The Canadian National Road Championships are underway with the Individual Time Trials and Elite women’s road race done and the Elite men and Criterium races still to come.
The ITT was held June 23rd in the area around Belfountain, ON which has lots of rolling countryside. It was a fast 21.6KM course with seven corners that the women did once and the men rode twice. With only one lap for the women, it’s a challenge to get good photos… a little easier for the men with two laps. Clara Hughes (racing for Equipe du Quebec) was still smarting from a crash she took earlier in the week, and the photos I have show a few bandaged spots. Still, she had what it took to win. There was an error in the early results that must have been frustrating for Erinne Willock (TIBCO) as she was unofficially announced as the winner only to have it corrected a few minutes later. On the men’s side, everyone knew that Svein Tuft (Spidertech) was the man to beat. No-one could.
The elite women’s race was 8 laps of the 12.8KM Rattlesnake Point circuit which features the toughest climb in the area. There were a couple of early breaks attempts and it was only Moirah Jo MacGregor (Juvederm-Specialized) who managed to stay away. She got up to almost 4 minutes on the pack and wasn’t caught until just before the last lap, people were starting to think she had it in the bag (what a story that would have been!) however there were some powerful cyclists who had a different view. A very select group formed on the final lap, including Clara Hughes, Tara Whitten, Veronique Fortin, Susan Palmer-Komar, Lex Albrecht, Julie Beveridge, Joelle Numainville, Karol-Anne Canuel, Erinne Willock and Denise Ramsden.
The riders watched each other for the entire lap, letting Fortin save her energy for the final climb where she sprang free and took the solo victory.
A big part of the story so far is Denise Ramsen of Juvederm-Specialized who took the double gold of the U23 ITT and Road Race. She’ll be someone to keep an eye on.
And now, it’s time for me to get my gear and head off for the elite men’s event. They get to do 14 laps, 14 times up the climb!
Note: These are a few of my photos that were published on PedalMag.com