April 17, 2011 (Mar del Plata, Argentina) – Epic race conditions greeted the starters for the Pan American Junior road race this morning. Two+ inches of rain fell in 40 minutes during the race, making the roads greasy and filled with debris. Add 50+ kph winds and the women were in for a tough 60km.
After 21km a group of seven emerged as the select group that would contest for the medals. Canada’s Allison Beveridge was in the thick of things up against her track rival Ingrid Drexel from Mexico and four riders from Chile. In the last 10km, Chile attacked every kilometre only to be brought back by Drexel and Beveridge.
In the end a rider from Chile did escape and hold off the pack by three seconds. In the group sprint for silver, Beveridge launched to the line and came off Drexel’s wheel with 200m to go and was not denied for the second spot on the podium.
In the men’s road race the conditions improved and the skies cleared and the 60 starters were off for their 90km race. Alex Cataford was the top Canadian finishing three minutes down after doing his share of the work during the very quick race. Kyle Buckosky was the only other Canadian to finish… a very valiant effort for the young Vancouver rider.
During the podium ceremony this afternoon, Nina Nesdoly won a very special award presented by the organizer for Fair Play and Good Sportsmanship during the competition.
The silver for Beveridge, brought the Canadian medal count to six. The Canadian team will fly out of Argentina on Monday afternoon.
1. Denisse Ahumada (Chile)
2. Allison Beveridge (Canada)
3. Ingrid Drexel (Mexico)
1. Juan Curuchet (Argentina)
2. Rodrigo Bonilla (Uruguay)
3. Felipe Peñaloza (Chile)