June 08, 2015 (Victoria, BC) – The new BC Legislature’s Accent Inns / Russ Hay’s Grand Prix might afford a breath-taking view, but it’s literally a breath-taking course too, says its first elite men’s champion, Craig Richey of Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes.
“Once I caught him, I knew I had it,” said Richey. “But Curtis won the provincial time trials last week so I knew it would be tough to get to him.”
And it was. Dearden broke away from the pack with 19 laps to go and held about a 10-second gap until Richey and Langlois Brown Racing’s Jeffrey Werner got close to bridging the gap with 7 laps left. After overtaking Dearden with two laps to go, Richey made it a nail-biter as the street-packed crowd waited to see who would come around the last corner.
Richey cleared the last corner solo, winning in 1:07:53 with Dearden close in pursuit in second, finishing in 1:08:06 while Werner took third in 1:08:24. It was Richey’s second Victoria criterium title – the first one coming in 2011.
The women’s elite race had a bit less drama with Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes’ Kinley Gibson taking an early lead and keeping it for virtually the entire 35-lap race.
“We had the biggest team (six riders) out there,” the 1st Junior National ITT and Criterium 2013 champion from Edmonton said. “We wanted to use this to our advantage and make them work. I got out early and the team really helped to control the race and keep the gap going.”
Gibson won in 55:13:00 with Local Ride Racing’s Maggie Coles-Lyster taking the sprint finish to earn second-spot, 30 seconds later and Gibson’s team mate Leah Guloien taking third.
The criterium capped a weekend full of cycling action with the Robert Cameron Law Cycling Series p/b PISE featuring the Peninsula Co-op Sprint Challenge on Friday at Western Speedway, the Cheemos Perogies Cycling Classic on Saturday in Metchosin and the Accent Inns / Russ Hay’s Grand Prix trying out the new BC Legislature criterium circuit today.
Sunday’s cycling festivities also featured men and women’s category and youth races as well as the ever-popular, crowd-favourite Tim Hortons Timbit Challenge that took to the streets with more than 160 tykes on bikes aged 3 to 10 participating.
In the Volkswagen Victoria Celebrity Relay, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps led a media team to a hotly-contested win over local Olympians including Simon Whitfield and Alison Sydor. Things got a little ugly when CHEK TV’s Dan Clovis, grabbing a borrowed inflatable horse costume (don’t ask), crossed the relay finish line slightly ahead of Sydor. Sydor, even after taking a creative “short cut,” was not able to hold off the media/Mayor team. When asked about the “tactic,” Sydor explained, “We had to. They had electric bikes.”
1. Craig Richey (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) 1:07:53
2. Curtis Dearden (Accent Inns / Russ Hay’s Racing Team) 1:08:06
3. Jeff Werner (Langlois Brown) 1:08:24
1. Kinley Gibson (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) 55:13
2. Maggie Coles-Lyster (Local Ride Racing) 55:43
3. Leah Guloien (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes)