July 16, 2017 (White Rock, BC) – Kirsti Lay took a break after riding five races in six days to start BC Superweek and it seems the rest paid off. The 2015 Pan-Am team pursuit gold medalist broke away to solo victory in the Peace Arch News Road Race on Sunday, finishing the nearly 81-kilometre grind in two hours, 25 minutes, and 48 seconds. The course and its gorgeous backdrop attracted Lay to give it a go to wrap up her time at BC Superweek.
22-year-old Margot Clyne went on a break just three laps into the grueling race, and it looked like she might make it stick, until Lay and 2012 Canadian Olympian Joelle Numainville reeled her in.
“I like attacking on the climbs, but this week, it’s been just attack, attack, and attack to see what will stick. I’ve had a lot of digs this week and I don’t think that was anything new to the field who’s been here all week. Today, it finally stuck and finally was able to have my race,” she said.
Already a two-time winner of the Tour de Delta White Spot | Delta Road Race, Steve Fisher, who makes his home less than an hour south of White Rock in Bellingham, ascended to the top of the podium at the Steve Nash Fitness World presents Tour de White Rock Peace Arch News Road Race on Sunday afternoon.
“We really had a lot of cards to play today, we just wanted to make the race hard and hopefully came out on top with the numbers in the front group late in the race and it panned out for us,” he said. “I was definitely hurting on the climbs a little bit. Nigel put in some pretty good digs and I think it put us on the back foot, I just knew I had to hang on until the last corner before the finish.”
Langlois Brown’s Dylan Davies broke away with eleven laps to go and the other teams were well aware of the cyclist who began his cycling career as a bike messenger while attending college in Vancouver.
“There were four guys behind Dylan and we had Kaler Marshall in that group,” explained Fisher. “Then Francisco Mancebo and I came across in a pretty big group on the steeper climb. It took us a while to get up there, once we did, everyone kind of set about working to bring Dylan back and he was right in his prime, it took us a long time.”
The H&R Block Pro Cycling Team is back on the podium at the Tour de White Rock after Garrett McLeod won the road race two years ago. H&R Block had big numbers in the field as well, with eight riders taking to the start line. Following a seventh place finish in the Choices Markets Criterium on Saturday, Samuel knew he was in contention for the omnium.
“Going in I was seventh overall, so I knew I had extra points on most of the guys. Our goal was with the numbers, just put Silber and Canyon under pressure all day,” said Samuel, a multi-sport athlete who has competed in hockey, soccer, basketball, and triathlon. “Every time Nigel, or Steve, and Mancebo had to follow moves, it was one less match that I had to burn early on in the race, but it helped me at the end.”
“I knew if it came down to a sprint with Steve it was going to be tight, but I think he got an upper hand on me, so coming over the last climb, the guys started playing cat and mouse and I hit them there going into the descent hoping that I could have ten or 20 bike lengths on them going into the corner,” described Samuel. “Unfortunately, Steve got back through the corner and he had prime position.”
Ellsay made it onto the podium for the first time at BC Superweek this year with the third place finish. The 23-year-old represented Canada twice – at the World Championships as a junior rider in 2012 and as a U23 rider in 2015. His game plan for Sunday’s road race was to try and get away, riding aggressive once the peloton broke up.
“I did what I could, but it wasn’t quite enough today. On that last lap, Steve, Travis and I were just riding, no one wanted to go. I hit it once or twice on the climb, couldn’t get much of a gap and it was just a sprint for the finish. Props to them, Steve is super strong, a great sprint, and it’s great to see Travis up there too.”
Fisher’s win awarded him the 2017 Tour de White Rock Omnium and the $1,000 prize to go along with it. Florenz Knauer, who’s won the Tour de White Rock Omnium three times, was second.
Pro 1/2/3 Women
1. Kirsti Lay (Can) Rally Cycling – Women 2:25:48
2. Margot Clyne (USA) UBC Cycling Team 2:26:26
3. Joelle Numainville (Can) Independent 2:26:59
4. Marie-Soleil Blais (Can) Independent 2:30:24
5. Maggie Coles-Lyster (Can) TaG Cycling Race Team
6. Josie Talbot (Aus) ISCorp p/b Progress
7. Rachel Langdon (Gbr) ISCorp p/b Progress 2:30:26
8. Haley Gill (Can) Glotman Simpson Cycling
9. Megan Heath (USA) Rally Cycling – Women
10. Ariane Bonhomme (Can) The Cyclery – 4iiii
Pro 1/2 Men
1. Steve Fisher (USA) Hangar 15 Bicycles 3:30:08
2. Travis Samuel (Can) H&R Block Pro Cycling Team
3. Nigel Ellsay (Can) Silber Pro Cycling 3:30:14
4. Jordan Cheyne (Can) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 3:30:27
5. Ryan Roth (Can) Silber Pro Cycling 3:30:56
6. Florenz Knauer (Can) Stradalli Safatti 3:31:16
7. Pier-Andre Cote (Can) Silber Pro Cycling
8. Felix Cote-Bouvette (Can) Garneau Quebecor
9. Kyle Buckosky (Can) Trek Red Truck Racing
10. Liam White (Aus) Kallisto FCV p/b Peloton Contracting Cycling Team 3:31:23
1. Joelle Numainville (Can) Independent – Women 24 pts
1. Steve Fisher (USA) Hangar 15 Bicycles 23 pts