Australian Nankervis returns to race that jump-started career with win at Tour de Delta; Winnipeg’s Gendron survives crash to make it two straight women’s wins as BC Superweek continues
Report by Tour de Delta
The first time Australian Tommy Nankervis came to BC Superweek back in 2005 it jumpstarted his professional road cycling career. He came back this year to win.
Nankervis surprised the pack by taking off halfway down the back stretch, and held off an impressive field through the final two corners to win the 2011 Tour de Delta Brenco Criterium on Saturday night, completing 60 laps of the 0.9 kilometer circuit through the streets of the Ladner fishing village in one hour, 14 minutes and 20.40 seconds.
“I just went for it halfway down the back straight and made it into the second-last corner third wheel and knew if I came through the last corner in front I wouldn’t have anyone pass me,” said Nankervis, riding for the RealCyclist.com Pro Team run by three-time Canadian Olympian Gord Fraser, whose 200-plus victories includes Tour de Delta.
“There’s lots of strong riders here, I thought I’d be overwhelmed but I got lucky. I went for it really early, I’ve been doing some really hard training and it paid off.”
Nankervis finished ahead of hard-charging North Vancouver native Andrew Pinfold of United Healthcare Pro Cycling, who has won several stages of the Tour de Delta but had to settle for a sprint win to claim $400 prime with four laps left to go.
“I’ve won the crowd prime here before when it was like $2,500 and I thought maybe that was the lap, so I picked that lap as the one I was going to go for,” said Pinfold, who on another $300 prime. “I had some legs at the end, but Tommy was a bit too strong.”
Michael Smith Larsen, a Danish rider competing alone for the smaller California-based SoCal Cycling Team, finished third, just ahead of Team Exergy’s Columbian Olympian Carlos Alzate, who was also fourth in Friday’s MK Delta Lands Criterium and will wear the Tour de Delta leader’s jersey into the White Spot Road Race on Sunday morning.
Larsen, who has won the Danish title and finished third at the European Championships on the track in the Madison race, called it his biggest podium of the year. It was a nice bonus considering he only came north because he had to leave the USA briefly.
“I’m trying to renew my Visa so I have to leave country and someone told me how great the races are up here so I thought if I have to leave the country I might as well do some good racing up here,” Larsen said. “So it’s a win-win situation.”
That sounds a lot like Nankervis six years ago, but without the Visa issues.
A former under-19 Australian national champion on the track, Nankervis kept racing track through university before coming to BC Superweek for his first road race 2005, and turned a strong performance into his first contract with an American-based Pro Team. He also spent two years competing in Europe before joining Fraser, his coach for the last four years, on the Realcyclist.com team, this season and finally returning to Delta.
“Yeah, just to win,” Nankervis, 28, said of the tip he received from Fraser. “It’s a pretty important race for me, The first race I ever did outside of Australia and with Gord coaching me four years as well, so there are a lot of great connections.”
For a while it didn’t look like it would be enough to hold off a powerful Team Exergy squad with seven riders, including Alzate, who won four primes worth $700, Andres Diaz, who was second to Ryan Anderson (Team Spidertech) on Friday, and local rider Ben Chaddock, who used a strong showing at last year’s Tour de Delta to earn a contract with the Boise, Idaho-based team and won the $1,000 crowd prime on Saturday. But it was all the primes – $3,300 in total – that made it hard for Exergy to stay in control.
“The Exergy guys did a great job to try and control it, but Delta just kept throwing money at us and we keep hitting out for it and trying and that will disrupt every lead out,” said Pinfold, who has raced all 11 years, with a smile. “Always great crowds, and a testament they came through with $1,000 primes and $300 and $400 primes, so thanks.”
Karlee Gendron was also thankful after following up Friday night’s win with a repeat on Saturday evening, getting into a four-rider break 10 laps into the 40-lap race, lapping the field halfway through, and surviving a hard fall that left her bloodied and bruised.
