and Michael van den Hamm were fourth and fifth, respectively, and Noah Ramsay hung on for fifth.

In the women's race, Devon Clarke was able to cruise to victory without Rochette to challenge her, finishing 39th overall and only woman to finish in the top-65 overall, an impressive ride. Katherine Rusch took second (66th overall) with Betty Hasse third (69th overall). Rochette battled back to finish eighth (108th overall). A noteworthy ride was Rafaelle Carrier, the Junior women's Gravel Champion finishing fourth in the women's race and 71st overall.


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Devon Clarke

Maghalie Rochette




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