Posted by Editoress on 07/10/05
Road National Championships Kamloops BC
Sunday Road Race
The Canadian National Road Cycling Championships concluded on Sunday with the elite men's and women's road races. Quebec riders took both titles, with Genevieve Jeanson (Rona-Colnago) taking the women's and Francois Parisien (Espoirs Laval) the men's.
Jeanson was the dominant rider in the women's 120 kilometre race, setting the pace on the long climb the riders faced on each of ten laps, and chasing down numerous breakaway attempts. Three riders contested the final sprint, with Jeanson outkicking Erinne Willock (Webcor) and Sue Palmer-Komar (Colavita).
Defending champion Lyne Bessette (Equipe Quebec) attacked with two laps to go, but Jeanson and she ran into each other and Bessette damaged her rear derailleur. Bessette's gears skipped on the final climbing, and she could not stay with Jeanson, Willock and Palmer-Komar. The win was a vindication for Jeanson, who struggled on the same course a year go, ultimately not making the Canadian Olympic team for Athens.
"I am very, very happy." stated the often reticent Jeanson afterwards. "I needed this victory, mentally, after last year. Last year I suffered so much, and it was in the back of my mind; I was so scared that it would happen again. I knew that I was in good shape, but Erinne (Willock) was very dangerous, she had her team with her and I was on my own."
The 180 kilometre, 18 lap men's race was one of attrition. Ryder Hesjedal (Discovery Channel) was the marked man in the field. Parisien, who has spent the earlier portion of the season racing in France, featured in a number of breakaway attempts, all of which were brought back by Hesjedal. With a lap and a half remaining in the race, Parisien attacked again, and no one responded, allowing him to quickly build up a one minute lead. While the 23 year old rider soloed in for victory, Eric Wohlberg (Symmetrics) won the three way sprint for silver, ahead of Dominique Perras (Equipe Quebec) and Hesjedal.
Parisien: "I can't believe it. I have had five times second, and now to win. Today I had the best feeling of my life, I was strong, I have never felt this good before. I attacked many times because I knew it was better for me to be at the front on the climb, so I could go my own pace. But Ryder (Hesjedal) was always bringing it back, so I went again at the top of the descent, while they were all looking at each other and no one would take charge of the chase."
The national champions are automatically selected to represent Canada at the World Championships in Madrid. They also receive selection to the Commonwealth Games team for Melbourne, Australia next year.
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