Canadian Cyclist


January 6/06 9:12 am - 2005 Year in Review-August

Posted by Editor on 01/6/06

2005 - A Year in Review

Yesterday we continued our review of the 2005 season with the month of July - Tour month. Today we look at August. Initially, this was to be a review of August and September, however, it turned out that quite a bit took place in August!

August is always a transition month. The Tour is over and so are all the national championships and, for mountain bikers, the World Cup is mostly finished. The riders are starting to build up for the final significant events of the season - the World Championships and World Cup Finals (mountain bike).

However, August does still have a number of important events. The month opened with the BMX World Championships in Paris, France. Canada had a number of superb performances, led by world title winners Peter Jensen (45+ Cruiser) and Tory Nyhaug (13 Boys Challenge).

Dominique Rollin won the Montreal-Quebec Classic Louis Garneau, Canada's longest point-to-point race.

The Canada Summer Games took place this year in Regina and, as always, we expect a number of future stars will come out of the results. Raphael Gagne and Jean Ann McKirdy took the mountain bike races, Audrey Lemieux and Brooke Boocock the time trials, and Kevin Lacombe and Anna Tratnyek the road races. Lacombe and Alison Testroete took the Criterium wins.

We put up an editorial on August 12th pointing out that Canada had received only one spot for the elite men's road race at the Worlds, based on the new continental ranking system. Canada had not attended many of the early season races in South America, and thus had few ranking points. Eventually, Canada would improve to three spots, but the initial announcement was a wakeup call: the system is flawed, and Canada has to come up with a way to overcome the inherent flaws.

Canadians won at the TranRockies - Marty Lazarski and Andreas Hestler took the men's title, Kate Aardal and Christine Misseghers (Norway) the women and Marga Fedyna and Blair Saunders the Mixed category.

Pierre Hutsebaut, who had worked with the CCA and national team since 1983, and took the position of Director-General in 2002, left the CCA with little fanfare. Hutsebaut had been on sick leave for a number of months (following his return from acting as Technical Director for the 2003 Road Worlds in Hamilton). While there were some harsh words thrown about, it needs to be noted that Pierre was an integral part of the successes Canada has achieved in the past two decades. I wrote the following editorial regarding Pierre's involvement with the CCA and Canadian cycling:

I have known Pierre for close to 20 years. During that period we butted heads on a number of occasions, for a variety of reasons. Often we disagreed on policy direction (or lack thereof) and programs for the CCA - I can remember a few shouting matches... However, one thing that I always respected Pierre for was his passion and dedication to the sport.

We sat together in cars following races, stood in pits at World championships, hung out at receptions and spent a number of late nights together in bars, usually arguing over what we thought should be done at the CCA or the UCI.

During his time with the CCA we have had Olympic medals and world champions. Would they have happened without him? Maybe, but it is quite possible that not as many successes would have been achieved.

Pierre has an encylopedic knowledge of the sport, and vision. While his vision often clashed with others, it is important recognize that with no vision little can be achieved.

Sports and associations need renewal to grow, and there is no doubt that it was time for fresh faces and ideas at the CCA. However, we need to recognize the contribution Pierre Hutsebaut has made to our sport in Canada and, in particular, not forget the passion and vision which is necessary to achieve the greatest goals.

Good luck Pierre.

Note: subsequent to this, Pierre celebrated his 60th birthday and took a position with the UCI to oversee the North American section of the new Continental system.

Late in the month, just prior to the start of the Mountain Bike Worlds, Canadian men swept the Mount Snow Norba cross-country - Geoff Kabush, Roland Green and Seamus McGrath took 1-2-3, Mat Toulouse 5th and Chris Sheppard 8th. Kabush's victory assured him the Norba title.

The month ended with the start of the Mountain Bike Worlds in beautiful Livigno, Italy. Canada, a three-time winner, had bad luck even before the start of the race - Geoff Kabush's bike did not arrive so, with no warning or preparation, Ricky Federau took his place. Canada finished 9th.

Also during this month the latest Lance Armstrong controversy started up, one that continues today. L'Equipe got hold of results from testing of B samples from the 1999 Tour, which they allege show that Armstrong was doping. Dick Pound, the head of WADA jumped on the bandwagon. Our editorial took the position that the process was flawed and did a disservice to both our sport and the validity of the anti-doping movement. The editorial can be read Here. The controversy continues...

Tomorrow: September and Worlds


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