Posted by Editoress on 07/4/08
Road National Championships - Women's ITT St Georges QC
The 2008 Canadian National Road Cycling Championships began on Friday with the individual time trial events for Elite and Under-23 men and women. Svein Tuft (Symmetrics) took his fourth title in the men's 40 kilometre event, while Anne Samplonius (Cheerwine) won her second title in the women's 20 kilometre race. David Veilleux of (Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast) won the Under-23 men's category and Julie Beveridge (Aaron's) the women's Under-23 race.
The out and back circuit was familiar to a lot of the men, since it was an extension of the one used a few weeks earlier in the Tour de Beauce - where Tuft took over the lead, and eventually became the first Canadian winner of Beauce since 1995.
The circuit, in the words of third place finisher Zach Bell (Symmetrics), "is a grind", but the primary obstacle was the steady head and cross wind the riders faced on the outward leg. Losing time here was impossible to make up in the tailwind on the way back, since almost everyone was spun out on their gearing.
Samplonius, the defending champion, won a very close women's race with a time of 29 minutes and 59 seconds, less than four and a half seconds ahead of Julie Beveridge and Alex Wrubleski (Webcor).
For Samplonius, the win is tinged with disappointment, since she found out a few days earlier that her appeal to win a spot on the Canadian team for the Olympic Games was denied. Samplonius beat the three Olympic athletes - Wrubleski, Erinne Willock (Webcor) and Leigh Hobson (Cheerwine) - to win the time trial title.
"Bittersweet is a good word; I was a lot happier when I won last year. The last two weeks has been a roller coaster of emotion, and it was hard to gather myself back up and find the motivation. But, I just put my head down and rode as hard as I could, and now I will focus on getting ready to do the best ride that I can at the world championships in September."
Samplonius' win was all the more impressive because she had found out at the beginning of the week that her time trial bike was damaged and not repairable in time for the event.
"I got back from Nature Valley and found out that my TT bike had the rear dropout bent. The local shop thought it could be fixed, but then realized on Monday that it was not possible, which was too late to be finding a replacement. So, I put some clipons [bars] on my road bike."
20 year old Beveridge, one of Canada's up and coming stars, commented "can you believe that? Anne's awesome."
While Samplonius won the women's title - and an automatic selection to the world championships - there was a second battle underway in the women's race for the Olympic time trial position. National coach Vincent Jourdain had asked to delay the selection of which rider would get the TT spot until after the national championships, so Wrubleski, Willock and Hobson were as much interested in their relative positions, as they were in the final standings.
Wrubleski was the clear winner here, finishing 4.31 seconds behind Samplonius, 33 seconds ahead of Hobson and 47 in front of Willock. While the official announcement cannot be made until after the selection committee meets, Jourdain agreed "this makes my job much easier".
"It was in the back of my mind," admitted Wrubleski "but really my focus was just to do the best I could in this race."
In the men's race, where the time differences are usually measured in seconds, Tuft's winning time of 51:23 was nearly two minutes ahead of second place Ryan Roth (Team RACE Pro), with third place Bell a further minute in arrears.
Tuft, who will represent Canada at the Beijing Olympic Games in both the time trial and road race events in just over one month, called his performance "the best 40K time trial of my life. Last year [when he finished second to Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Slipstream), who is at the Tour de France] I was struggling on the final climb, but this time I had power right until the end. You know when you are going well, and this was a day that I was on. I treated this like it was the Olympics in my preparation and visualization, so this definitely is a good win to have."
Both Roth and Bell had virtually conceded the win to Tuft, with Bell saying "when Svein is your two minute man, you know it is going to be hard, so my first objective was to get to the turnaround before he passed me, and I did that by 15 seconds."
Tuft might have been even faster, had a car not gotten onto the course in the final 1500 metres, forcing him to take evasive maneuvers. "The motorcycle was trying to get this woman to pull over, and she made the best decision and just stopped. I guessed it right and was able to squeeze through on the left and then dive inside the pylons to make the corner. It gave me a little adrenalin boost for the final kilometre."
- Anne Samplonius revealed that this will be her swansong for elite racing. "I believe that this will be my last Nationals and last Worlds, so I'm going to prepare to make the Worlds a good one. At the elite level I want to scale back, and have some fun. It's time to move on, and there's some good up and coming talent here in Canada now." Samplonius was a member of the silver medal team time trial squad at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, and won a silver medal in the time trial at the Road Worlds that same year.
- A number of top men did not race the time trial, saving themselves for Sunday's hard road race. Dominique Rollin (Toyota United) and Andrew Randell (Symmetrics) were both late scratches, Francois Parisien (Team RACE Pro) throttled his effort back after going hard for the first half, and Symmetrics riders Christian Meier and Cam Evans were not entered. Meier is a time trial specialist with multiple national titles to his name.
Tuft commented "the way Cam and Christian are going right now, I think you are going to see some powerful rides on Sunday."
