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Canada Lands Two Junior TT Riders in Top 10 @ 2015 Road World Championships + PHOTOS

by pedalmag.com
Gillian Ellsay  ©  Cor Vos
September 21, 2015 (Richmond, Virginia) – The time trial competitions kicked off Day 2 at the UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia as Gillian Ellsay of Victoria, BC led the way for Canada with a fabulous 8th-place finish in the junior women’s 15km individual time trial. Teammate Emiliah Harvey of Banff finished a strong tenth.

Sean MacKinnon  ©  Peter Kraiker

In the U23 Men’s 29.9km individual time trial race, Sean MacKinnon of Hamilton, ON, was the top Canadian finishing 20th out of 50 starters for another solid result.

Emeliah Harvie  ©  Ethan Glading

Junior Women’s ITT

“In the starting gate I was really nervous, but once I took the first pedal stroke down the ramp, I relaxed a bit. The rough roads, wind and multiple turns made for a very fast race. I honestly don’t really remember much about the race other than trying to put as much pain into my legs as possible in the last 5km,” commented Ellsay.

Gillian Ellsay  ©  Peter Kraiker

“I’m very happy and proud of my result, but not yet satisfied and I’m hungry for more. A huge thanks to all the Cycling Canada staff and all the support from back home,” she added completing the course in 22:03.

The women’s team is led by coach Denise Kelly, who was evidently happy with the two top-10 performances today. “Our goal was a top 10 finish for the junior girls so to have two to attain that was very inspiring for the future.  The junior girls team has a great attitude to add to their solid World’s preparation.”

Harvie  ©  Peter Kraiker
The host nation began the day with much to celebrate as US junior road and time trial national champion, Chloe Dygert, captured the Junior Women’s Time Trial gold. Dygert’s US teammate, Emma White, secured silver and Anna-Leeza Hull of Australia netted the bronze.

Junior Women's podium (l-r) White 2nd, Dygert 1st, Hull 3rd  ©  Ethan Glading
Troubled by injuries in 2014, Dygert has certainly made up for any lost ground in 2015, blazing home on the city-centre circuit to beat White by a hefty one minute and six seconds margin.

Emma White  ©  Cor Vos

“This course was exactly what I was looking for, it suited me well,” tweeted Dygert, from Brownsburg, Indiana. “It’s my first World Championships and I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Dygert  ©  Cor Vos

The ninth of 37 starters, Dygert had a long wait after she knocked nearly two minutes off the previous best time, set by Canada’s Ellsay. The key proved to be in the second half of the course, with White coming the closest to Dygert’s best intermediate time of 12 seconds, but then fading notably to lose nearly a minute more. Equally Hull took seventh on the first time check, but even though she then continued to get stronger, the Australian was unable to come closer than bronze.

U23 Men’s Race

MacKinnon  ©  Peter Kraiker

Mackinnon, the first rider on course and silver ITT medalist at the recent Pan Am Games, disputed the 29.9-km course with a solid time of 38.47.06 taking the hot seat until the 12th rider displaced him. His teammate, reigning U23 Men’s national champ, Alex Cataford of Ottawa, ON, finished in 33th place with a time of 39.28.10.

“Happy with the ride,” tweeted MacKinnon. “The hot seat was fun while it lasted! Super amazing experience to finish 20th in the ITT at worlds #Richmond2015 – thanks to @CyclingCanada and the #NextGenU23 program! I will be back for more!”

Alex Cataford  ©  Ethan Glading

Winner, Mads Wurtz Schmidt (DEN), who was also one of the earlier starters, rolled down the start ramp in 14th place out of a 50-rider field. The 2015 Tour of Denmark time trial stage winner laid down a crushing time that was more than a minute faster than any of the previous starters, stopping the clock at 37 minutes and 10 seconds.

Schmidt  ©  Cor Vos

Clearly a time to beat and with the provisional best times at all three intermediate checkpoints also in his power, rider after rider failed to dislodge the Dane from the top spot overall, who finally had to wait two and a half hours before definitively securing gold. Another early starter, Germany’s Maximilian Schachmann, a bronze medallist in the 2012 Junior World Championships Time Trial proved to be the rider that ran him closest, clocking times that fell just seven to eight seconds in short in the intermediate time checks. However, Schachmann finally finished 12 seconds back and would have to settle for silver.

U23 M podium  ©  Peter Kraiker

Kamna, the Junior Worlds Time Trial Champion in 2014, also proved one of the strongest in worsening weather conditions as light rain and a stronger wind set in. The last rider to start and driving hard on the long avenue leading to the finish, the Germany was able to dislodge Truls Engen Korsaeth of Norway from the bronze spot and finish 21 seconds down. There was no stopping Schmidt though, already the U-23 Time Trial Champion for Denmark this year, from adding a Road World Championships gold medal in the same category to his fast-growing palmares.

Schmidt  ©  Cor Vos

Tuesday, the junior men and elite women will tackle their individual time trial race, with two Canadians racing in each category. The 2015 Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia, end on Sunday.

Junior Women’s results here
U23 Men’s results here


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