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2011 Road Nationals Elite/U23 Women’s RR Report, Full Results, Photos UPDATED

by Chris Redden

June 24, 2011 (Milton, ON) – Veronique Fortin of Team P-K Express/HNZ Strategic.com soloed in for the victory as she powered up the final climb in the Elite/U23 Women’s 103km road race at the 2011 Canadian Road Cycling Championships to claim her first major title.

Taking the silver was rising star Lex Albrecht (Juvederm-Specialized) who crossed the line 18 seconds later with Erinne Willock (TIBCO/To The Top) winning the bunch sprint for third. Albrecht’s teammate, Denise Ramsden (Juvederm-Specialized), was fourth winning the U23 title, while defending champ Joelle Numainville (TIBCO/To The Top) finished in 5th.

The race looked like it might turn out to be a runaway win for Moriah MacGregor (Juvederm-Specialized) who escaped early and forced the peloton’s hand but it just wasn’t meant to be. The grueling course took the riders up Milton, Ontario’s dreaded Rattlesnake Point climb eight times, arguably the toughest ascent up the Niagara Escarpment. Post-race riders were heard commenting on how the climb felt steeper each lap.

An early break on the first lap was quickly nullified but MacGregor didn’t wait too long as she attacked again on the second lap. Stephanie Roorda of Team Cycling BC went with her and the duo quickly built up a lead of two minutes. Juvederm’s Sara Byers tried to bridge to the leaders but dangled in between as the peloton couldn’t seem to make up it’s mind on whether to chase down the new break.

Roorda soon pulled the ripcord and made her way back to the pack leaving MacGregor on her own out front. The race looked like it might be sewn up by ‘Mojo’ MacGregor who had a 4-plus minute lead over the peloton at one point.

The chase group wasn’t able to get it together until the 6th lap when TIBCO started to drive the pace and MacGregor’s lead began to fall but time was running out. While the crowd was taking bets on whether the lone leader would take a solo win, TIBCO’s Tara Whitten came to the front and put the hammer down, along with help from Sue Palmer of Team P-K Express/HNZ Strategic.com and others, to pull the peloton back up to the leader.

“Tara did a superb job of bringing us back into contention,” said TIBCO’s Canadian Director Sportif Linda Jackson. “We didn’t get the win but we still got a podium spot with Erinne.”

By the start of the 8th and final lap the gap was down to 54 seconds and just before the last ascent up the Rattlesnake Point climb to the finish the pack caught MacGregor and now it was anyone’s race.

“It was fun but it hurt at times,” MacGregor said at the finish. “Our plan was go out early and try and take some pressure off the other girls on the team who we figured would finish well and we took second and fourth so it was a successful race.”

Juvederm-Specialized’s Team Manager, Malcolm Eade was pleased with the team’s accomplishments on the day. “It was a great day for Team Juvederm-Specialized. We were very happy with the way the race unfolded. Our plan was to attack early and often with one and two riders at a time.

“Moriah put in a heroic effort out there .We thought the race would be a bit more aggressive and that she would not have been given that much road. Either way, we put the pressure on the other teams and riders to bring it back keeping Denise and Lex fresh. We were thrilled with the outcome with Lex getting the silver and Denise winning the U23 championship [Ramsden also won the U23 TT title].”

But the day belonged to 31-year-old Fortin from St-George de Beauce, QC, who seized the opportunity to demonstrate her climbing skills as she pushed it up and over the top of the climb to take the win by two hundred metres over her nearest rival with a time of 3:04:09. Celebrating the biggest win of her career Fortin was ecstatic at the finish saying “It was through the hard work of Sue Palmer that we caught the break and that allowed me to get the win.”

It was a landmark day for P-K Express / HNZ Strategic.com as the team was only launched last year and was now on the top step of the podium at one of the most important women’s races in the country.

“My team never doubted Veronique could win this National Championships,” commented Chris Komar Director of P-K Express / HNZ Strategic.com. “My wife [Sue Palmer-Komar] sacrificed her chances for an individual result and buried herself on the last two laps with Tara Whitten to terminate the Juvederm breakaway. It is this trust and commitment that was our weapon. I always tell my team you have to “believe in order to achieve”, and yesterday the Gods smiled down at us and completed Veronique’s coronation.”

The race was exhausting for all of the riders but especially for the top three on the podium. At the awards ceremony they couldn’t seem to muster the strength to open the champagne…but after a lot of work and laughs they were able to continue the celebrations.