- The men's race will take place on the same 9.6 kilometre circuit as stage five of the Tour de Beauce. It is a tough course with a long, steep climb to the finish that they have to cover 18 times. By contrast, the women race a 28.5 kilometre loop four times, which incorporates the time trial course - a rolling circuit with no significant climb to split up the field.
Wrubleski, for one, is disappointed. "We need a harder course I think. This could see the field stay together, since riders will be able to get back on after the [small] climbs."
- Eric Wohlberg (Symmetrics) finished fifth (fourth in Elite), which is the first time - as near as we can figure - that he has been off the podium for the time trial in 14 years. When it was put to Tuft that he was starting to close in on Wohlberg's 8 TT titles (note: they were consecutive titles), he laughed and said "I don't think I'll be around that long."
|Elite /U23 Women||Time||Gap|
|1. Anne Samplonius (QC) Équipe du Québec||29:59.0 (40.022 kmph)||0|
|2. Julie Beveridge * (AB) Aaron's Women's Pro||30:03.3||0:04.27|
|3. Alex Wrubleski (SK) Webcor Builders Cycl||30:03.3||0:04.31|
|4. Felicia Gomez (CA) Aarons/L5Flyers||30:10.3||0:11.3|
|5. Leigh Hobson (ON) Cheerwine||30:36.6||0:37.62|
|6. Merrill Collins (ON) La Bicicletta/J Lind||30:45.5||0:46.46|
|7. Erinne Willock (BC) Webcor Builders Cycl||30:50.4||0:51.42|
|8. Alison Testroete (BC) Aarons Professional||31:16.8||1:17.80|
|9. Johanne Cyr (QC) Équipe Cascades||31:29.0||1:29.96|
|10. Moriah MacGregor (BC) Giant||31:31.5||1:32.52|
|11. Jennifer Stephenson (ON) Team Ultralink||31:33.9||1:34.92|
|12. Karol-Ann Canuel * (QC) Équipe du Québec||31:47.9||1:48.89|
|13. Carrie Cartmill (ON) Team Ontario||31:49.9||1:50.84|
|14. Tricia K. Spooner (ON) EMD Serono Stevens||32:17.3||2:18.26|
|15. Veronique Bilodeau * (QC) Rocky Mountain/Lessa||32:31.8||2:32.79|
|16. Vèronique Labontè (QC) Équipe Cascades||32:41.5||2:42.51|
|17. Stephanie Roorda * (BC) Giant||32:52.2||2:53.18|
|18. Naomi Cermak (ON) Terry Precision Cycl||32:54.4||2:55.42|
|19. Heather Logan (ON) Team Ontario||33:01.2||3:02.14|
|20. Joanie Caron (QC) Équipe Cascades||33:01.7||3:02.64|
|21. Alyssa Weninger * (SK) Team Sask||33:15.6||3:16.63|
|22. Catherine Hogan * (QC) Équipe du Québec||33:33.6||3:34.58|
|23. Lucie Poulin (QC) Le Yéti||33:34.2||3:35.21|
|24. Terri Gregotski (ON) Team Ontario||34:26.6||4:27.57|
|25. Julia Farell (ON) Team Ultralink||34:51.2||4:52.15|
|26. Sarah Coney * (ON) Team Ultralink||34:57.1||4:58.09|
|27. Kathryn Rozitis (ON) Team Ontario||35:03.0||5:03.98|
|28. Chloè Saint-Arnaud-Watt * (ON) Team Ultralink||36:17.6||6:18.54|
|DNS. Valerie Crite * (QC) Specialized-Brault &|
|DNS. Isabelle Riedl (QC) Équipe Brunet|
|DNS. Janie Fortin * (QC) SSpecialized-Brault & Martineau-GSD|
|DNS. Julie Marceau (QC) Specialized-Brault & Martineau-GSD|
|DNS. Ariane Patenaude * (QC) Specialized-Brault & Martineau-GSD|
|DNS. Marilyn McDonald (AB) Team TBB|
|1. Julie Beveridge * (AB) Aaron's Women's Pro||30:03.3 (39.933 kmph)||0|
|2. Karol-Ann Canuel * (QC) Ãƒâ€°quipe du QuÃƒÂ©bec||31:47.9||1:44.62|
|3. Veronique Bilodeau * (QC) Rocky Mountain/Lessa||32:31.8||2:28.52|
|4. Stephanie Roorda * (BC) Giant||32:52.2||2:48.91|
|5. Alyssa Weninger * (SK) Team Saskatchewan||33:15.6||3:12.36|
|6. Catherine Hogan * (QC) Ãƒâ€°quipe du QuÃƒÂ©bec||33:33.6||3:30.31|
|7. Sarah Coney * (ON) Team Ultralink||34:57.1||4:53.82|
|8. ChloÃƒÂ¨ Saint-Arnaud-Watt * (ON) Team Ultralink||36:17.6||6:14.27|
|DNS. Valerie Crite * (QC) Specialized-Brault & Martineau-GSD|
|DNS. Janie Fortin * (QC) Specialized-Brault & Martineau-GSD|
|DNS. Ariane Patenaude * (QC) Specialized-Brault & Martineau-GSD|
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