The 2011 UCI Road World Championships kicked off today under clear skies as the junior women and U23 men took to the streets of Copenhagen for the race against the clock.
Annie Ewart posted the best result for Canada on day one with her 7th-place effort in the junior women’s contest. The Canadian completed the 13.9-kilometer test with a time of 9:12, 46 seconds than the winner Jessica Allen of Australia. Canadian Allison Beveridge finished 53 seconds down, for a 11th finish.
In the U23 men’s event, Hugo Houle was the fastest Canadian with a time of 12:50 over the 35.2 kilometers for 26th place. In his first year as a U23, Stuart Wright clocked 13:16 for 61st place.
On Tuesday, the Elite Women will take to the course in the afternoon, while the Junior Men will race in the morning. All eyes will be turned on Tara Whitten, Rhae Shaw and Clara Hughes in the Elite women race. Hughes is the Canadian Champion and UCI Continental Champion in the Elite time trials.
Hugo Houle (U23 Men- 26th place). “I think I could have done better. In the first lap I had good feelings and good legs going. When I started the second lap, the wind made thing a little harder, the legs became heavier, and I struggled. I lost precious seconds that could have made the difference. I finished about 40 seconds off my objective of a Top 15. I wasn’t far out, and could have done a little bit better. I really improved in comparison to last year, closer to the top 10. I look at the positives.”
“This season I raced a lot of big races and acquired a lot of experience with Team SpiderTech. I progressed a lot, especially in the team spirit area. I had stronger results this season in comparison with last season. I was able to distinguished myself at Canadian Championships, which was really good. I also had a very Tour de l’Avenir. However, I would have like to finish this season on a good note. We’ll now take some time off and start working on next year.”
Stuart Wright (U23 Men – 61st position). “It wasn’t a bad ride. It’s my first year as an Espoirs (U23), and this was a really good experience for the years to come. I wouldn’t say it was great from a results perspective, but a great learning experience.”
“Riding the course yesterday was not ideal with the group atmosphere and the rolling closures, so we didn’t really get to see the corners at race speed. We did get video of the course, which allowed us to see it over last night. It was a bit different today with the wind, which was a lot stronger, so that changed things a lot.”
“It’s definitely a “all-in-the-legs”, horsepower course, just who ever can crank the pedals harder.”
“It’s been a great year, moving up from the junior level last year. It was a big jump and I learnt so much. Now I am ready to put in the big ring and go, as they say.”
“I spent the year in Europe. Definitely a big jump, but I had spent some time in Europe as a junior as well, so that prepared me very well. With the National and my Trade Team (Hot Tubes Development Cycling) I think I was well prepared. Thanks to everybody who supported me, to all the coaches here at Worlds.”
Annie Ewart (Junior Women – 7th place). “It was too fun to be up there [in the hot seat]. I wish couldn’t have stayed all day. I was happy with the race. Everyone hopes to be a World Champion, but I came seventh.”
“We had a bit of a tail wind on the first half, so I felt quite good for the first half. The second half was hard, really suffering. I know I had to keep pushing through if I wanted to stay up there.”
“I was definitely hoping for the rainbow jersey. That was definitely the goal heading into the race. I am happy with seventh. It’s a big improvement with last year.”
“My focus was the time trial. I didn’t have a lot of chances to check out the course. I’ll now have a few days to check it out prior to the race on Friday.”
“We have a local time trial [in British Columbia] that really helped me train for this race, organized by the Sidney Velo. They have been great to me, and supported me. I can’t thank enough what they have done, especially the Tuesday Night Time Trials.”
“After last year, I sat down and re-evaluated everything. I then decided to be up there for this year. That was a big goal, to finish a lot better. Erinne Willock and I train together, and I couldn’t say enough good things about her, as a training partner, as a role model. We both have the same coach, Houshang Amiri, and the seventh place is largely thanks to him.”
Allison Beveridge (Junior Women, 11th place). “I haven’t done too many time trials, so I think it was a pretty good ride for me. The course was really flat, which is better for me. It was definitely windy, but not too bad. It was actually quite fast.”
“I didn’t really know what to expect coming in, so it felt like a good race. It was kind of nice not to have any expectations. I was nervous about the pacing and how I would feel. It was kind of a relief to feel normal on a bike.”
Junior Women’s Time Trial
1. Jessica Allen (AUS) 19:19
2. Elinor Barker (GBR) +00:02
3. Mieke Kroger (GER) +00:03
7. Annie Ewart (CAN) +00:46
11. Allison Beveridge (CAN) +00:53
U23 Men’s Time Trial
1. Luke Durbridge (AUS) 42:47
2. Rasmus Christian Quaade (DEN) +00:36
3. Michael Hepburn (AUS) +00:46
26. Hugo Houle (CAN) +02:54
61. Stuart Wight (CAN) +05:56