Guillaume Boivin (Team SpiderTech-C10) was hoping to repeat his 2010 World Championships bronze medal performance from the road race, this afternoon in Copenhagen, Denmark, but he knew heading into the race that it would be no easy task as the lone Canadian rider in the 175-rider field.
Boivin, who missed a lot of the current racing season to heal leg injuries, arrived in top form in Copenhagen with the only goal in mind to win the race, which was 12 laps of a 14km circuit for a total distance of 168km. The task was extremely hard for Boivin as the only Canadian rider in the U23 race, as Canada didn’t get the qualifying quotas for the event.
The only possible strategy for Boivin was to stay in the pack and ride away from troubled situation, and set himself up for a sprint finish, and that’s exactly what he did. Unfortunately, in addition to be the lone Canadian rider, Boivin was a victim of many mechanical issues, which included two flats, a broken saddle and a broken wheel, which forced him to change bike throughout the race.
“I knew the course was easy enough, and that many countries wanted a sprint at the end. I raced ‘low-profile’, staying behind the pack because it is not hard to be at the back. I wanted to save energy as much as possible for the finish. It’s pretty hard being alone, without teammates, to position yourself. I had to hide behind and wait until the last minute. It certainly increases the chances of a fall and contact with other riders.”
The race started on a very fast pace right from the sound of the gun. Two riders went on the attack, chased sporadically and stayed in the leading position until the 130-kilometer mark, when they were caught. At the finish, it was a bunch sprint as expected by many, and a pair of French rider took the first and second spot, followed by a Great Britain rider.
Ultimately, Boivin ended up in 117th place, but the result is insignificant. “I came here with one goal in mind, and that was to win the race. I felt good, I’ve never really been ‘in the red’, and the legs were great. I was really confident for the final. It’s sad because it was my last race among the U23.
Now, Boivin would like to attend the 2011 Pan-American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, and is looking forward to racing next year. “I now turn the page on 2011 and the focus for the 2012 season, and hopefully find my way to victory next year. I like it when the races are difficult; they are beautiful races. It motivates me to participate in renowned races with impressive palmarès. I hope to perform well during the spring classics, and have good races. Riding in the Elite category does not scare me because I already race at that level. I will be looking to start next season with the ambition and intention to win races.”
Pilote-Fortin has great international debug in junior race; Ewart unlucky
In the women’s junior road race, Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin was Canada’s top finisher, with a 19th place. Pilote-Fortin, which was racing her first ever World Championships, was satisfied with her race and her experience. “This is my first ‘real’ international race of my career, and it’s a very good start to my career. I am really happy with what I have accomplished today. Typically, I am more of a climber, and today I realized after the sprint finish that I am much more versatile. With a little bit more road, perhaps 100m, the experience would have been much better.”
Annie Ewart, the Canadian champion in the discipline, was extremely unlucky as she found herself behind a crash in the last kilometer of the race. Sitting behind the Mexican sprinter, Ewart was forced to brake heavily and swerve as the Mexican collided with another rider who had stopped in front of her. Ewart went on to finish the race in 50th place.
“It was good for the most part. It’s definitely an improvement from last year. I got the chance to ride in the break, which I thought would have stuck for a longer time because most of the Top 10 time trial riders girls were there, but organization in the bunch wasn’t quite there and we eventually got caught. That’s the way it goes.”
Tomorrow, the women will be racing the road race, as well as the men’s junior, on the same course used in today’s races.
1. Lucy Garner (Great Britain) 1:46:17
2. Jessy Druyts (Belgium)
3. Christina Siggaard (Denmark)
19. Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Canada)
50. Annie Ewart (Canada) +00:19
61. Alizee Brien (Canada) +08:20
DNF Allison Beveridge (Canada)
1. Arnaud Demare (France) 3:52:16
2. Adrien Petit (France)
3. Andrew Fenn (Great Britain)
117. Guillaume Boivin (Canada) +02:38