2018 Road Nationals
New National champions donned the Maple Leaf jersey at the 2018 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships p/b Quebecor on June 21-24 in Saguenay, Que.
Originally awarded to the city of Kamloops, B.C., financial difficulties resulted in the Championships being moved to the amalgamated city of Saguenay, located two hours north of Quebec City.
With the late cancellation of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay this year due to its timing conflict with the G7 Summit in Quebec, organizers of the Grand Prix Saguenay were eager to take on the organization and the hosting of the National Road Championships.
IIn the Elite/U-23 men’s road race, it was Saguenay’s own Antoine Duschene (Groupama-FDJ) who was the victor in the 12-lap, 180km contest to claim his first National road-race jersey title. With extremely hot temperatures, many riders struggled in the oppressive conditions, resulting in only 28 of the 128 starters finishing the race. In the U-23 category, Edward Walsh (T-Palm PCW) of Nova Scotia took home the title as the first in his category to take the Maple Leaf jersey, placing 10th overall.
Racing without any teammates, Duschene was under pressure, but was up to the challenge. “The plan was to always be ahead, to never put myself in a position where I would have to chase. That’s what I did, and I was feeling really great today,” he said post-race in an interview with Pedal.
Ottawa’s Katherine Maine (Rally) pulled the double in the Elite/U-23 road race, claiming National Championships in both the Elite and U-23 categories when she crossed the line ahead of Kinley Gibson (The Cyclery Racing) and Rally teammate Sara Bergen.
The 20-year-old Maine was one of the early escapees in the 120km road race. When the break was reeled in, Maine was once again part of a new front group that quickly formed. Maine attacked the group along with Gibson and the two quickly built a gap of a minute. As the finish line approached, Maine jumped to claim the victory over Gibson, with Bergen taking the bunch sprint for third.
“My whole team just laid it all out there, and we raced really well together and trusted each other. I think that’s what was most important in the end,” commented a smiling Maine post-race as she credited her Rally teammates for making it happen.
Junior Women and Men
In the junior women’s 75.5km race, cadet rider Adele Desgagnes (Vélo Club Métropolitain-Quebecor) took the win, with Kaitlyn Rauwerda (NCCH Elite p/b MGCC) in second and Elizabeth Gin (Cycling BC) in third rounding out the podium.
The 120km junior men’s race mirrored the Elite men’s contest in that it was a race of attrition, with a selection of eight riders emerging with three laps to go. Over the following 1.5 laps, this group was whittled down to four, and the selection continued. Finally, two riders emerged to contest the final, with Ben Katerberg (TaG Cycling) outsprinting Robin Plamondon (Équipe du Québec) for the victory, with Alexandre Poirier (Équipe du Québec) claiming the bronze.
Time Trial Championships
In the Elite women’s time trial, Winnipeg’s Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb) mastered the 25km out-and-back course to take her first Elite women’s title since 2014, edging out Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels-Dolmans) by eight seconds and Kirsti Lay (Rally), who came in 39 seconds down for the bronze.
Rally Cycling dominated the U-23 women’s test, sweeping the podium, with Sara Poidevin claiming the title, Gillian Elsay in second and Maine in third.
Over on the men’s side, contre-le-montre legend Svein Tuft (Mitchelton-Scott) claimed his 11th National time-trial title, winning by 36 seconds over Rob Britton (Rally). The two dominated the field, with UnitedHealthcare’s Alex Cataford standing on the bottom step at the end of the day, having finished a distant 1:43 behind Tuft.
As with the U-23 women’s time trial, one team swept the podium in the U-23 men’s contest. Silber Pro Cycling’s Adam Roberge took the National Championship, with teammates Nickolas Zukowsky and Adam Jamieson placing second and third.
Silber Pro Cycling swept the podium again in the Elite/U-23 men’s Criterium. Zukowsky crossed the finish line first to claim both the Elite and U-23 National Championships, while Ryan Roth took the silver at six seconds behind, with Pier-André Côté in third.
On the women’s side, Rally’s Bergen improved upon her bronze in the road race, solo’ing to the finish for the gold in the Criterium with more than a minute lead. Maine stood on the podium for her third time during National Championships week, outsprinting Kirchmann (Sunweb) for second overall, but also as champion in the U-23 category.
The Para-cycling Championships were also contested on Day Two. In the men’s tandem race, Daniel Chalifour and his pilot Jean Michel Lachance claimed the National Championship title, while in the women’s tandem, Robbie Weldon and Audrey Lemieux (Macogep Argon 18 Girondins p/b Mazda) emerged victorious.
In handcycle competition, Holly Dapp (Team Ontario) won the women’s H1-2, Kara Douville (Team Alberta) won the combined women’s H3-5 and men’s H1-2 category and Charles Moreau (Équipe du Québec) won the men’s H3-5 category.
Marie-Eve Croteau (Équipe du Québec) took the women’s T1-2 tricycle title, while Mike Shetler (Équipe du Québec) won the men’s T1-2. The combined women’s and men’s C4-5 title was won by Marie-Claude Molnar (Équipe du Québec).
Elite men’s ITT podium (l-r):Rob Britton, Svein Tuft, Alex Cataford
Antoine Duchesne captures the Elite men’s road title.
U-23 men’s RR podium (l-r):Ben Perry, Antoine Duchesne, Nigel Ellsay
Katherine Maine claimed her first Elite women’s road title.
U-23 women’s ITT podium (l-r):Gillian Ellsay, Sara Poidevin, Katherine Maine