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Canada’s Canuel 2nd at Chrono Gatineau UCI Time Trial – USA’s Stephens Triumphs

release by Cycling Canada

May 20, 2017 (Gatineau, QC) – Canada put five riders in the top-10 at the Chrono Gatineau UCI time trial on Friday, with Team Canada’s Karol-Ann Canuel finishing second.  American Lauren Stephens (Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank) held off two world champions to win the competition.  Stephens, who finished fourth last year, finished 3.64 seconds ahead of Karol-Ann Canuel and 11.15 seconds in front of American rider Amber Neben (VeloConcept), the reigning individual time trial champion.

Podium champagne celebrations  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
The 21 kilometre out-and-back course climbs up into the Gatineau national park for the first half before the riders turn around for a long and fast descent back to the finish.  Race day was sunny but windy.

Jasmin Duehring (Sho-Air TWENTY20), a member of the bronze medal winning Team Pursuit squad from Rio, set the first fast time of 31:05, 11 riders in from the 49 starters.  Her time held up until eight riders to go, when Claire Rose (Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling) became the first to go under 31 minutes (30:57).  Two riders later, Leah Thomas (Sho-Air TWENTY20) knocked over six seconds off the leading time, but Canuel was right behind her, and took the top time down to 30:23.  Canuel, in turn, was immediately supplanted on the Hot Seat by Stephens, with the final winning time of 3:20.

Karol-Anne Canuel  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
“It was really a hard course,” commented Canuel.  “It was really hilly and also windy and it was hard to get your effort at first, but I’m happy with my ride. I finished second, and for sure I wanted to win, but three seconds is nothing. I didn’t know where I would fit today, I haven’t really worked on my time trial at all this year as I’ve been focusing on the classics and the road racing, so it was good to get an effort out there. I’m happy with my ride.”

“I’m racing tomorrow and then will take a little break to start prepping for Nationals and then the Giro in July. Last year the Giro was my favourite race. We won the pink jersey, but it was also a fun race to do and really hard.  I hope this year is going to be the same.”

Stephens  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Duehring finished seventh overall, 45.5 seconds back, followed by three more Canadians to round out the top-10:  Kirsti Lay (Team Canada) at 1:00, Leah Kirchmann (Team Canada) at 1:01 and Alizée Brien (Équipe du Québec) at 1:05.

“Last year I was 4th just by 17 seconds and so this year I corrected a few small mistakes on how to ride the course and managed to come out with the win. This is definitely a highlight to my season so far,” commented Stephen who added that winning in Canada was special because former Canadian star Linda Jackson, founded Team Tibco.

Results, photos, interviews here.

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