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SpiderTech’s Tuft and Houle Defend ITT Titles at 2011 Road Nationals – Report and Photos

by Redden Media

June 23, 2011 (Belfountain, ON) – SpiderTech p/b C10 lead the charge at the Elite/U23 Men’s 43.34km ITT fending off all challengers with decisive victories as Svein Tuft and Hugo Houle defended their ITT titles respectively at the 2011 Immunity-FX Canadian Road Championship on Thursday.

It was Tuft’s 7th National time trial crown as the 2088 ITT Worlds silver medalist has proven to be unbeatable in the discipline at home. Second on the Elite Men’s podium at 57s back was New Brunswick’s Christian Meier (United Healthcare) with Quebec’s David Veilliux (Europcar) rounding out the podium in third. Meier, in third place at the halfway point, came on strong during the second lap to claim the silver.

Tuft, who just finished third overall including two stage wins at the Tour de Beauce, Canada’s only UCI-level stage race, was ready for today’s challenge despite the daunting Beauce course.

“I actually felt really good,” Tuft told Pedal post-race. “The last day I was really worried – that after really giving my all on the last stage there [he won] – that the legs would be a little tapped out. But I had a good recovery this week and I feel great, so I now look forward to Saturday’s road race.”

The men’s National time trial took place over two loops of the 21.67km course with racers going off in three waves as organizers tried to avoid confusion with lapped riders being on the course at the same time as finishing racers.

Following the first wave, Quebec track star Rémi Pelletier-Roy (Equipe du Quebec), who’s staring to make a name for himself on the road, was in the pole position. Following the second wave Roy was bumped by Houle and eventually finished 9th overall while landing second on the U23 podium with Ontario’s Matteo Dal-Cin (Jet Fuel/ La Bicicletta) the third fastest U23 rider.

It was during the second wave that the skies opened up for a short but heavy dousing, but it didn’t seem to affect rider times. After the second wave were off the course it was Houle who took over the lead with a time of 0:58:01. Houle told us that he was “really nervous” coming into today’s race, despite being the favourite to win his category as the defending champ.

While the Elite men made up the bulk of the third wave of riders there were still some U23s who could unseat Houle but he prevailed. All eyes were now on defending Elite Men’s champ Tuft who was in class of his own shrugging off any effects from Beauce and nailing the best first lap time of 28:09.

When the dust settle the Langley, BC native had earned his 7th ITT title and defended the coveted National Championship jersey with a time of 56:29.

We asked Tuft how he feels about his role as a mentor to the younger members on Team SpiderTech which brought a smile to his face as he truly enjoys the part, “I am at a point in my racing career where I’ve kind of done a little bit of everything, so I can pass on some of the things I’ve learned over the years, and help them make that jump to Europe.”

Tuft also shared his thoughts on his role at Saturday’s road race up the grueling Rattlesnake Point hill. “We have quite a few guys who are really capable, so I’ll be trying to keep the team under control.

“Because I think we have a lot of horsepower, we need to be smart about how we use that power during the road race. My role will be just trying to keep an eye on things, and make sure that we have the right numbers in the right places during the race.”

Full results HERE.

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