Gendron, a Winnipeg native riding for the local Trek Red Truck team after a recent Team Canada project in Europe, got back up and into the break, and won a sprint to the finish to complete the race in 58 minutes and 31.5 seconds with blood trickling down her leg.
“No definitely not, I’m tough,” she said when asked – after receiving post-race medical treatment – if she ever considered quitting. “I got right back in the break and it was good. Of course I’m going to be really sore tomorrow. My knee and hips are pretty stiff.”
Gendron edged out Jasmine Glaesser (Local Ride Racing/Dr. Vie Superfoods), who celebrated her 19th birthday Friday with a third place finish, and 40-year-old American Patricia Bailey of the Seattle-based Keller Rorhback Cycling Team was third.
“I try not to think they could be my daughters but it’s good I can keep up,” she said.
Gendron will wear the Tour de Delta leader’s jersey when the $65,000 BC Superweek continues with the White Spot Road Race Sunday, but Glaesser isn’t far back – and she doesn’t have to recover from a nasty spill the way Gendron does.
“I was going to go for a $100 prime and didn’t position myself because it was kind of a last minute decision, which got me in some trouble, and I just came around outside and either clipped my pedal or just took it at a bad angle,” she said. “I can’t really feel much right now. Just some nasty road rash, bruising on hips and forearm, but other than that everything is good. I just got to wake up positive and thinking I can do it.”
Top 10 Women Tour de Delta Brenco Criterium
1. Karlee Gendron (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) 58:31.50
2. Jasmin Glaesser (Local Ride Racing/Dr. Vie Superfoods+)
3. Patricia Bailey (Keller Rohrback)
4. Jessica Hannah (Local Ride Racing/Dr. Vie Superfoods+) 58:35.60
5. Laura Brown (Local Ride Racing/Dr. Vie Superfoods+) +1 Lap
6. Shailie Sanbrooks (Russ Hays Bike Shop)
7. Julia Garnet (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes)
8. Noe Cooper (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes)
9. Stephanie Roorda (Local Ride Racing/Dr. Vie Superfoods+)
10. Amy Dearden (Russ Hays Bike Shop)
Top 10 Men Tour de Delta Brenco Criterium
1. Tommy Nankervis (RealCyclist.com Pro Cycling Team) 01:14:29.40
2. Andrew Pinfold (United Health Care)
3. Michael Smith Larsen (Socalcycling team)
4. Carlos Alzate (Team Exergy)
5. Jacob Schwingboth (Isorex)
6. Tyler Trace (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes)
7. Jesse Reams (Garneau Evolution)
8. Cid Martinez-Arroyo (Team Coastal)
9. Marsh Cooper (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth)
10. Andres Diaz (Team Exergy)
Top 10 Women Tour de Delta Omnium After Brenco Criterium
1. Karlee Gendron (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) 60 pts
2. Jasmin Glaesser (Local Ride Racing/Dr. Vie Superfoods+) 54
3. Patricia Bailey (Keller Rohrback) 46
4. Shailie Sanbrooks (Russ Hays Bike Shop) 44
5. Laura Brown (Local Ride Racing/Dr. Vie Superfoods+) 40
6. Dana Walton (Cadence/Alliance Environmental) 39
7. Jessica Hannah (Local Ride Racing/Dr. Vie Superfoods+) 37
8. Shani Laxson (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) 34
9. Stephanie Roorda (Local Ride Racing/Dr. Vie Superfoods+) 33
10. Amy Dearden (Russ Hays Bike Shop) 31
Top 10 Men Tour de Delta Omnium After Brenco Criterium
1. Carlos Alzate (Team Exergy) 48 pts
2. Andrew Pinfold (United Health Care) 45
3. Tommy Nankervis (RealCyclist.com Pro Cycling Team) 45
4. Michael Smith Larsen (Socalcycling team) 44
5. Ryan Anderson (Spider Tech) 43
6. Andres Diaz (Team Exergy) 43
7. Marsh Cooper (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) 42
8. Tyler Trace (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) 34
9. Jacob Schwingboth (Isorex) 33
10. Sebastian Salas (Team H&R BLOCK) 33