Posted by Editoress on 10/10/16
Alec Cowan was the top Canadian rider on the opening day of the Road World Championships in Doha, Qatar, finishing 12th in the Under-23 Men's Time Trial. Laurie Jussaume was the top Junior Woman for Canada, finishing 25th.
Riders faced temperatures in the high-30s and constant sun, on a technical, twisting course for the time trial. The circuit took riders around an artificial island called The Pearl, with the Junior women doing one lap of 13.7 kilometres and the Under-23 men two laps for 28.9 kilometres.
For both Jussaume and Erin Attwell it was their first world championships. Attwell had a strong start, sitting 25th at the first split, but faded towards the end to finish 27th. Jussaume had a slower start and was 28th at the halfway mark, but recorded the 22nd fastest time for the second half of the race to finish 25th. Karlijn Swinkels of the Netherlands won the world title.
"I was hoping for a top-15 today," admitted Attwell. "That didn't happen and I think the weather played a big role. The course was pretty technical and I did my best to pick the best lines. I'm happy with how I rode and did to the best of my ability. I just didn't have the legs today for a top-15."
In the Under-23 men's race Canada also had two entrants; Cowan and Sean MacKinnon. MacKinnon rode a consistent race and was 19th after the first lap, improving to 16th by the finish. Cowan had a slower build-up in his ride; 34th at the first split, 22nd by the end of the first lap and continuing to improve through the second lap, to finish 12th. The surprise champion was Marco Mathis of Germany, who was only the second rider to start and held the lead through the entire field.
"This was definitely the hottest race I've ever done!" commented Cowan after his ride. "The time trial probably took about three years off my life ... but, seriously, I'm really happy with my result."
The Road World Championships continue until Sunday, with the Junior Men and Elite Women time trials taking place on Tuesday.