The 2014 Global Relay Canadian Road Cycling Championships road races will feature the best Canadian women on two wheels, and a large group of professional and amateur cyclists will take to the streets of Lac Mégantic to showcase the strength and power of women cycling in this country.
Joëlle Numainville (Montreal, QC) of Optum-Kelly Benefits displayed an exceptional showcase of talent last year, winning last year both the Canadian Championships in the time trial and the road races. However, Numainville will not be racing this year (due to illness), opening the door to this powerful group of women to crown a new Champion.
Denise Ramsden (Vancouver, BC) of Optum-Kelly Benefit will be looking to repeat her win from 2012 on the same circuit after taking off with Clara Hughes on a two-woman breakaway that lasted to the finish line. Ramsden will have two teammates around her in Leah Kirchmann (Chelsea, QC), the defending Canadian Criterium Champion, and Annie Ewart (Victoria, BC).
Olympic medallists from track cycling Jasmin Glaesser (Coquitlam, BC) of Team TIBCO-To-The-Top and Gillian Carleton (Victoria, BC) of Team Vanderkitten will be looking to make some gains this week. Glaesser was fourth in the women’s road race in 2012 on a similar course, while Carleton is having a stellar season with her new team. The two women continue their track preparations with the women’s team pursuit, a team that will attempt to defend its Pan-American Games record in Toronto 2015 and improve on its bronze medal from the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Lex Albrecht (Montreal, QC) of Team Twenty16 Pro Cycling will be racing for her team, and is a serious contender to grab the Canadian Champion jersey.
There will be a few teams with larger representation, such as SAS-Mazda-MACOGEP-Specialized, Team Red Truck Racing, Stevens-The Cyclery and Team NCCH-DEC Express.
The women’s road race will take place on Friday, June 27.
Time Trial Race also expected to be a difficult battle
To kick start the 2014 Global Relay Canadian Road Cycling Championships on Thursday in the time trial race, expect Anika Todd (Victoria, BC) of TIBCO-To-The-Top, Jasmin Glaesser, Denise Ramsden and Annie Ewart and Leah Kirchmann to rise and contend for the top honours. These strong women are proven time-trialists and raced well in the event in 2013.
Also to watch will be Canada Games Champion in the women’s time trial Annie Forman-Mackay (Kingston, ON) of Team Stevens-The Cyclery, Alizée Brien (St-Jérome, QC) of Team TIBCO-To-The-Top, and the 2013 junior time trial Canadian Champion Kinley Gibson (Edmonton, AB) of Team Trek Red Truck.
Zach Bell (North Vancouver, BC) of Team Smartstop, the reigning Canadian Champion in the men’s elite category, will be racing to defend his 2013 title. Bell will be making his return to competition after breaking a collarbone at the Tour of the Gila earlier this spring. In addition, Bell’s wife, Rebecca, last week just gave birth to a baby girl.
Bell will count on two teammates from Team Smartstop. Rob Britton (Victoria, BC), who is coming off a strong second place result in the general classification at the difficult Tour de Beauce, and Kris Dahl (Calgary, AB) will both be working to position Bell for the win.
But the title won’t be easy to defend, with many other top Canadian riders also expected to be present on the start line. The strong group includes UCI WorldTour riders Svein Tuft (Langley, BC), the 2011 Canadian Road Champion, and Christian Meier (Sussex, NB) of Orica-GreenEDGE, Hugo Houle (Ste-Perpétue, QC) of AG2R La Mondiale, sprinter Guillaume Boivin (Longueuil, QC) of Cannondale Pro Cycling, and Antoine Duchesne (Québec, QC), the back-to-back U23 Canadian Champion, with Team EuropCar.
There are many teams coming with a large delegation of riders, including the UCI continental teams in Garneau-Québécor and Silber Pro Cycling.
Garneau-Quebecor will have among its group Pierrick Naud, the defending Canadian Criterium Champion, Benjamin Chaddock (Whistler, BC), the 2012 Canadian Criterium Champion, and team captain and versatile cyclist Rémi-Pelletier Roy (Québec, QC).
Silber Pro Cycling recently signed 2012 Canadian Champion Ryan Roth (Cambridge, ON) and Matteo Dal-Cin (Ottawa, ON). The team of 11 riders will be racing hard to capture the red and white jersey.
Will Routley (Whistler, BC), the 2010 Canadian Champion, and Ryan Anderson (Edmonton, AB) of Team Optum-Kelly Benefit are also enjoying a successful season, with Routley taking a stage win and the KOM jersey at the Tour of California. Both riders will certainly work together with the hopes of capturing the title.
Michael Woods (Ottawa, ON) of 5-Hr Energy p/b Kenda has recently showed at the Tour de Beauce that he is in top climbing form, taking the second place of the epic Mont Mégantic stage, which used sections of the Canadian Championships course, including two ascensions of the Mont Morne. Woods will have his new teammate Bruno Langlois (Québec, QC) along with him, and the two could create some interesting dynamic in the peloton.
Other teams will be lined up at the start line, including Team NCCH-DEC Express, Team H&R Block, Team Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes, Ride with Rendall, Team VeloSelect, Norco-Premier Tech, Team Transport Lacombe-Devinci, Accent Inns-Russ Hay’s p/b Scotiabank, Jet Fuel Coffee-Norco Bicycles and La Vie Sportive-Apogée-Opus.
The men’s road race will take place on Saturday, June 28.
Svein Tuft eyeing to regain Time Trial title
In the time trial, expect a tight race between Svein Tuft, eight-time Canadian Time Trial Champion (2004-06; 08-12), Christian Meier, Zach Bell, Hugo Houle and Rémi Pelletier-Roy, Ryan Roth and Matteo Dal-Cin. These riders excel in the time trial and should be solid contenders for the title. Tuft was not present in 2013.
Time trialist Curtis Dearden (Vicotria, BC) of Accent Inns-Russ Hay’s-Scotiabank is the defending Canadian Champion in the time trial race after surprising everyone last year by winning the title. Dearden will be back in Lac Mégantic to defend his title.