July 10, 2016 (Ladner, BC) – It’s more than 12,500 kilometres between Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia and the historic fishing village of Ladner in the Corporation of Delta, but for 25-year-old Scott Law, the trip was well worth it after he sprinted to win the 2016 Brenco Criterium as part of the Tour de Delta.
Law, who rides for Subaru NSWIS & MS, finished the 70 lap, 51.8 kilometre race in one hour, 27 minutes and 47 seconds with lap times dipping as low as 47 seconds. The Subaru team was off the front from the start of the race, which was exactly what they wanted to do.
“Pretty much, it’s a tight little circuit here and that was sort of the plan, just keep our wheels up at the front and ourselves out of trouble, just ride a good tempo. I think I owe the boys a couple of beers for doing all that work for me!” exclaimed Law.
Riding with his younger brother Jackson on the Subaru NSWIS & MS team, the two siblings play well off each other, changing things up on which rider acts as the main lead out.
“We try and switch it up every now and again, he’s got a bit more ground behind him than I do and I’ve got maybe a little more punch than he does, so we kind of even each other out pretty well,” he said.
More than 100 riders took to the start line, with only 65 finishing. There were a few sprinkles of rain which caused the course to become slick and a couple of crashes occurred, but thankfully no serious injuries have been reported.
According to second place finisher Justin Williams, who rides for Team Cylance/Incycle p/b Cannondale, the final couple of laps were a bit of a roller coaster.
“It was calm at times, and then other times it was touch and go, but I was really just waiting for the surge to come. Scott’s an amazingly fast wheel to follow and we kind of felt the surge coming and we both jumped for the corner. We made it through alright, it wasn’t so bad where I was sitting,” said the 27-year-old from Los Angeles.
He is making his first trip to BC Superweek and with its tight corners, the Brenco Criterium represents the exact type of race he likes.
“It’s a lot tighter than some of the crit courses in the US, but I like it. Corners are my thing so I love a course when it’s flowing and there’s a lot of corners because I can hold my momentum better than a couple of other guys. It makes the race easier for me,” Williams said.
Michael Rice is another Australian rider to note at BC Superweek. The 20-year-old rides for Garneau-Quebecor and it’s clear that racing in Canada agrees with him. Along with the third place finish at the Brenco Criterium, he was on the podium at the Tour de Beauce in Quebec last month after winning Stage 3b.
“It was a pretty close race in the last few laps. I knew if I had any chance to win I had to wait it out, I just couldn’t get around the Subaru team in the last two turns, but I’m happy with third,” said Rice. “This crit is perfect, this is what I came here for. The racing scene is pretty quiet back home at the moment, so I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to come to Canada and do some racing and it’s turned out really well so far.”
With the Tour de Delta White Spot | Delta Road Race looming on Sunday, Law notes it’s one event that all the riders are looking forward to.
“Most definitely, it’s going to be a tough little circuit out there for the Road Race down at Tsawwassen. We’ve got a few cards to play and I think it’s going to be solid racing there and I think the big boys will come out to play and it’s going to make for some interesting racing,” he said.
It was a familiar sight at the Tour de Delta’s Brenco Criterium Saturday as two of the women’s riders who finished in the top three in Friday’s MK Delta Lands Criterium were back on the podium, including winner Joelle Numainville from the Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team.
Numainville was near the front for most of the 44.4 kilometre crit throughout the downtown area of the historic fishing village of Ladner, and as a result came away with no fewer than seven primes. The fact that she may have been expending all of her energy on going for the primes wasn’t on the 28-year-old’s mind at all though.
“I just came here and tried to have fun, the crowd is amazing, so it gave me more motivation to race hard,” a beaming Numainville said after the race. “I just take things one race at a time and crossing the line knowing that I did my best out there is the most important thing for me.”
As for whether Numainville will have anything left for Sunday’s prestigious White Spot | Delta Road Race, she’s not getting ahead of herself.
“Tomorrow’s another day, so I’ll take some recovery tonight and see what I can do in the Road Race,” she smiled.
Vancouver’s Sara Bergen, who rides for the local Trek Red Truck team, was second. With eight riders in the field, Trek made up 14 percent of the entire rider list and attacking aggressively was definitely part of the game plan.
“It’s always the plan for the team to ride aggressively and pretty much go as hard as possible,” explained Bergen.
The Brenco Criterium is notorious for its primes, and it’s entirely understandable if a cyclist tries to time breakaways to coincide with the prizes, but it’s not something Bergen did consciously. She was more concerned with her competition.
“Funny enough, the first few primes just kind of happened. There was a lull in the pace and I took that opportunity to jump and I got a gap, so I put my head down and kept going. I did try to counter a little bit off Joelle because she was having such a strong ride. If I saw she was really working hard, (I had) to dig in after that and counter her, but it was a fantastic race for everyone,” she said.
Meanwhile, Roorda is riding BC Superweek without a team as she’s donning the Team Canada jersey. She found herself on the podium once again with the third place finish, after she was second in Friday’s MK Delta Lands Criterium.
The 29-year-old wasn’t prominent for most of the race, which was strategic, and due to the fact that she was getting comfortable with the 740 metre course.
“I was feeling the course, but the plan was to keep it quiet and see what the teams were doing, see how the course was going to feed, if there was going to be a breakaway,” said the Vancouver native. “It looked like it was going to stay together, so I just held back and waited till the end to see what I could do.”
As the last lap came down to a sprint in the last 100 metres, Roorda was well aware of where Numainville was. In fact, Roorda reached into her bag of tricks as an experienced track rider.
“I knew she was on my wheel, I looked between my legs – it’s kind of a track trick to look under your arms and look between your legs – I could see her there, but I knew I had to commit at that time because it was one lap to go,” Roorda said.
BC Superweek and the Tour de Delta continues on Sunday with the White Spot | Delta UCI 1.2 Road Race. The women’s race starts at 9:30 am while the men begin at 1 pm.
Pro 1/2/3 Women
1. Joelle Numainville (Can) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team 58:46.9
2. Sara Bergen (Can) Trek Red Truck P/b Mosaic Homes
3. Stephanie Roorda (Can) Team Canada
4. Jamie Gilgen (Can) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling
5. Kendelle Hodges (Aus) Independent
6. Alison Jackson (Can) Twenty16 RideBiker 0:58:49.2
7. Julie Kuliezca (USA) Hagens Berman | Supermint
8. Sarah Coney (Can) Continental Crit Nasty
9. Hannah Ross (USA) Rally Cycling
10. Jann Gillick (Can) Women’s Team ATAC
Pro 1/2 Men
1. Scott Law (Aus) Subaru NSWIS & MS 1:02:47.22
2. Justin Williams (USA) Cylance/Incycle p/b Cannondale
3. Michael Rice (Aus) Garneau-Quebecor
4. Brad Huff (USA) Rally Cycling
5. Kristofer Dahl (Can) Silber Pro Cycling
6. Elliott Doyle (Can) Silber Pro Cycling
7. Jackson Law (Aus) Subaru NSWIS & MS
8. Ayden Toovey (Aus) Subaru NSWIS & MS
9. Evan Murphy (USA) Lupus Racing Team
10. Joshua Carling (USA) Herbalife p/b Marc Pro & Nature’s Bakery