Canadian Cyclist


June 20/24 14:35 pm - Road Nationals Returns to Beauce Region

Posted by Editoress on 06/20/24

For the first time since 2021, the Canadian Road Championships return to the Beauce region, south of Quebec City. Less than a week after the conclusion of the Tour de Beauce, St-Georges will welcome over 350 of Canada's top male and female road racers for four days of competition in the Elite, Under-23, Junior, Under-17 and Para categories, with national titles and maple leaf jerseys to be awarded in the time trial, road race and criterium events.

Time Trials
The competition begins on Friday with the Time Trial, to be held on an out-and-back course beginning and ending in the town of St-Prosper, north of St-Georges. Races run from 11kilometres to 34 kilometres, depending upon the category. The course is a rolling one, with open sections when wind will be a factor. The heatwave that has covered the area for most of the week is scheduled to break tonight, so riders will face more temperate weather in the low to mid-20s Celcius.

The Elite men's time trial will see a new champion, since Derek Gee (Israel Premier Tech) will miss the event as he prepares for the upcoming Tour de France. However, his teammate Pier-André Côté will race, and will face strong competition from Chris Ernst (Toronto Hustle), Laurent Gervais (Project Echelon), Carson Mattern (Israel premier Tech Academy), Carson Miles (Team N'SIDE) and Evan Russell (Toronto Hustle). Michael Leonard (Ineos Grenadiers), who won the Under-23 title last year, only a few seconds behind Gee, will be racing also, and could potentially win both the Elite and Under-23 titles.


Paula Findlay

Michael Leonard

The two-time defending Elite women's champion, Paula Findlay, will be racing, and she will face a number of Canada's top European-based pros, including Alison Jackson (EF Education Cannondale), Olivia Baril (Movistar) and Magdeleine Vallieres Mill (EF Education Cannondale), as well as Sarah van Dam (DNA Pro Cycling). Interestingly, the last time the Nationals were held here, Vallieres Mill won all three Junior women's national titles. Some Under-23 riders will also be in the mix - Isabella and Ava Holmgren (Lidl-Trek) and last year's Under-23 champion, Ngaire Barraclough.

In the Para categories, medal winners from the Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games will be competing, including Alexandre Hayward (Men C3), Charles Moreau (Men H3), Mike Sametz (Men C3) and Nathan Clement (Men T1), along with Paralympian and 2022 World bronze medallist Joey Desjardins (Men H3). Also competing will be 16-times world champion Shelley Gautier (Women T1).

Road Race
The road races will take place on Saturday and Sunday. The course for all but the Para riders consists of a 28 kilometre out-and-back section to a 28 kilometre rectangular loop. The course contains multiple climbs, including a Category 2 KoM from Stage 2 of the Tour de Beauce. The Under-17/Junior women will do one full circuit of 86.7 kilometres on Saturday morning, followed by the Under-23/Elite men in the afternoon with 199.2 kilometres (5 laps). On Sunday, the Para riders will race in the morning on a 6.1 kilometre circuit for between 6 and 13 laps, followed by the Under-17/Junior men on the road circuit for 114.8 kilometres (2 laps), and finally the Under-23/Elite women for the same 114.8 kilometre distance.The weather forecast for Saturday is cloudy and mid-20s, but Sunday is calling for rain.

2021 Alison Jackson attacks

2021, Guillaume Boivin

Elite women's champion Alison Jackson will look to defend her title - which she also won on this course in 2021 with a long solo breakaway - but she will face strong competition for the aforementioned women. Her stiffest competition could be Baril, who won the Under-23 title here in 2019 and was fifth as an Elite in 2021.

The defending Elite men's champion, Nick Zukowsky is out with injury, but the team to beat will be Israel Premier Tech, who have sent Mike Woods, Riley Pickrell and Pier-André Côté. One name that also appears on the entry list is the legendary Eric Wohlberg - eight times the national time trial champion, Commonwealth Games champion, Olympian - the 59 year old Wohlberg knows the Beauce region well and won the Tour de Beauce in 1995.


The four corner 1.3 kilometre criterium circuit has an uphill sprint finish, requiring excellent positioning and timing out of the final corner. The forecast shows a possibility of rain at this time. Defending champion and criterium specialist Alec Cowan (Legion of Los Angeles) is a strong favourite for the men's race. Jackson, with her strong sprint will be looking to finish off her weekend with a win here, but riders like Sarah van Dam may spoil her chances, as well as last year's winner, Holly Simonson (LA Sweat) and third place finisher Jenna Nestman (Goldman Sachs EFTs / Tesseract).





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