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Boivin Top Canadian in Elite Men’s Historic Road Race Finale at 2017 Road Worlds + VIDEO of Finish

by pedalmag.com

September 24, 2017 (Bergen, Norway) – Guillaume Boivin from Montreal, Quebec, led the Canadian charge in the Elite men’s 267.5 kilometre road race finishing 35th as the 2017 Road World Championships concluded on Sunday in Bergen, Norway.

Guillaume Boivin  ©  Chris Auld

The finale featured a historic result as Peter Sagan of Slovakia won his third consecutive title setting a record as he edged out Norwegian star, Alexander Kristoff, at the line in a photo finish with Michael Matthews (Australia) taking third.

Hugo Houle  ©  Chris Auld
“It was a pretty hard race,” admitted Boivin, “a hard tempo all day on a very technical circuit. It was just a race of elimination. Thanks to Antoine and Hugo, in the final three laps they helped me move forward. I wasn’t missing much to make the split of the final climb, just one percent maybe … I was right there, so it was heartbreaking not to make it. But at the same time, it is probably one of the best world championships we have done with this group, so I think we can build some confidence and maybe next year we can be there at the end.”

Fellow Canadians Hugo Houle of Sainte-Perpetue, Quebec, and Antoine Duchesne of Saguenay, Quebec finished 81st and 120th respectively working hard for Boivin throughout the race to set him up for the final push to contend at the finish.

Antoine Duchesne  ©  Chris Auld
The tough challenging course was a race of attrition with 60+ riders abandoning, but the Canadian trio were there until the end as Boivin just missed the final split of 25-30 riders the last time up the Salmon Hill climb when Julian Alaphilippe (France) attacked taking Giovanni Moscon (Italy) with him.

Photofinish  ©  UCI
Alaphilippe tried to go it alone but the pack caught him before the finish setting up a bunch sprint. Kristoff looked strong leading the field sprint but Sagan came around and caught him in a perfectly timed photo-finish at the line for the historic hat-trick victory.

“I think for the most part it went to plan,” said Kevin Field, Road Team Manager, “and I was really happy with how the guys rode. We realized after a few races that the course is a lot more difficult than we expected coming in, and to have our three guys right up there on the last lap, that’s an impressive ride for us. Guillaume was very, very close, and that’s a really good performance for our guys.”

Jacques Landry, Chief Technical Officer at Cycling Canada, commented, “Reflecting on the Elite men and women, we have all the bases covered, I think, to prepare our riders for Road Worlds. The programs they have are obviously through their trade teams, but we had good team cohesiveness and tactics. For the Junior and Under-23 categories, to really be competitive we would need to step up our programs considerably through training camps and racing in Europe.

“We have some exceptions, like Simone Boilard [8th, Junior women road race], but we need to be developing more riders like Simone, and not counting on phenoms just showing up. I do strongly believe that the track endurance program is the way to get things going to fast track these athletes into the road scene; we see it through other countries, such as Great Britain and Australia. There’s some work to do, but we have a lot of talent and we just need to find the resources and the most efficient pathway to develop these athletes properly.”

Watch final 5 min here.

Results here.

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