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2015 Canadian Road Nationals U23/Elite Men’s RR Report and PHOTOS

by pedalmag.com
Boivin wins  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
June 27, 2015 (Saint-Georges, QC) – In a dramatic finish that featured most of the top guns, Guillaume Boivin (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) from Longueuil, QC, took the bunch sprint victory in the 187km Elite Men’s road race at the 2015 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships in Saint-Georges, QC.

Boivin out-sprinted his teammate Ryan Anderson from Spruce Grove, AB for the crown with Ryan Roth (ON) Silber Pro Cycling claiming the final podium spot. It was Roth’s second podium of these championships as the 2012 road champ also took home the silver in the ITT.

Perry pips De Vos  ©  RSS Timing

Benjamin Perry (ON) Silber Pro Cycling defended his U23 Men’s title by the slimmest of margins in a photo-finish with Adam de Vos (BC) H&R Block Pro Cycling as newly crowned ITT champ, Alex Cataford (ON) Silber Pro Cycling, finished third.

Start  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

The star-studded field of 151 riders include no less than five former RR champs including Dominique Rollin (QC) Cofidis Solutions Crédit from 2006, Christian Meier (NB) Orica GreenEdge in 2008, Will Routley (BC) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies from 2010, Zach Bell (YK) Smartstop Pro Cycling from 2013, and Roth. Hugo Houle (QC) AG2R La Mondiale and Antoine Duchesne (QC) Team Europcar, added more WorldTour star power, for good measure.

Peloton  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

The 187km course was similar to the women, with an out-and-back route of 65km that started in Saint-Georges but for the men it featured an 8x15km circuit with a major climb in Saint-Odillon for 135km, before returning to Saint-Georges.

Initial break of 4 riders  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

After the neutral start it was Kristofer Dahl (AB) Team SmartStop and Derrick St. John (ON) Silber Pro Cycling who formed a gap as they were soon joined by Michael Woods (ON) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies and Adam de Vos (BC) H&R Block Pro Cycling.

Meier and Woods  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
The four riders put the chasing pack on its heels staying away for most the day through the circuits, gaining upwards of four minutes on the peloton.

Duchesne  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

With Meier and Duchesne at the front the gap started to come down to 45s near the end of the third lap, but then four riders bridged including Routley, Houle, Britton and Cataford – making this a somewhat dangerous 8-rider break. Behind the peloton was shattered with the pace as Duchesne tried in vain to remount an organized push to reel in the break.

Final break of 8 riders  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

Rollin dropped out along the way with breathing problems as Anton Varabei (ON) Garneau-Quebecor tried to bridge while Bell did his best to control the pack with teammates Britton and Dahl in the break.

Varabei  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

The gap started to come down with Meier and Duchesne doing honours once again and then St. John attacked the break taking Routley with him. The two quickly built up a 30s lead that ballooned to 55s as they headed back to Saint-Georges. The lead chasers and the group behind took notice and the pace quickly rose.

St John and Routley  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Routley leading St John  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

Houle was pushing hard as Roth, Duchesne, Perry, Anderson, Boivin, Bell and Meier were closing on the chasers while St. John and Routley maintained a 1:40 lead with less than 15 km to go.

Houle  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

Working together well, the duo stayed ahead until the last two kilometers when Duchesne managed to pull the chase group with him and bridge to the two attackers with 1km to go.

Final sprint Boivin (r) and Anderson 4  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Final sprint Boivin (r) and Anderson 6  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
As the finish line approached 14 riders went all out to contest for the coveted Red and White jersey, and it was Boivin who managed to take the victory by more than a bike length, winning his first Elite Men’s road title to go with his U23 crown won back 2009 while riding for Steve Bauer’s SpiderTech p/b C10 squad.

Elite men's podium  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

“I honestly never thought we’d catch the break,” said Boivin. “My team was incredible today and made this victory possible. If you don’t believe bike racing takes team work just review what happened here today. It’s a great way to finish and I’m really happy for myself and my team.”

Full results here – interviews here.

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