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Russ Hay’s/Accent Inns GP and BC Criterium Championships – Canning and Bergen Win

release by Robert Cameron Law Cycling Series

June 06, 2016 (Victoria, BC) – They don’t call it the Accent Inns/Russ Hay’s Grand Prix for nothing, as the Victoria-based elite men’s team owned the criterium podium at today’s final event of the Robert Cameron Law Cycling Series p/b PISE.

Cody Canning  ©  Morgan Turner Photography
Reigning Grand Prix and BC Criterium Champion, Victoria’s Cody Canning took teammate Isaac LeBlanc’s lead-out wheel on the final stretch and sprinted to victory, leading the pack across the line in 1:07:13. LeBlanc’s second-place and Amiel Flett-Brown’s third, made it a complete Accent Inns Russ Hay’s sweep.

Men's podium (l-r) LeBlanc 2nd, Canning 1st, Flett-Brown 3rd  ©  Morgan Turner Photography
The pack battled amongst themselves, keeping together throughout the 50-lap race until the final lap where it was an all-out bar-room brawl as teams tried to get into position for the final sprint. LeBlanc, the former speed skater who won last weekend’s BC Road Racing Championships with the help of Canning paid it forward to play lead-out in the final few metres.

“We lost control a lot of times,” Canning, who’s the team’s captain, said after the race. “But the team kept working together and Isaac gave an incredible effort.”

Sara Bergen  ©  Morgan Turner Photography
The team sweep was a first for the historic Victoria criterium, but it wasn’t the only milestone in the day. Coquitlam’s Sara Bergen, of Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes, turned on her engine early, going solo for the last 15 laps of the 30-lap women’s elite race and lapping the field on her last lap to finish in 52:16 minutes – making it the first time in the race’s 25-plus history that a female has lapped the field.

This feat left second- and third-place up for grabs, setting up for a frenetic pack sprint where Maple Ridge’s 17-year-old cycling sensation Maggie Coles-Lyster of Team TaG crossed the line ahead of Vancouver’s Alysia Withers of Glotman Simpson Cycling Club.

Women's podium (l-r) Coles-Lyster 2nd, Bergen 1st, Withers 3rd  ©  Morgan Turner Photography
“I wasn’t expecting it as we’re always trying to ride aggressively,” Bergen said, describing her solo flight. “But it was a super awesome team effort.”

Today’s wins crowned Bergen and Canning as the 2016 female and male BC Criterium Champions.

The 2016 Robert Cameron Law Cycling Series p/b PISE included an elite ominium awarding points to top riders in the EnergyLab Dallas Road Time Trial, Cheemos Perogies Cycling Classic and Accent Inns/Russ Hay’s Grand Prix. The overall Robert Cameron Law Cycling Series orange jerseys were won by Women’s Team ATAC’s Jenna Gillick and Trek Red Truck’s Kyle Buckosky.

The day’s action also included the BC Masters Criterium Championship, non-elite and junior category races, the Victoria Volkswagen Celebrity Bike Relay and the ever-popular crowd-favourite Tim Hortons Timbits Challenge where more than 180 tykes on trikes or bikes (aged 3 to 10) took to the street.

“This whole weekend – with about 500 participants and coming at the heels of Bike to Work Week – showcases the popularity and strength of Victoria’s cycling community,” said Jon Watkin, Race Director. “On the roads, on the trails, at the Juan de Fuca velodrome, we’re seeing not only the weekend warriors and commuters, but Canada’s next Olympians, Paralympians and other international stars.

Results (brief)

1. Sara Bergen (Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes)
2. Maggie Coles-Lyster (Team TaG)
3. Alysia Withers (Glotman Simpson Cycling)

1. Cody Canning (Accent Inns/Russ Hay’s Racing Team)
2. Isaac LeBlanc (Accent Inns/Russ Hay’s Racing Team)
3. Amiel Flett-Brown (Accent Inns/Russ Hay’s Racing Team)

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