Posted by Editoress on 07/27/01
National Road Championships - Dieppe NB
Ryan Roth of Ontario and Julie Belanger of the host province New Brunswick won national titles in the junior age categories on Friday at the Canadian national road cycling championships, held in Dieppe. Both riders won their respective races in sprint finishes after a small group broke free from the main field.
Belanger, one of the younger competitors in the women's race, was a member of a 6 rider breakaway that was also contained members of Ontario, Quebec and Alberta provincial squads. Belanger finished one wheel length in front of Cydney Galbraith of Ontario, with a time of one hour, 44 minutes and 20 seconds for 60 kilometres of racing.
"My sprint is very strong, so I was not worried when (Galbraith) attacked in the final 250 metres. I followed behind her and waited until the final 150 metres before I attacked." explained Belanger.
Galbraith, who won the national time trial title on Wednesday (Belanger finished third) was disappointed: "I thought I had her, but my legs were just gone; I couldn't hold on that extra little bit."
Roth salvaged some pride with his win, after a wrong turn in the time trial had cost him valuable seconds and relegated him to second. Two Quebec riders - Jean-Philippe Marion and Olivier Trempe - broke away from the field in the first kilometre of the 120 kilometre junior men's event, gaining as much as a minute on the field. They were not caught until the final 20 kilometres, when a group of 6 riders, including Roth, bridged up.
The front group was further reduced when Marc Bomhof (Alberta), Gergely Hegedus (Alberta) and Warren Tilbrook (Ontario) attacked in the final 10 kilometres, and gained 30 seconds on the chasers. Roth dropped the rest of the chasers and joined the frontrunners in the final 2 kilometres, setting the stage for a sprint finish. At the line, the Ontario rider easily outdistanced Albertans Bomhof and Hegedus to win the national title, in a time of three hours, 11 minutes and three seconds.
Roth played a game of cat-and-mouse to take the title: "When I caught up to the front group I sat at the back and watched, waiting to see who would start to sprint first. Gergely (Hegedus) went early and I got on his wheel until the final 100 metres, when I went by him."
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