June 16, 2005 (Dieppe, NB.) – The stage is set, the riders are ready, we’re going to have the best road racing in Atlantic Canada in a while. In fact, I would say since the National Road Championships held in Dieppe in 2001. As of Saturday, the Maritime Super Week will get under way”¦ and we’ll have no less then seven road races in the next nine days.
The idea sounded pretty complex to start with, but it is now a reality. The three provincial cycling organizations, and its organizers, did very good work and managed to regroup the top events within a calendar week.
First stop, the Halifax Criterium <http://www.halifaxcriterium.ns.ca/> on Saturday the 18th. This well renowned event will launch the debates at high speeds. The course will be a little over 1.5 km long and will use the roads around the beautiful Halifax Commons. Things will not get easier the next day as the cyclists will be heading to the Annapolis Valley for the Wolfville Classic Stage Race <http://bicycle.ns.ca/racing/archives/2005-Wolfville-Classic-road-race-poster.pdf>. This event will bring the riders to an individual time trial and a hard mountainous road race.
Then, things will move towards Prince Edward Island for the Charlottetown Criterium
Two days later, the cyclists will head to Moncton/Dieppe/Riverview for the Mike’s Bike Shop Stage Race (June 25th and 26th) <http://mbscycling.org/eventsRR.php?eventRRName=main>. This event will see the riders battle over three stages including an uphill individual time trial (Riverview), a criterium (around Victoria Park in Moncton) and a road race. This road race, along with the time trial, will also count as the New Brunswick Provincial Championships.
With that many quality events regrouped in such a short period of time, it is normal to expect the best riders to be ready for it. Among top contenders, you can count on Halifax’s Craig de Gier, Jamie Lamb, and Terry Tomlin, Campbellton’s Ryan Belliveau as well as two more riders we did not yet have a chance to see this season as they were racing overseas, Charlottetown’s Max Keeler, St-Johns’ Zach Garland. Campbellton’s Phil Cortes will also make the trip back from Europe for this event, but will miss the first weekend due to contractual agreement with his French team. Truro’s Dustin MacBurnie and Charlettetown’s Cory Jay will also miss the first weekend of action as they will be racing professionally in the Tour de Beauce in Quebec.
On the women’s side, a big battle should come from three New Brunswickers: Julie BÃ©langer (Edmundston), ValÃ©rie Violette (St-Leonard), and Annie-MylÃ¨ne Comeau (Beresford). Heather Lamson of Charlottetown will also be a top contender.
Such racing format is not common, but is used in other parts of the country. As an example, the BC Super Week regroups three events and attracts riders from across Canada and US. In a few years, this is where the Maritime Super Week would hope to be. The formula is perfect. It greatly minimizes geographical challenges by having many events in a short amount of time in a given region. This year, the project is a test event and will certainly attract the eyes of many more riders from Eastern Canada and US for 2006.