Posted by Editoress on 06/28/16
Neither of Canada's time trial champions were able to retain their titles on Tuesday, at the Canadian Road National Championships. Tara Whitten (The Cyclery-Opus) took the second women's title of her career, while Ryan Roth (Silber) won his first.
The out-and-back course took the riders through the Gatineau national park outside of Ottawa, opening with a long rolling climb to the turnaround point and then a fast descent back to the finish. The women rode 26 kilometres and the men 36 kilometres.
Whitten, who was the top Canadian finisher on a modified version of the course a few weeks ago at the Gatineau Chrono, is in only her third race this season after suffering a severe neck injury early in the season that put her in a neck brace. The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist on the track in the Team Pursuit, was clearly the fastest at every check point, beating defending champion Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels-Dolmans) by 48.47 seconds. Joelle Numainville (Cervelo Bigla) took third, a further 58 seconds back. Ariane Bonhomme (The Cyclery-Opus) was the top Under-23 woman, in sixth place.
"I was really excited about this course, actually," said Whitten. "Riding in the Park was so nice, and I've been working on my climbing, so I thought I could do something here. I'm really happy with how my ride went. This is only my third race this season, so I was a little uncertain about how it would go."
In the men's race, it was expected to be a battle between nine-time champion Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge) and defending champion Hugo Houle (AG2R la mondiale). Tuft did set the first sub-50 minute time, at 48:35.92, a time that held up until Roth's team mate, Alex Cataford, the 2015 U23 champion, knocked 0.46 seconds off with five riders to go. Roth was the second last rider to go, and smashed the leading time by nearly 20 seconds, and Houle could only manage fourth, 47.61 seconds down.
"I've been second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, tenth ... so it's cool to finally get the win," agreed Roth. "You have to have a specific strategy for a course like this, and I tried to go as hard as I could on the climb and hope that I had something left for the return. Winning Time Trial Nationals is special because you have the jersey for the whole year following."
In other competitions, Alexander Cowan (Team RaceClean) won the Under-23 men's category, with Jordann Jones (NCCH p/b DEC Express) Ontario winning the Junior men. Simone Boilard (Equipe du Quebec) was the Junior women's champion.
In the Para-cycling events, world champion Shelley Gautier of Toronto, Ontario, won the Tricycle competition, with the Tandem title going to Robbi Weldon and her pilot Audrey Lemieux (SAS-Macogep-Acquisio p/b Mazada).
Charles Moreau (Equipe du Quebec) won the combined H3-H4 Handcycle category, with Myriam Adam (Equipe du Quebec) taking the combined Handcycle title for women's H1-H5 and Men's H1-H2. In the combined C categories for men and women, Tristen Chernove (Cycling BC) was the winner.
The 2016 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships p/b Lexus conclude on Wednesday, in Aylmer, Quebec, with the Criterium Challenge.