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August 8/02 21:13 pm - Nationals ITT Story

Posted by Editor on 08/8/02

Quebec riders dominated the time trial event at the National Cycling Championships on Thursday, taking 3 of 6 medals in the elite categories. Leading the way was Rona's Genevieve Jeanson, winning her first ever elite national title in the women's category after battling back from a knee injury that forced her to drop out of the Commonwealth Games. Defending champion Lyne Bessette (Quebec) finished third in the women's category, while Alexandre Cloutier (VW-Trek) took the silver medal in the men's event behind Eric Wohlberg (Saturn), who took his seventh consecutive title. Mountain biker Ryder Hesjedal was a last minute entrant in the Espoir category, and can now add a national road title to his many honours.

Jeanson was not a confirmed starter for the event until 48 hours before the race. After two weeks off the bike, when she exercised cautiously in the swimming pool and on inline skates, she began to build for the championships, determined to win the title that she had lost by 10 seconds in each of the past two years.

"My knee felt good, I felt strong. It was a surprisingly tough course, but I knew early that I was having a good ride and could finally win. It was a relief to win here, because this means that I have now qualified (to represent Canada) at the world championships. That was my main goal so that pressure is gone."

Bessette was disappointed not to be able to defend her title, but the Commonwealth Games bronze medalist in the time trial was philosophical: "I just had a bad day, I never got into a rhythm. You can't expect to be on all the time. My stomach has not been so good since coming back (from Manchester), so maybe that did not help."

In the men's race it was all Wohlberg, as he already led Cloutier by 1:12 at the turn, and would finish 1:46 ahead, with Prime Alliance's Svein Tuft third at 2:18

"I had better legs then in the time trial in Manchester, but I was still pretty tired." said Wohlberg. "It's a tough little course. The pavement is pretty fast but there were a lot of false flats and on the way out it was gradually uphill with a couple of bumps to break it up."


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