Rémi Pelletier-Roy and Leah Kirchmann are the newest Canadian Criterium Champions, winning the men and women titles on a gorgeous day to close the 2014 Global Relay Canadian Road Cycling Championships in Lac Mégantic. Kirchmann made history by winning all three titles this year.
In the men’s race, Pelletier-Roy (Garneau-Quebecor) won the top honors by edging at the finish line, Ryan MacDonald (Team H&R Block) in second and Dustin Andrews (Trek Red truck Racing) in third.
“At the beginning of the year, Louis [Garneau] named me captain of the team, and he told me he wanted a criterium team. This is what was built. It would have been disappointing for us not to win the of Canadian championships title, as Pierrick had won last year. That was the goal this year, so mission accomplished,” Pelletier-Roy said in a press release.
A small group of four riders left early in the race, and managed to keep their 30-second gap throughout the race, making it through to the finish line. In the last few laps, the large peloton accelerated and slowly reduced the gap, but these efforts were not enough to close the gap.
“Pierrick and I are very good friends off the bike. Whether it was him or me, we would have been happy. The goal was for me to take part in the breakaway and make other teams work. Pierrick would have a good chance of winning in a bunch.”
The top two finishers of the fast-paced race, Pelletier-Roy and MacDonald, also earned their ticket to the 2014 Challenge Sprint Pro, which will take place during the UCI WorldTour Grand Prix cycliste de Québec, on Thursday September 11.
“The Challenge Sprint Pro runs at the same time as the UCI Track Pan-American Championships. We’ll have to look potential scheduling conflicts. It is certain that I would love to be present and race in Quebec, since it is a very sentimental race to me, since I live in Quebec,” concluded Pelletier-Roy.
In the women’s criterium races, Kirchmann (Optum) crossed the finish line in first place in a bunch sprint. With the victory, Kirchmann secured the triple-crown, winning the titles in the time trial, road and criterium races at these 2014 Global Relay Canadian Road Cycling Championships.
The race was dominated by Team Optum, with all of its members taking off in a breakaway. “It was our plan to try to get a breakaway like that with as many of us in it. I was pretty excited when all of my teammate were in it,” admitted Kirchmann. “Unfortunately for us, the peloton behind us was pretty organized. It was also windier than we thought, which made it hard to keep the pace up. We stayed there for as long as we could.”
The race ended in a bunch sprint, and with two powerful teammates in Annie Ewart and Denise Ramsden, Kirchmann made no mistake in the final stretch. “Once we got caught, we were still pretty involved. Coming in the final lap, I stayed on Annie’s wheel on the decent. Denise then took over and set a fast pace. Annie carried me away to the final stretch to launch the sprint.”
The defending champion, which now has won the last four Canadian Championships races, edged at the finish line Joanie Caron (Garneau-Factory) and Jamie Gilgen (RealDeal-Gears).
With the triple-crown, Team Optum swept the women’s races at these Championships, the second consecutive time this feat is accomplished.
In addition to the criterium races, the exciting Canadian Sprint Challenge was held on this last day of the first weekend of competition at the 2014 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships. Cody Canning (Team Accent Inns/Russ Hay’s p/b Scotiabank) made it all the way to the finals in a convincing way, and won the ultimate race of the day.
In the fight for second place, a photo finish was needed to determine the winner of the race. At the end, a late push helped Geoffroy Dussault (Garneau-Quebecor) edge Elliot Doyle (Silber Pro Cycling). The top 2 finishers of the Canadian Sprint Challenge, Canning and Dussault, will also race the Challenge Sprint Pro.
The 2014 Global Relay Canadian Road Cycling Championships continue from Thursday to Sunday in Beauceville with the time trial, road and criterium races for the junior and master races.
Podiums – Criterium – Global Relay Canadian Road Championships
MEN (Full results)
1. PELLETIER-ROY, Rémi (Garneau-Québécor) 59:35
2. MACDONALD, Ryan Shaun (Team H&R Block) ST
3. ANDREWS, Dustin (Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic) ST
WOMEN (Full results)
1. KIRCHMANN, Leah (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit) 57:24
2. CARON, Joanie (Garneau-Factory) ST
3. GILGEN, Jamie (RealDeal/Gears p/b WaspCam) ST
Podiums – Challenge Sprint – Global Relay Canadian Road Championships
MEN (Full results)
1. CANNING, Cody (Accent Inns/Russ Hay’s p/b Scotiabank)
2. DUSSAULT, Geoffroy (Garneau‐Québécor)
3. DOYLE, Elliott (Team Silber Pro Cycling)
4. VARABEI, Anton (Jet Fuel Coffee/Norco Bicycles)
WOMEN (Full results)
1. FOREMAN‐MACKEY, Annie (Stevens‐The Cyclery)
2. FLYNN, Emily (Stevens‐The Cyclery)
3. WATTERS, Ellen (Stevens‐The Cyclery)
4. ALBERT, Élizabeth (Equipe du Québec)