Canada’s Miller Wins Gold Down­hill Worlds

Pedal Magazine - - Contents - by San­dra Wal­ter

Guil­laume Boivin led the Cana­dian charge in the Elite men’s

267.5km road race, fin­ish­ing 35th at the con­clu­sion of the 2017

Road World Cham­pi­onships.

The finale fea­tured a his­toric re­sult when Peter Sa­gan (SLK) won his third con­sec­u­tive ti­tle, set­ting a record as he edged out Nor­we­gian star Alexan­der Kristoff at the line in a photo fin­ish, with Michael Matthews (AUS) tak­ing third.

“It was a pretty hard race,” ad­mit­ted Boivin, “a hard tempo all day on a very tech­ni­cal cir­cuit. It was just a race of elim­i­na­tion. Thanks to An­toine and Hugo, in the fi­nal three laps they helped me move for­ward. I wasn’t miss­ing much to make the split of the fi­nal climb, just 1% maybe . . . I was right there, so it was heart­break­ing not to make it. But at the same time, it is prob­a­bly one of the best World Cham­pi­onships we have done with this group, so I think we can build some con­fi­dence and maybe next year we can be there at the end.”

Fel­low Cana­di­ans Houle and An­toine Duch­esne of Sague­nay, Que. fin­ished 81st and 120th re­spec­tively, work­ing hard for Boivin through­out the race to set him up for the fi­nal push to con­tend at the fin­ish.

The tough chal­leng­ing course was a race of at­tri­tion, with 60+ rid­ers aban­don­ing, but the Cana­dian trio was there un­til the end, as Boivin just missed the fi­nal split of 25-30 rid­ers the last time up the Salmon Hill climb when Ju­lian Alaphilippe (FRA) at­tacked, tak­ing Gio­vanni Moscon (ITA) with him.

Alaphilippe tried to go it alone, but the pack caught him be­fore the fin­ish, set­ting up a bunch sprint. Kristoff looked strong lead­ing the field sprint, but Sa­gan came around and caught him in a per­fectly timed photo fin­ish at the line for the his­toric hat-trick vic­tory.

“I think for the most part it went to plan,” said Kevin Field, Road Team man­ager, “and I was re­ally happy with how the guys rode. We re­al­ized af­ter a few races that the course is a lot more dif­fi­cult than we ex­pected com­ing in, and to have our three guys right up there on the last lap, that’s an im­pres­sive ride for us. Guil­laume was very, very close, and that’s a re­ally good per­for­mance for our guys.”

“Re­flect­ing on the Elite men and women, we have all the bases cov­ered, I think, to pre­pare our rid­ers for Road Worlds. The pro­grams they have are ob­vi­ously through their trade teams, but we had good team co­he­sive­ness and tac­tics. For the ju­nior and Un­der-23 cat­e­gories to re­ally be com­pet­i­tive, we would need to step up our pro­grams con­sid­er­ably through train­ing camps and rac­ing in Europe,” said Jac­ques Landry, Chief Tech­ni­cal Of­fi­cer at Cy­cling Canada.

“We have some ex­cep­tions, like Si­mone Boilard [eighth, ju­nior women’s road race], but we need to be de­vel­op­ing more rid­ers like Si­mone, and not count­ing on phe­noms just show­ing up. I do strongly be­lieve that the Track En­durance pro­gram is the way to get things go­ing to fast-track these ath­letes into the road scene; we see it through other coun­tries such as Great Bri­tain and Aus­tralia. There’s some work to do, but we have a lot of tal­ent and we just need to find the re­sources and the most ef­fi­cient path­way to de­velop these ath­letes prop­erly.”

Guil­laume Boivin led the Cana­dian charge

in the Elite men’s 267.5km road race,

fin­ish­ing 35th.

Peter Sa­gan won a his­toric third con­sec­u­tive Elite men’s road race world ti­tle ti­tle; (l-r): Kristoff, Sa­gan, Matthews

An­toine Duch­esne

Hugo Houle

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