June 24, 2013 (Ste-Georges, QC) – On the final day of the 2013 Road Nationals Pierrick Naud (Garneau-Quebecor) and Leah Kirchmann (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) took top honours in the Elite/U23 Criterium men’s (30-lap, 45km) and women’s (24-lap, 36km) competitions. For Naud it was his first crit title while Winnipeg’s Kirchmann reclaimed the jersey she first won back in 2010. For both it was their second podium appearance at this year’s nationals, with Kirchmann second in the Elite Women’s road race and Naud second in the U23 Men’s road race competition.
The Elite/U23 Men’s Crit started the day on the familiar downtown circuit in St-Georges as dry weather blessed the Canadian Road Championships again. Several initial attacks by seasoned riders such as Derrick St. John (Stevens p/b The Cyclery) and Jean-Michel Lachance (Predator Carbon Repair) were shut down as $50 cash preems were taken by Brandon Spencer (Mt.Borah Minerva Design p/b Basso), Geoffry Dussault (Garneau-Quebecor), Matteo Dal-Cin (Team Ontario) and Nic Hamilton (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda Riders).
Just over the halfway point a strong break established a gap with Naud, Hamilton, St. John, Zach Bell (Champion System Pro Cycling), Jean Sébastien Perron (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery) and others that would not be caught.
As the finishline approached it looked like Bell might pull off another title but it was Perron who jumped only to be shut down. Naud countered and in the final sprint to the line took the win over Perron with Hamilton third. The winner took home $300 and a berth at the upcoming GPC Challenge Pro Sprint. “I knew the break with Bell and others was good,” said Naud. “I’m happy with my win and coming second in the U23 road race.”
For Kirchmann, it was a double-podium weekend as well, and the perfect way to end the championships. Like the men’s race all attacks in the women’s competition were swept up by the pack as Catherine Dessureault (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery) and (Jasmin Glaesser (Tibco-To the Top) and others animated the race.
Kirchmann knew that patience would pay dividends and when she saw Lex Albrecht (Now & Novartis for MS) attack on the final lap she focused her attention on the final prize chasing down Albrecht on the descent prior to the finish and was unstoppable. “Leah smoked the field,” BC Coach Jeff Ain told Pedal. “It was a great weekend for our Optum team,” added Kirchmann who was all smiles with her third national crit title.
We have interviews with both Naud and Kirchmann going up later today.
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words and our shooter Pasquale Stalteri has provided galleries with almost 150 photos.
Men’s Crit Photos
Women’s Crit Photos