April 12, 2011 (Maple Ridge, BC) – Sunday’s second annual Barry’s Roubaix cycling race presented by Local Ride Bike Shop was held in Pitt Meadows, BC. The event saw the strong separated from the weak in a race that was made especially selective by the miserable weather conditions and 4km section of gravel dyke that riders faced each time around the challenging 10km lap.
“People were dropping like flies out there,” said organizer Barry Lyster, commenting on the majority of racers who abandoned the race when the relentless cold rain and wind overcame them. “I don’t blame them one bit. If it was me racing, I’d still be out there lying in a ditch somewhere,” he added.
Lyster, who stated in the weeks leading up to the event that he hoped for nasty conditions to make the race truly epic, should have been careful what he wished for. His vision was to make his race similar to the historic Paris-Roubaix Spring Classic cycling race that was held on the same day in France and featured the best cyclists in the world. Traditionally, Paris-Roubaix is known for its wretched weather, but ironically, this year the weather in Europe was sunny and mild for the race.
It was a completely different story in Pitt Meadows on Sunday, however, where only 15 of 54 men entered in the Category 1/2 race finished the 110km race, shortened by 10km from the original 120km, more in consideration of the valiant volunteers standing in the cold downpour than of the racers who chose to subject themselves to the misery.
“The weather wreaked havoc on not only the riders, but the brave, steadfast volunteers as well,” said Lyster. “Unlike the riders, they did not have the option to stop.”
Perhaps the toughest riders of the day were the winners of the featured events – the Cat 1/2 men’s and women’s races. It was Curtis Deardon (Team Garneau Evolution) who took the men’s win in a two-man breakaway with team mate Tim Abercrombie (Team Garneau Evolution) in a time of three hours, 17 minutes, and 52 seconds. Adam Thuss (Trek Red Truck Racing) finished third, trailing by nearly 2.5 minutes.
On the women’s side, the six-strong Local Ride/Dr. Vie Superfoods+ squad controlled most of the 90km race to take first and third places, courtesy of Jasmin Glaesser and Jessica Hannah. Denise Ramsden (Team Juvederm-Specialized-Mazda) snatched up second spot to foil the Local Ride/Dr. Vie Superfoods+ podium sweep. The trio’s winning time was three hours, five minutes, and 42 seconds.
“The riders who showed up to race were the toughest of the tough,” said Lyster. “I am sure they will still be tasting gravel for the next week or so.” Lyster referred to the gravel that was kicked up by the bicycle tires on the dykes and subsequently coated riders from head to toe in a gritty grey film.
Tanille Stickley (Balance Point Racing) won top honours in the Category 3/4 women’s race. On the 3/4 men’s side, James Cameron (Pro City Racing) came out on top, followed by team mate John Rogers in second. Ryan Calbrick (TripleShot Spinnakers Racing) grabbed third position.
Finn Blackburn (Burnaby Velodrome Club) won the youth race, followed by Local Ride Racing’s Pete Whalen in second and top girl, Maggie Coles-Lyster (Local Ride/Dr. Vie Superfoods+) in third.
Alison Wood was the only brave soul to enter the novice women’s race, while Keith Jackson, Jackson Pickell (dEVo), and John-Paul Austring finished top-three in the novice men’s competition.
With 114 racers total, Lyster is pleased with the turnout, especially considering the rain that likely kept lots of would-be racers at bay.
Special thanks to the volunteers, the City of Pitt Meadows, Pitt Meadows Airport Society, the District of Maple Ridge, Cycles Lambert, Local Ride Bike Shop, and Kicking Horse Coffee for making the event possible.
Click here for full results.