July 10, 2015 (Rimouski, Quebec) – Centurion-Next Wave Cycling Team has had a great week of racing. While cycling fans watch the battle for the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, there’s another battle closer to home for the yellow jersey of the Tour de la Releve in Rimouski, Quebec. Plus earlier this week, Dana Gilligan proved she was the strongest Cadet level female road cyclist in the province coming up with wins in both the Time Trial and Road Race at the Windsor Youth Cup.
The team followed up their time trials with a great road race. Paul Mysko took second place in his division. Meanwhile Gilligan, with confidence bolstered by her time trial victory, raced a smart road race. Being the only team member in her division was challenging and forced her to respond to all attacks to keep the group together. On the last lap it took two efforts of her own before her breakaway succeeded and delivered her the win.
Four boys are representing the Centurion-Next Wave Cycling Team: Gunnar Holmgren, Graydon Staples, Noah Simms and Brody Sanderson. The first stage, held July 8th, was a 10k team time trial: all the boys start together and ride as a unit. In all 19 teams were represented. Tactically the boys raced well and their strength showed, winning the event by a slim 3 second margin.
Stage 2 took place the next day, a 78km-long extremely hilly road race. Standing out in the field because of the previous day’s win, the boys needed to ride a tactically smart race. The field of 75 riders was immediately decimated by the demanding course, only 23 riders making up the front group. With 15km to go the eventual winning group made their move. Among them were Holmgren and Staples while Sanderson and Simms monitored affairs in the chase group.
The six leaders eventually established a gap of 90 seconds over the diminished chase group with the eventual sprint win going to Simon Jones of Hincapie Junior Development Team. Holmgren and Staples finished in third and sixth place, but in the same time as the winner thus placing the yellow jersey of the overall leader on the shoulders of Holmgren. The team now sits in second place overall.
The team’s goal is to recapture the team lead and keep the yellow jersey until the end. Holmgren hopes to pad his lead in tomorrow’s time trial. Fortunately the time trial is one of his favourite events, but the competition will be tough and anything can happen in the coming stages.
Nevertheless, coach Kevin Simms couldn’t be happier with the team. “I’m totally proud of the composure of the boys, great camaraderie so far. We are counting on good time trial results to keep the other teams away”. Stay tuned next week as we report on the final stages of the race. Good luck boys!