2016 Road World Championships
TTT Medals for Canuel, Numainville and Tuft in TTT
The 2016 Road World Championships took place between Oct. 9-16 in Doha, Qatar, marking the first time the Championships have been held in the Middle East. Twenty-five Canadians took to the start in Doha, one of the largest squads to ever attend the event. The heat and wind were large factors at all of the races, however this did not stop Canadians from posting some excellent results.
Elite Women's TTT
The 40km Elite women's TTT kicked off the Championships and was a great start for Canada, as Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team) and Joelle Numainville (Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling) both landed on the podium in first and third respectively alongside their teammates. Boels-Dolmans rode incredibly strong, finishing the day with a 48-second advantage over Canyon-SRAM in second, and a 1:57 advantage over Cervélo Bigla.
This was Canuel's third TTT gold medal, while Numainville's bronze was her first medal at the Road Worlds. Canada's Annie Foreman-Mackey and Alison Jackson had fantastic rides as well, as their team, TWENTY16-Ridebiker, finished fifth in the event.
Elite Men's TTT
The Elite men's TTT saw the momentum continue for Canada, as Svein Tuft and his ORICA-BikeExchange team claimed third in the 40km race. This was Tuft's third TTT medal and fourth career medal at Worlds, as back in 2008, he claimed the Individual silver medal in the ITT. Etixx–Quick-Step, driven by Tony Martin, stormed to victory, at 12 seconds ahead of BMC Racing, the defending champions from 2014 and 2015. This was the Etixx–Quick-Step franchise's third TTT victory, having won the event in 2012 and 2013 as Omega Pharma–Quick-Step.
Canadian Hugo Houle and his AG2R La Mondiale team finished 11th, while the Cycling Academy Team of former National road champion Guillaume Boivin finished one spot behind in 12th.
Elite Women's ITT
Following her strong performance in the TTT, Canuel was the lone Canadian in the 28.9km Elite women's ITT, finishing in 19th place. American Amber Neben surprised the field and many favourites, putting in a stellar ride for the victory. A former champion from 2013, Ellen van Dijk (NED) took home second, while Katrin Garfoot (AUS) claimed her first podium at Worlds, winning the bronze.
Elite Men's ITT
The 40km Elite men's ITT took place in Doha on Oct. 12, and Germany's Martin was on form, claiming a record fourth title to match Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara for the most ITT Worlds gold medals. Defending champion Vasil Kiryienka (BEL) was second, while Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (ESP) raced to third on the podium.
Canada's Houle finished a respectable 29th on the day at 3:17.24 behind Martin, while recently crowned National time-trial champion Ryan Roth finished just outside the top 30 in 31st at 3:21.44 behind the winner.
U23 Men's ITT
The U23 men's ITT featured Canada's Alexander Cowan and Sean MacKinnon on Oct. 10, and both riders laid down strong performances. Cowan led the way, placing a strong 12th at 1:26.26 behind winner Marco Mathis of Germany, while MacKinnon crossed the line in 16th at 1:42.86 back. Germany had an impressive showing in the event, with two riders taking the top two steps of the podium, and a total of three riders inside the top five. American Neilson Powless continued to show his strong time-trailing skills, finishing sixth at 54.17 seconds behind Mathis.
Junior Women's ITT
That same day, the junior women's ITT race was held, with two Canadians on the start line. Laurie Jussaume of Contrecoeur, Que. finished 25th on the 13.7km ITT course, while Erin Attwell of Victoria, B.C. finished close behind in 27th. Karlijin Swinkels of The Netherlands had the fastest time to claim the junior women's ITT title.
Junior Men's ITT
The next day saw two Canadians racing the 28.9km junior men's ITT, as Nickolas Zukowsky was the top finisher in 24th at 2:51.7 behind American winner Brandon McNulty, who also won the Tour de l'Abitibi back in July. Fellow Canuck Matthew Staples finished 64th on the day.
U23 Men's Road Race
The road races were up next, beginning on Oct. 13, and the 165.7km U23 men's road race was won in a field sprint by Kristoffer Halvorsen (NOR), followed closely by Pascal Ackermann (GER) and Jakub Mareczko (ITA) in second and third respectively.
The race was animated by a group of nine riders who broke away on the first lap, however they were kept in check by the strong Norwegian team. The break was pulled back in the final laps as the main field's pace increased. A crash with five kilometres to go caused a split in the field that left the Canadians out of contention.
David Drouin of St-Prosper, Que. was the top Canuck in 42nd, followed by defending U23 champion Benjamin Perry in 59th. Team Canada's MacKinnon was 135th, while Canucks Nicolas Masbourain and Cowan did not finish.
Junior Women's Road Race
In the 74.5km junior women's road race the next day, Maggie Coles-Lyster led Team Canada to a top-15 performance, finishing 14th in a bunch sprint. Elisa Balsamo (ITA) won, with Skylar Schneider (USA) in second and Susanne Andersen (NOR) in third. Fellow Canuck Devaney Collier finished 24th, while reigning National road-race champion Attwell finished 31st, and was followed by Jussaume in 39th.
Junior Men's Road Race
Canadian Thierry Kirouac-Marcassa of Boucherville, Que. finished 30th in the 135.5km junior men's road race at 1:45 behind Denmark's Jakob Egholm, who claimed the win after a surprise late-race attack with approximately 10 kilometres to go. Egholm broke clear of the front group with teammate Julius Johansen, and held on for an emphatic solo victory. German Niklas Markl took the bunch sprint for the silver medal, while Reto Muller (SUI) won bronze. Kirouac-Marcassa was the only Canadian finisher in an event that saw many DNFs, which included Canucks Zukowsky, Staples and Charles-Etienne Chretien.
