Posted by Editoress on 10/13/16
After four days of time trial competition, the road races got underway on Thursday at the Road World Championships in Doha, Qatar, with the Under-23 Men's 165.7 kilometre race. David Drouin was the top Canadian rider, finishing in 42nd place, with the same time as race winner Kristoffer Halvorsen of Norway.
Drouin, attending his first world championships, said, "It was an all out and very nervous race, complicated by the many roundabouts. We had two adversaries in the race: our opponents and the heat! I really enjoyed my experience here, even if the course did not really suited me. I want to thank Cycling Canada for the opportunity."
A group of nine riders formed at the front of the race on the first of ten laps, but never gained more than three minutes on the field, which was led by the Norwegian team. The five Canadian riders stayed tucked into the peloton, with Under-23 national champion Ben Perry the protected rider for the expected sprint finish.
As the pace increased in the final laps to pull back the break, riders began to get dropped from the field. Perry was in good position until five kilometres to go, when a crash in front of him opened a gap to the front of the race, taking him out of contention. Perry eventually finished 59th, 11 seconds down on the lead group.
"There was a little tangle with five kilometres to go," explained Perry, "but hey, stuff happens. I'm not stoked that it happened in my last Under-23 race, but now it's time to relax for a while before I start preparing for next year."
Sean MacKinnon finished 135th, seven minutes and 32 seconds down. Canada's two other entrants - Nicolas Masbourian and Alexander Cowan did not finish.
Racing continues on Friday with the Junior Women and Junior Men road races.