Numainville was very active throughout the 108.4-kilometer race, and spectacularly came back to take the sprint victory after a flat tire in the last five kilometers of the race, going through a gravel section.
“When I flatted at the end of the race, I thought that my race was over. I tried not to analyze the whole situation too much, and told myself I had to give everything I had. I took a risk, and came back to the group with 500m to go. I think the girls were a bit surprised to see me there, and then I had to focus on what I had to do to win the race,” said the exhausted Numainville following the race.
Following a neutral start for 6km due to a gravel section Catherine Dessureault (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery) attacked at the 30km mark to start the action. Josée Heppell (Iris) and Kristine Brynjolfson (Trek Red Truck Racing) joined her and when Stephanie Roorda (GSD Gestion-Kallisto-Specialized) bridged to them the pack woke up behind. Numainville, Karol-Ann Canuel (Équipe du Québec), Anika Todd (Tripleshot Cycling Club) and Veronique Fortin (Pasta ZARA-Cogeas) lead the charge to reel them in.
Heppell attacked again with gutsy riding after the break was caught, but on the final climb she was caught again by the key riders who took charge. Numainville, Canuel, Todd, Albrecht and Fortin formed the final break with defending champ Denise Ramsden (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) trying to bridge as Heppell also tried to hang in as well. Over the gravel section with 5km to go Numainville flatted but somehow found her way back to the leaders to take the win in the end.
Even after deploying massive efforts to win the time trial title on Thursday, Numainville still had some energy in the tank for the tough road race.
“I felt really good out there. There are some days when you know your form is excellent. After the 50km mark, I knew I had it in me to post a good result. I tried not to dispense too much energy, but I also didn’t want anybody to win. I controlled my energy and output levels to be in the right groups when I had to be there,” said Numainville, who represented Canada at the Olympic Games in London.
The victory is Numainville’s second road race title since 2010.
In second place came Numvainville’s Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies teammate, Leah Kirchmann of Winnipeg, MB who crossed the line one second behind, after helping with the final lead out, while Lex Albrecht of Team Now and Novartis for MS came third.
In the U23 category, Elisabeth Albert of Team Rocky Mountain Lessard Bicycles Apogée took the top spot on the podium, followed by Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin of Team Québec in third and Maghalie Rochette of PowerWatts in third.
Full results HERE.