Elite Women's Road Race
Numainville led Team Canada, claiming a strong ninth-place finish in the 134.1km Elite women's competition. The veteran Quebec rider was able to remain upright in the sprint even after an Italian rider pulled a foot out of her pedal just in front of Numainville. Three Canadians finished inside the top 25 among the field of 146 riders, as Leah Kirchmann and Alison Jackson finished 14th and 23rd respectively. Amalie Dideriksen (DEN) took the win from a bunch sprint, with Kristen Wild (NED) in second and Lotta Lepistö (FIN) in third.
Team Canada rallied near the end of the race, as Kirchmann and Jackson worked together to position Numainville well for the finishing sprint. Canuel ended up 71st, while Sara Bergen, who made her debut at the Championships, finished 91st. Recently crowned Canadian road-race champion Foreman-Mackey did not finish. This was another great performance by the Canadian women, building off their strong ride last year in Richmond, Va., where Numainville finished 11th and Canuel was 13th.
Elite Men's Road Race
Canadian fans were stoked to see Roth in the winning break, as Slovakian Peter Sagan delivered in Doha to retain his coveted rainbow jersey. Near the end of the 275.5km day in the Aspire zone of western Doha, a select group of 21 riders, including Roth, remained, as Sagan chose to sprint from behind due to a tough headwind in the finale. Sagan was able to squeeze by Italian Giacomo Nizzolo and the barriers, while holding off British sprinter and former world champion Mark Cavendish, who was held up slightly behind Aussie Michael Matthews and settled for the silver. Claiming bronze was another former winner, Tom Boonen of Belgium.
An early break moved clear with Brayan Ramirez (COL), Nic Dougall (RSA), Natnael Berhane (ERI), Anas Ait El Abdia (MAR), Sergiy Lagkuti (UKR), Rene Corella (MEX) and Woodstock, Ont.'s own Roth. Building up an advantage of more than 11 minutes, the group worked well together, waiting for the eventual winning move to come across.
Behind in the main peloton, the Belgian and Dutch teams began to take advantage of the strong crosswinds as they put pressure at the front of the race. Cracks began to form and the lead group sped off in pursuit of Roth and the break. Within this second group were no less than six Belgian riders, as well as the Dutch, Norwegians, and the British, who had the men they wanted. It was Germany and France that failed to make the split and spent the rest of the day chasing in vain.
The two lead groups merged with 143 kilometres of racing to go, but with the right mix of workers and stars aboard, the gap slowly increased, with Roth hanging tight. As the race wound down on the Pearl circuits, the Dutch, with Nikki Terpstra and Tom Leezer, tried some moves in vain, as the Belgians pulled it all back for Boonen. In the end, no one could handle the finishing sprint of Sagan, who will once again be clad in rainbow stripes for 2017.
Canada's Roth held tough right up until the final kilometre, where he was distanced from the lead sprinters and found himself arriving nine seconds in arrears in a wonderful, well-deserved 15th place.
“I found I wasn't actually feeling too bad on the last lap. I was expecting more attacks, but in hindsight there were mainly sprinters and teammates of them to drive the group, so it was actually pretty calm. The only thing that went wrong was inside the last km, a gap opened up a wheel or two in front of me. I hesitated to see if someone from behind would close it, but no one did, meaning I didn't actually get to do the sprint with the front 10 guys or so.
“I didn't really have any personal goal for the road race, so to walk away with a top 15 is nice. I think Canada is headed in the right direction and there are some positive things going on. I'd love to think that the work we did around this year's races adds something to the day in the future when we [Canada] have someone on the top step of the podium in a rainbow jersey,” Roth told Pedal.
Roth's 15th was the best result by a Canadian in the Elite men's race since the 2003 Road Worlds in Hamilton, Ont., where Michael Barry was seventh. Fellow Canadians Hugo Houle, Antoine Duchesne, Guillaume Boivin, Adam de Vos and Ryan Anderson did not finish, as only 53 of the 199 starters remained.
(top left) Canada's Joelle Numainville (2nd from left) on the podium for the first time
at Worlds, as her Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling team won bronze the Elite women’s TTT.
(top) Canadian Karol-Ann Canuel is all smiles with her third TTT gold medal.
(above) Canada's Svein Tuft (3rd from the right) with his ORICA-BikeExchange
team that won third in the Elite men’s TTT.
(facing top) Tony Martin (GER) claimed a record 4th Elite men’s ITT title.
(facing bottom) Hugo Houle was Canada’s top finisher in the men’s ITT, placing
a respectable 29th.
(opposite far left) Slovakia's Peter Sagan sprinted to victory, defending his
rainbow jersey in the Elite men’s road race.
(opposite top) Canada's Ryan Roth had a stellar ride racing out front for the
entire day in the Elite men’s road race, earning a well-deserved 15th overall.
(opposite below) Canada’s Alexander Cowan finished a strong 12th in the U23 Men’s ITT;
Maggie Coles-Lyster was the top Canadianjunior woman, finishing 14th in the road race.
(above) Canada's Joelle Numainville (in blue on the left) claimed 9th in the women's
road race behind winner (r) Amalie Dideriksen from Denmark and (l) Kristen Wild from The
Netherlands in second.