Results

1. Veronique Fortin (P-K Express/ Hnz Strategic.Com) 3:04:09
2. Lex Albrecht (Juvéderm-Specialized) 00:18
3. Erinne Willock (Team Tibco/To The Top) 00:20
4. Denise Ramsden* (Juvederm-Specialized) 00:20
5. Joelle Numainville (Tibco-To The Top) 00:20
6. Karol-ann Canuel (Vienne-Futuroscope) 00:25
7. Nik Vogler (West Wood Cycle Cannondale P/B) 00:34
8. Leah Kirchmann* (Team Manitoba) 00:36
9. Rhae-Christie Shaw (Independent) 00:36
10. Clara Hughes (Equipe Du Quebec) 00:36
11. Julie Beveridge (Vienne-Futuroscope) 00:36
12. Leah Guloien (Missing Link Coaching Systems/) 00:43
13. Susan Palmer-Komar (P-K Express/Hnz Strategic.Com) 00:46
14. Kristine Brynjolfson (Trek Red Truck Racing P/B Mosa) 00:46
15. Heather Logan-Sprenger (Team Ontario) 00:49
16. Mandy Dreyer (Independent) 00:49
17. Stephanie Skoreyko (Kallisto/Wheels Of Bloor) 01:00
18. Jasmin Glaesser* (Cycling Bc) 01:00
19. Anne Samplonius (Now And Novaris For Ms) 01:07
20. Moriah Macgregor (Juvederm-Specialized) 02:04
21. Tara Whitten (Team Tibco/To The Top) 02:04
22. Myriam Gaudreault (Rocky Mountain Desjardins Vale) 02:29
23. Elisabeth Albert* (Rocky Mountain Desjardins Vale) 02:36
24. Annie Foreman-Mackey (Independent) 02:36
25. Suzie Brown* (P-K Express/ Hnz Strategic.Com) 02:39
26. Laura Bietola* (3Rox Racing) 02:53
27. Jessica Hannah (Cycling Bc) 03:03
28. Pepper Harlton (Juventus) 03:03
29. Veronique Labontè (Juvederm-Specialized) 04:46
30. Laura Brown (Cycling Bc) 04:52
31. Cara Gillis (Missing Link Coaching Systems/) 05:10
32. Joanie Caron (Juvederm-Specialized) 06:01
33. Shoshauna Laxson (Trek Red Truck Racing P/B Mosa) 06:06
34. Jennifer Stephenson (Reform:Cyclpower) 06:06
35. Anne Guzman (Juvederm-Specialized) 06:09
36. Veronique Drapeau-Zgoralski* (Juvederm-Specialized) 06:15
37. Carrie Cartmill (Independent) 06:15
38. Florence Laplante-Lamarche* (Team Ontario) 06:15
39. Julie Bellerose (Metromint Cycling) 06:15
40. Naomi Cooper (Balance Point Racing) 06:21
41. Jenny Lehmann (Cycling Bc) 06:25
42. Katy Curtis (Cyclemeisters Cc) 06:27
43. Michelle Gauthier (Re:Form/Cyclepower) 06:29
44. Marie-noel Labrecque (Equipe Du Quebec) 06:29
45. Cayley Brooks* (Trek Canada) 06:45
46. Stephanie Roorda (Cycling Bc) 07:02
DNF Merrill Collins (Jet Fuel Coffee/La Bicicletta)
DNF Stephanie Bester* (Coachchris.Ca/Multisport-Zone)
DNF Julia Garnet* (Trek Red Truck Racing P/B Mosa)
DNF Anne-marie B. Morin (Equipe Du Quebec)
DNF Arlene Marchildon (Total Sports The Bike Shop)
DNF Karlee Gendron (Team Manitoba)
DNF Laura Haapamaki (P-K Express/ Hnz Strategic.Com)
DNF Virginie Gauthier (Equipe Du Quebec)
DNF Allison Lampi (Re:Form/Cyclepower)
DNF Sara Byers (Juvederm-Specialized)
DNF Evelyne Gagnon (Atrium Cc2R)
DNF Adriane Provost* (Equipe Du Quebec)
DNF Elodie Gillard (Atrium-Cc2R)
DNF Kaitlin Michener (Kk Team Ontario)
DNF Audrey Sarrazin (Dynamiks De Contrecoeur)
DNF Sarah Rasmussen* (Kallisto/Wheels Of Bloor)
DNF Alexandria Wilson (Re:Form/Cyclepower)
DNF Valina Sintal (Lapdogs Cycling Club)
DNF Kristen Worley (Cycle Solutions/ Angry Johnny)
DNF Krista Ruby* (Team Ontario)
DNS Valérie Crête (Juvederm-Specialized)
DNS Andrea Elliott (Port Hope Bicycle)
DNS Caroline Brunet (Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton)

*U23





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