Canada Summer Games Quebec Dominates
17 Medals for Quebec
he 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, Man. gave mountain bikers and road cyclists aged 17-22 three chances each to win a prestigious medal for their province in the country’s biggest multi-sport Games, July 30 to Aug. 12. Team Quebec arose as a major force, taking home a whopping 17 cycling medals, eight of them gold.
Week One was for the mountain bikers, with the XCO kicking things off on a six-kilometre loop in Bison Butte, complete with berms and whoops. Due to high heat, officials shortened the men’s race by one lap, with both women and men contesting five blistering laps. Anne-Julie Tremblay (Team Quebec) captured the first gold of the Games and got the province’s medal train rolling, finishing 45 seconds ahead of Canadian U23 champion Jenn Jackson (Team Ontario), with teammate Soren Meeuwisse (Team Ontario) another 23 seconds back for bronze in the women’s race.
Felix Burke (Team Quebec) took a page out of his compatriot’s book, crossing the finish line first in the men’s competition, 17 seconds ahead of second-place Brody Sanderson (Team Ontario). Felix Belhumeur (Team Quebec) was third.
Team Quebec maintained momentum into Day Two of competition, the relay, as the women’s roster of Tremblay, Marine Lewis and Sophie-Anne Samson snatched gold in a late-race surge to overtake Team Ontario. Team B.C. rounded out the podium in third.
Team B.C. was the first to break Quebec’s winning streak, as the men’s relay trio of Sean Fincham, Holden Jones and Rhys Verner grabbed gold in the three-lap, 15.6km competition, when Team B.C. anchor Fincham put the hammer down and reeled in Felix Longpre (Team Quebec) on the final lap for the win. Team Ontario took third.
The 2016 Canadian Eliminator champion, Tremblay, proved indomitable in the women’s sprint, the mountain-bikers’ final event, as she powered to a third consecutive gold. Mackenzie Myatt earned Nova Scotia’s first mountain-bike medal with a silver, while Ontario’s Jackson pocketed the bronze.
Bolstered by his province’s relay triumph, Team B.C.’s Verner tore through the men’s sprint quarterfinals and semis to land in the medal round, where he won his second gold of the Games. Alberta’s Isaac Niles put his province on the podium with a silver medal, while XCO winner Burke settled for bronze.
Skinny tires ruled the second week of the Games in the road-cycling events. The competition opened with the Individual Time Trial (ITT), where Team B.C.’s Gillian Ellsay blazed along the 13km route in 18 minutes and 59 seconds to clinch victory in the women’s competition, nearly four seconds faster than second-place Simone Boilard (Team Quebec) and more than 15 seconds quicker than bronze-medalist Catherine Ouellette (Team Quebec).
Adam Roberge (Team Quebec) flew through the 20km men’s Time Trial a massive 17.87 seconds ahead of silver medalist and fellow Quebecker Pier-André Côté (Team Quebec). Team B.C.’s Jay Lamoureux avoided a Quebec sweep with a strong bronze-medal ride.
Riders attacked the 83.4km women’s road race – a rainy, windy six-lap battle around Birds Hill Park. After numerous unsuccessful attacks, the finish came down to a sprint won by ITT silver-medalist Boilard ahead of Katherine Maine (Team Ontario) and Anna Talman (Team Alberta) in second and third, respectively.
The field split early in the 120km men’s road race, with a large breakaway going clear. Despite many attempts to whittle the selection down further, it stayed together until late in the race, when a group of six escaped. The leading group contained two Quebec riders and one each from B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Manitoba. With the odds in their favour, the Team Quebec racers worked together, and in the final kilometre, sprinter Côté (Team Quebec) accelerated from the break with only Connor Toppings (Team Alberta) in tow. Côté outgunned Toppings to win by three seconds, while B.C.’s Lamoureux won the sprint for bronze.
An exciting Points Criterium wrapped up the 2017 Games, with B.C.’s Ellsay capitalizing on an early move on lap six of the 25-lap women’s contest. She stayed away to win four of five sprints, riding solo for most of the race to collect her second gold medal. Quebec’s Boilard earned 22 points to finish second, and Maine (Team Ontario) finished third with 13 points.
Team Quebec dominated the 35-lap men’s Points Crit, winning each of the seven sprints and sweeping the top-three podium spots. Côté won four sprints for a total 38 points, while teammates Marc-Antoine Soucy and Raphael Auclair netted 27 and 24 points to finish second and third respectively.
After two action-packed weeks, athletes and fans will have to wait another four years for the next Games, which will be held in Ontario’s Niagara Region in 2019.
Team Quebec’s Anne-Julie Tremblay captured the first gold of the Games and
got her province’s medal train rolling.
PHOTOS: CANADA SUMMER GAMES
Team B.C.’s Holden Jones, Rhys Verner and Sean Fincham grabbed gold in the men’s relay.
Quebec’s Pier-André Côté won the 120km
men’s road race.
Felix Burke (Team Quebec) won the men’s MTB XC competition.
ITT Men’s podium (l-r): Pier-André Côté, Adam Roberge and Jay Lamoureux
B.C.’s Gillian Ellsay won ITT gold and
Jay Lamoureaux took home bronze.