Rain or shine, over 500 of Canada’s top road cyclists will compete in Edmonton Alberta for Canada’s ultimate road cycling title. The 2010 Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) National Road Championships take place this weekend, from June 25th to June 27th, 2010.
|Time||Category||Event||Distance (laps)||Course Map|
|Thursday, June 24, 2010|
|11:00 AM||Press Conference Featuring National Team members Svein Tuft and Tara Whitten|
|Friday, June 25, 2010|
|10:00 AM||Women Elite/U23||Time Trial||21K||ITT map|
|01:00 PM||Men Elite/U23||Time Trial||42K||ITT map|
|Sunday, June 27, 2010|
|08:30 AM||Women Elite||Road Race||127K (10 laps)||Circuit Map|
|01:00 PM||Men Elite/U23||Road Race||180k (14 laps)||Circuit Map|
|Time||Category||Event||Distance (laps)||Course Map|
The Canadian Championships comes to Western Canada after four consecutive years of being hosted in Saint-Georges de Beauce, QC.
The riders compete not just for the honor to wear the National Red and White Maple Leaf Jersey as the Canadian Champion but also for the highly-coveted UCI points which are crucial for Canada’s International ranking. Top riders will represent Canada at the World Championships held in Melbourne, Australia, this upcoming October.
The Time Trials, held Friday June 25th, are in the town of Devon, south of Edmonton and features a wide-open course with a power climb for both men and women. The women’s course will be 21km long, while the men will go double the distance at 42km.
The man to beat is 4-time and defending champion Svein Tuft (Garmin-Transitions). Other riders to watch include last year’s second-place and Tuft’s teammate Chris Meier, Zach Bell (Kelly Benefit) who finished third last year and Dominique Rollin (Cervelo TestTeam). Of course, one cannot talk about the Canadian Championships without mentioning the only UCI-registered Canadian team, Spidertech p/b Planet Energy. Both Ryan Roth who finished second at the Chrono de Gatineau and Francois Parisien have had good results in TTs.
Four-time U23 TT champion David Veilleux (Kelly Benefit) is hoping that his first year racing in the Elite will be golden.
“I’m happy, I think it is going well.” said Veilleux about his form. He finished third overall at the Nature Valley Grand Prix last week. “I had some problems in California, I over-trained a bit so I had a good two weeks of rest afterwards. I wasn’t great at Philly because I didn’t train much the week before. But after Philly, I started training again, and we had a good race schedule, with fast races so I think that it’s good. I am confident for the next races.”
With Veilleux’ teammate Ryan Anderson, second-place in the U23 TT, also moving up to the Elite level, some of the favorites have to be Cody Campbell (Trek-Livestrong), third last year and David Boily (Spidertech p/b Planet Energy).
On the women’s side, defending champion Tara Whitten (Specialized Mazda Samson G Conseil) is the favorite going in even if she has not raced many road events this year. She won two golds at the 2010 double Track World Championship titles in the Omnium and Points races earlier this year and finished 6th at the Chrono de Gatineau in May.
Last year’s second-place finisher – actually she was third behind a U23 rider – Anne Samplonius (Team VBF) is aiming for a podium at the minimum. “She is a double world champion on track this year and won nationals last year,” said multiple-time former National Canadian TT Champion Samplonious about Whitten. “Still, I’d love to win. That’s my goal. If not, I definitely want to podium.”
Julie Beveridge, who finished second overall and took the U23 title, has been racing in Europe with the French UCI team Vienne-Futuroscope and is aiming to bring back a Maple Leaf to Europe at the Elite level.
The Road Cycling event will be held on Sunday, on a similar course to the 1978 Commonwealth Games. While the circuit race held on a 13-km course throughout the City of Edmonton is a bit hillier than last year’s course, it should still favor sprinters. Women will complete 10 laps while the men ride the course 14 times. The Elite and U23 riders race together but are scored separately.
Last year’s was quite unusual in the men’s race. The three first riders across the finish line were U23 riders with 20-year old Guillaume Boivin, then riding for Volkswagen-Specialized taking the win, followed by André Tremblay (Équipe du Québec) who is also 20 years of age. Andrew Hunt (Planet Energy) was third. Technically however, it was Aaron Fillion (Ride With Rendall) who became the new Canadian Champion by finishing in fourth place.
The four riders were part of a group of nine that broke away from the 139-rider pack at the 20 kilometer mark in the usual early break but what followed was not usual tactics – what has been called ‘playing chicken on bikes’.
I’m pretty sure that Spidertech will not let the same thing happen this year and will use their numbers to control the race. They’ll be looking to set up their sprinters Keven Lacombe and Martin Gilbert who has been dominating the Mardis Cyclistes de Lachine. Veilleux, Anderson and Bell will be joined by Marsh Cooper to make it four KBS in the race. Tuft and Meier and Rollin will also contest the road race. Riding with no teammates, Andrew Pinfold (UnitedHealthcare), Will Routley (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) and Rob Britton (BISSELL) will be hoping to play the joker.
Alison Testroete (Team VBF), current Canadian National Road Champion, will contest both the time trial and road race. She looks to defend her title against a competitive field on Sunday, June 27.
Samplonious considers it a course that favors sprinters and hopes to see Testroete win from a break. “I’d rather not see it come down to a bunch sprint,” commented said Samplonious. “Alison’s a good breakaway rider. She can win this race on smarts. I’d like to see her get in a break without the top sprinters. It’s something she’s capable of pulling off.”
Riders to watch in the women include Joelle Numainville and Erinne Willock both on Webcor, Beveridge and Audrey Lemieux. In the U23 field, Denise Ramsden and Karol-Ann Canuel are both riders to watch.
The Junior Canadian Road Championships will be held on July 1-4 in Devon, Alberta.