June 05, 2017 (Victoria, BC) – You would think with eight other Smart Savvy+ / Garneau teammates in the mix, it wouldn’t have been such a hard day at the office for Calgary’s Connor Toppings, but it was a bit of a grind as he solo’ed through most of the Russ Hay’s Cycling Grand Prix / BC Criterium Championships. But laying down the hammer proved worthwhile in the end as Toppings came away with his first major criterium win.
“I just put my head down and went,” he said after crossing the line with the field. “The guys did a lot of work to slow down the field for me.”
Toppings finally joined the field with two laps to go and was lost a bit in the crowd for the obligatory finish line celebratory shot. Trek Red Truck Racing’s Kyle Buckosky and Langlois Brown Racing Dylan Davies also broke from the pack early on and both battled it out with 2014 grand prix winner Davies earning second-place and the BC Criterium Championships and Buckosky third.
On the women’s side, it was a home-coming of sorts for Broad Street Cycles’ Gillian Carleton. The Olympic and World Championships track bronze medallist hasn’t raced since 2014, taking a racing hiatus to complete her undergraduate degree in neuroscience.
As it often goes in criterium racing, you never quite know who’s coming around that last corner, and after Trek Red Truck Racing Anika Todd broke from the field for four laps of the 35-lap women’s race, the crowd was a bit surprised to see Carleton’s Broad Street Cycle kit come round the bend to take the women’s title and the BC Criterium Championships.
“I was 95 per cent sure I could go,” she said, describing her attack after the first corner. “So I tried to stretch it out. I was sitting (in the field) for most of the race trying to stay as fresh as possible.”
Crit Nasty’s Sarah Coney was second while Glotman Simpson Cycling Janna Gillick was third.
The day of racing ended a successful weekend of races at the Robert W. Cameron Law Cycling Series p/b PISE which saw 200 children between the ages of 3 and 10 participating in the Tim Hortons Timbit Challenge and older folks racing in youth races, the inaugural Broad Street Cycles Fixed Gear Criterium, the Schwalbe Cycling Classic road race in Metchosin and the EnergyLab Dallas Road Time Trial.
1. Gillian Carleton (Broad Street Cycles) 56:10.75
2. Sarah Coney (Fluevog’s Crit Nasty) 56:13.65
3. Janna Gillick (Glotman Simpson Cycling)
4. Maggie Coles-Lyster (TaG Cycling Race Team)
5. Megan Rathwell (Broad Street Cycles
1. Connor Toppings (Smart Savvy+ / Garneau U23 Cycling Team) 54:08:46
2. Dylan Davies (Langlois Brown Racing) 22.79
3. Kyle Buckosky (Trek Red Truck Racing) 1.29
4. Isaac Leblanc (Victoria Wheelers) 24.30
5. Adam De Vos (Rally Cycling)
1. Megan Rathwell (Broad Street Cycles) 43 pts
2. Maggie Coles-Lyster (TaG Cycling Race Team) 42
3. Janna Gillick (Glotman Simpson Cycling) 42
4. Sarah Van Dam (Tripleshot Cycling) 28
5. Callie Swan (TaG Cycling Race Team) 20
1. Adam De Vos (Rally Cycling) 42 pts
2. Connor Toppings (Smart Savvy+ / Garneau U23 Cycling Team) 36
3. Kyle Buckosky (Trek Red Truck Racing) 29
4. Nigel Ellsay (Silber Pro Cycling) 28
5. Chris Macleod (Smart Savvy+ / Garneau U23 Cycling Team) 24