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CanAmQue Challenge Race Report and Photos

report by the Forest City Velodrome

November 30, 2009 (London, ON) – Over 65 riders battled it out on Saturday night at the Forest City Velodrome in London, Ontario. The race night was the highlight of the 2009 racing season. Seven riders came up from south of the border, 17 were from the province of Quebec and the rest of the field were Ontario racers.

Two of Canada’s cycling royalty, world champion Gord Singleton plus Tour de France competitor and Director of Planet Energy, Steve Bauer were in the house. We were almost at capacity with the number of spectators watching the show. They were cheering for their favourites all night. It was like a party, with many new cycling fans in attendance.

The evening started with many different races for all the categories on the infield. In women’s racing 13 riders contested their endurance race with many attacks going off the front. The average speed was 39.9 kph for the 40-lap endurance race. Once the race settled in Amy Biskaborn eventually came away with the hard fought victory, Biskaborn rolled off the front and none of the other women were able to match her speed. Biskaborn won by 10 bike lengths, Kimberly Edwards from Boston was 2nd.

The FCV youth racers took to the track next with nine cadets racing their guts out. Not one of the riders held anything back with Eric MacDonald from London winning the first race, Daniel Mackenzie-Picot came out on top of the second race, with 14-year-old Will Simonds snatching victory in the youth challenge. Will was the last rider pedaling in the “Pursuit Death Match” which lasted over nine minutes, the crowd was going nuts for these kids…. Great to see.

In sprint action, It was an all London final as 2009 Canadian Junior sprint Champion, Allan Leparskas and Mike Nuttall (Cycles London) easily made it through to the final. The 750m event was very tactical with neither rider wanting to show their hand too early. With three laps to go, Nuttall attacked over the top in an effort to gain the advantage, Leparskas countered with a quick burst of speed and continued to accelerate to the finish just nipping Nuttall at the line by 1/2 a bike length. Very exciting and the spectators were on their feet to congratulate the riders as they high-fived each other at the start finish line.

CanAmQue Challenge presented by Yellow Pages Group
The CanAmQue Challenge began with four heats to set the field for the two Semi Finals. All of the favourites advanced easily with Planet Energy and 2009 Canadian Road Champion Guillaume Boivin leading the way.

In the semi final things began to heat up as some Juniors were sprinkled in by their performance in the heats. Young racer Kyle Rupay from Peterborough, soon became a crowd favourite, Kyle dangled off the back of the first Semi and continued to show guts and determination as lap after lap he go dropped and caught back on when the pace slowed. Although Kyle didn’t make it to the Final, he was always on the radar of the fans who appreciated his effort.

In the end the two semi finals made sure the field of the top 12 racers were going to do battle in the evenings feature race the CanAmQue Challenge.

The 138-lap challenge started off as you would expect, Fast…with a $100 preem (thanks to Joe Brennan from New Jersey for the cash) for the first rider to lap the field. Dave St James (London) attacked on lap 1 and gained ≤ of a lap very quickly, only to come within 10 metres of taking home the cash…… you guest it, he blew hard as the pace picked up as the big guns wanted the cash for themselves. It was a valiant effort by St James, he paid dearly for the effort and had to withdraw from the event (cramps).

Many attacks went off the front of the race however it wasn’t until Planet Energy’s, Boivin rolled off the front and was the first rider to lap the field. Boivin pocketed the $100.00. There was still over 90 laps to go and Boivin was on his own a lap up on the field, that was until Junior Ryan Aitcheson (Jetfuel Coffee) made a hard effort from mid pack. Aitcheson immediately put a 1/2 lap into the field before Bovin could get to the front to try to close the gap. With in three laps Aitcheson was at the back of the pack, he was on even terms with Boivin one lap up on the rest of the riders.

Once all the riders were together there was another preem up for grabs. The 3-lap sprint really put the weaker riders in trouble. In the end Quebec strongman Phillip Raymond scooped up the cash prize on offer. After the preem, the pack spread out, this gave Boivin and Aitcheson an opportunity to steadily opened another gap and put a second lap on the remaining riders.

As the racers saw 30 to go Aitcheson attacked Boivin to put the road champ in a spot of bother, it didn’t last long as Boivin came back up to the Junior and both riders continued to put a third lap on the field. The spectators were treated to an amazing display of speed and power as the 2 strongest started to play cat and mouse to wait for the final sprint. Aitcheson’s, Jetfuel teammate Dave Byers went on the attack with no reaction from the pack and gained one of his laps back to guarantee 3rd overall.

The final 10 laps for the two leaders keep an eye on one another like they were in a short sprint race. Boivin and Aitcheson marking the movements all over the track. The crowd was going crazy. Many of the racers were still on the infield, they were all on their feet cheering it was quite a show…(5 to go) the battle between Ontario and Quebec would come down to who had the most speed in the final 500m.

Aitcheson took the lead, and steadily picked up the pace. 400m to go Aitcheson attacked and opened up a 4-bike length lead, Bovin closed the gap and with one to go started his charge over the top of the junior. Elbow to elbow down the back stretch, both riders on the rivet, Aitcheson took the advantage in the final corner and crosses the finish line and the victory was his. The margin of victory was .087 seconds. The average speed for the race was 43.625 kph. That’s after almost 25 minutes of racing. The fastest lap of the event was Aitcheson on the last and final lap with a time of 8.56 seconds or 58.037kph.

What an evening of bicycle racing. We can’t wait for Winter Nationals in February.

For complete CanAmQue Challenge results go to www.ForestCityVelodrome.ca checkout our Facebook section with all the comments from the race fans.

Results (brief)

1. Ryan Aitcheson (Ontario) Jetfuel Coffee
2. Guiiium Boven (Quebec) Planet Energy
3. Bave Byer (Ontario) Jetfuel Coffee
4. Phillip Raymond (Quebec)
5. Garnett Abbey (Ontario)

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