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2013 Road Nationals Elite/U23 ITT Report and PHOTOS

report by Cycling Canada

June 20, 2013 (St-Benoit-Labre, QC) – The fireworks began with several surprises as the 2013 Canadian Road Championships got underway today with the ITT competitions. Joelle Numainville (QC) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies won her first Eilte Women’s ITT title while in the men’s 39km Elite race, relatively unknown rider Curtis Dearden (Russ Hay’s/Accent Inns) of Victoria, B.C., topped a strong field besting Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge) of WorldTour fame, who finished in second, by 13 seconds.

More sparks flew in the 27km Elite Women’s ITT when young newcomer, Anika Todd (BC) Tripleshot Racing Club also from Victoria, B.C., took second place on the podium at 20s behind Numainville, with rising star and London 2012 Olympic bronze medalist on the track, Jasmin Glaesser (BC) Team TIBCO, another 19 seconds back in third. Glaesser claimed the U23 women’s crown while Ontario’s Alex Cataford (Garneau-Quebecor) won the U23 Men’s title and was also third on the Elite Men’s podium.

Elite/U23 Women
Numainville of Laval, QC was the fastest woman today, crossing the finish line of the hilly 27-km course with a time of 39:54. “I raced well in the United States this year with my Optum-Kelly Benefits team. As the season progressed, my time trialing improved quite a bit. Even with tired legs, I was able to make it on the podium. I was confident, but to win, you still need to be ready on race day,” said Numainville, who also raced for Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

“I’m really happy with the Championship ITT title and the road races are very important to me as well. It was very difficult today in the Time Trial, with a strong wind. I knew that it was a good course with not too many flat sections so there would be selections and I arrived at the start line this morning confident to perform.”

Numainville, part of a strong Optum team here, will be racing alongside the defending Canadian road champion, Denise Ramsden. In 2010, it was Numainville who won the road race title.

“The team is confident that we’ll have a very good performance tomorrow in the road race, and we have to play our cards well. The course seems very difficult, but I think it’s to our advantage. You have to be patient, but I am convinced that we can get a good result.”

Todd of Victoria, B.C., placed second at her first ever Canadian Championships and the 23-year-old rider was pleased with her result. “It’s a huge honour to race among Canada’s best. I am very surprised at my result and very happy to be here. I’ve been really lucky with Tripleshot Cycling as without them, I wouldn’t be here. ProCity Cycling in Victoria set me up with some sweet bikes. They sent me here, and I just had to ride my bike hard. I am taking my progression one step at a time. Next week will be BC SuperWeek, then I will hit up the velodrome. I haven’t done track yet, but I think it will be really fun!”

Glaesser of Team TIBCO-To The Top rounded out the podium in third as the top U23 rider. “It was a tough race out there, I won’t lie. I definitely had moments where I was struggling. It was definitely hard for everyone. It was all about managing the conditions as best as you could. I am very happy with my ride. In training over the last two days, I really paid attention to the conditions, and how I would attack the course, and I think that worked for me today.”

“I think a lot of riders have stepped up to the plate this year. Joelle has been having a great season, and I do think she was the favorite coming here – she deserves the win. There was many riders with the potential to step on top of the podium,” added Glaesser, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London on the track in the Women Team Pursuit.

Elite/U23 Men
Prior to the men’s time trial race at the Canadian Championships, few knew who Curtis Dearden was or his potential for a victory among some of Canada’s biggest names. Now everyone knows him, as he topped the podium today in the Elite Men’s 39km ITT race at the 2013 Road Nationals in St-Benoit-Labre, QC.

Dearden, who rides for Russ Hay’s/Accent Inns, crossed the finish line with a time of 48:24, a strong 13 seconds over WorldTour rider Meier, who was also second in the ITT at the Nationals in 2012 behind his teammate Svein Tuft, who did not attend this year as he prepares for his first Tour de France. Meier’s in good form having just finished third in the GC last week riding for Team Canada at the Tour de Beauce.

Dearden, who hails from Victoria, B.C., was racing at some local and regional races prior to today’s National-level competition. Today he was facing many UCI WorldTour and UCI Pro-Continental riders such as Meier, Hugo Houle (AG2R La Mondiale), Zach Bell and Ryan Roth of Champions System Pro Cycling, Nic Hamilton (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda Riders) and many more.

“This is by far the biggest win of my career,” said Dearden, who recently won the time trial at the BC Provincial Championships. “I trained specifically for this race today. It was goal-oriented training. I didn’t have to train for a big 200-kilometre race as well and it allowed me to focus on one-hour efforts, and I think that gave me the legs.”

Dearden, 29, raced at the Canadian Championships once in the past, and finished over five minutes behind the winning time. “I have been staying at home since then, laying low back in Victoria, and doing some local races. I saw the ITT course profile online and thought it wasn’t too steep, but when I rode it today, it felt a little steeper.

“When I started riding the course today I felt really good. I knew I was climbing well, at the pace I needed. It was a good feeling and I was making time. That’s all I can ask for,” said the humble new champ after a small photo session with his new-born baby and wife following the award ceremonies.

Dearden, a recent father of four-month old Ellie, is married to a former competitive cyclist Amy Dearden who previously represented Canada at a development project in the spring of 2010. He’s been riding in the Vancouver and Victoria region this season, including a few stage races, but nothing to the scope of a field filled with international-level riders.

“I felt myself slipping into the ‘Oh no, look at all these fancy jerseys and big teams’ mentality, but every time I just had to tell myself it didn’t matter. It’s a time trial – how everybody else rides doesn’t matter – it’s what you do yourself. I just ran my own race. It made for a very stressful half-hour after my race was completed, waiting in the parking lot for everybody else to complete the course,” added Dearden.

In addition to his cycling career, Dearden rowed at the collegiate level with the University of British Columbia. In 2003 and 2005, he won the Canadian University Rowing Championships.

As for the rest of the season, he doesn’t know what this result will mean, whether he will be asked to compete at some bigger races. “I haven’t thought about anything past today. I thought I’d be racing some more local stuff at home. But now, I don’t know. I really don’t know. I had never even thought about tomorrow.”

Alex Cataford, of Ottawa, who has excelled on the track in the past and focused his energies on the road this season with Garneau-Quebecor, came third, and topped the U23 standings. Antoine Duchesne (Bontrager Cycling Team), who was second at the Quebec City stage at the Tour de Beauce last week, came in second with Matteo Dal-Cin (Team Ontario) third on the U23 Men’s podium.

Women’s results HERE.
Men’s results HERE.

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