July 09, 2011 (Baie Comeau, QC) – The 2011 UCI Road Para-Cycling World Cup kicked off on Friday in Baie Comeau, QC, with 27 countries represented at this event featuring the traditional cycling road races and the solo time trial races, at the same location of the highly successful 2010 UCI World Championships for this fascinating cycling sport.
Canada, with its largest World Cup delegation ever of 32 athletes, did not disappoint on the first day with a total of nine podium performances, including three victories on a beautiful and sunny day in northern Québec.
The morning session saw the hand bikes and tricycles take to the streets of Baie-Comeau for the individual time trial races. Mark Ledo of Maple Ridge, ON, the reigning Canadian champion in the discipline, kept his momentum built last week at the 2011 IMMUNITY-FX Canadian Road Championships with a second place in the H3 category. In the same category, teammate Rico Morneau placed sixth while Mark Beggs came eighth and Jimmy Pelletier finished in ninth position.
Robbert Labbé of Québec city finished in second place of the H1 category, crossing the finish line with a time of 40:57 minutes, just one second behind winner Mark Rohan of Ireland.
In the women’s H1 time trial race, Karen March of British Columbia took the high honours with a time of 1:09:51.84. Myriam Adam, a member of the Canadian Para-cycling development program, finished in second position of the H2 race.
Marie-Ève Croteau, the reigning Canadian Champion in the Tricycle category, dominated the race with a time of 18:32.22, winning with a lead of over three minutes on her closest rival, Madre Carinus of the Republic of South Africa.
Croteau, in her first year competing in para-cycling, has very quickly shown signs of international dominance, currently wearing the white jersey as the World Cup leader. Croteau, who was hardly walking last year at this date, first competed at a UCI race in Blainville this spring, where she realized she had some very powerful potential. Since then, she has risen to new heights, sitting alone atop the World standings amongst the World’s best women in the tricycle category.
“Today I raced for the first time with the big hills to climb. All the athletes were talking about them as we prepared for this event. We worked out with the coaching staff to have good course recognition, and worked technically, said Croteau after her victory in Baie-Comeau. “Today I kind feel like I am sitting on a cloud. Everything happened so fast. I dearly appreciate the happiness I experience at the moment. I am surrounded by a marvellous team of coaches and athletes from which I learn every day. I am extremely thankful for what I currently have, and for whom I am surrounded by.”
“I had my Eureka moment in Blainville in April. This is where I first raced, and first realized that I could win on the international scene. I think Eric [Van den Eynde, Head Coach of the Canadian Paracycling Team] was a bit surprised by the time I realized. Since then I went on to race different event on the international calendar, and Shelley Gautier, the sole rider in the T1 category, rode with a time of 25:47.51.
Later in the day after a small break in the schedule, the C and tandem categories took over the course for the 17.3-km solo races. Canadian champion Marie-Claude Molnar, racing in the C2 category, was the top Canadian with a first place in the Women’s C2 race.
Calgary’s Brayden McDougall finished third, immediately followed by Jaye Milley in fourth of the C1 category, while Eric Bourgault came ninth of the C5 race.
In the fast tandem races, Canadian Daniel Chalifour and Alexandre Carrier took the highest honours, winning the race with a margin of over one minute. Robbi Weldon and Lyne Bessette finished in second place, while the duo of Geneviève Ouellette and Emilie Roy finished fourth, a few seconds off the podium.
Other Canadian athletes were also racing as independent.
Arnaud Litou, Para-cycling coordinator for the Canadian Cycling Association, was thrilled with the organisation of this major event on Canadian soil. “The organisation has done an outstanding job with this event. In many ways, this event surpasses the high standards established last season with the UCI World Championships. The ambiance and energy here in Baie Comeau is engaging for everyone. The road races tomorrow should provide more excitement for the citizens of the region.”
The UCI Para-cycling Road World Cup Finals in Baie-Comeau continue tomorrow with the presentation of the road races for the tricycle and hand bikes, and end on Sunday with the road races for the C category as well as the tandems.
Results (brief) Time Trials
Full results HERE.
Men H1 – 17.3Km
1. Mark Rohan – Mh1 – Ireland 40:56.1
2. Robert Labbe – Mh1 – Canada 1.04
3. Christophe Hindricq – Mh1 – Belgium +1:45.15
Men H2 – 17.3Km
1. Walter Ablinger – Mh2 – Austria 30:40.7
2. Lukas Weber – Mh2 – Switzerland 7.88
3. Heinz Frei – Mh2 – Switzerland 10.03
6. Rico Morneau – Mh2 – Canada +1:09.48
8. Mark Beggs – Mh2 – Canada +4:43.60
9. Jimmy Pelletier – Mh2 – Canada +4:57.72
Men H3 – 17.3Km
1. Joel Jeannot – Mh3 – France 29:15.4
2. Mark Ledo – Mh3 – Canada 38.34
3. Vico Merklein – Mh3 – Germany +1:08.91
Men C1 – 25.9 Km
1. Juan Jose Fernandez Mendez – Mc1 – Spain 14:17.65(1) 28:51.0
2. Mark Colbourne – Mc1 – Great Britain +1:01.19
3. Brayden Mcdougall – Mc1 – Canada +1:03.80
4. Jaye Milley – Mc1 – Canada +1:38.06
Men C2 – 25.9Km
1. Tobias Graf – Mc2 – Germany 26:45.1
2. Far Maurice Tio Eckhard – Mc2 – Spain 24.75
3. Alvaro Becerra Galvis – Mc2 – Colombia 29.23
11. Matthieu Parent – Mc2 – Canada +2:56.16
Men C4 – 25.9Km
1. Jiri Jezek – Mc4 – Czech 35:31.2
2. Cesar Perez Neira – Mc4 – Spain +1:22.31
3. Sam Kavanagh – Mc4 – Usa +2:00.00
9. Eric Bourgault – Mc4 – Canada +4:41.78
13. Sebastien Bouchard – Mc4 – Independant +6:53.20
14. Peter King – Mc4 – Canada +7:50.29
Men C5 – 25.9Km
1. Lauro Chaman – Mc5 – Brazil 35:43.7
2. Filho Schwindt Joao Alberto – Mc5 – Brazil 16.17
3. Soelito Gohr – Mc5 – Brazil 45.29
7. Mark Breton – Mc5 – Canada +3:44.31
Men Tandem – 25.9Km
1. Daniel Chalifour / Alexandre Cloutier – Mb – Canada 33:47.4
2. Clark Rachfal / David Swanson – Mb – Usa 57.78
3. Vladislav Janovjak / Mitosinka Robert – Mb – Slovakia +1:25.06
4. Alexandre Carrier / Luc Dionne – Mb – Canada +1:39.82
Women H1 – 17.3Km
1. Karen March – Wh1 – Canada 09:51.8
2. Pia Schmid – Wh1 – Switzerland 35.99
Women H2 – 17.3Km
1. Marianna Davis – Wh2 – Usa 36:53.7
2. Myriam Adam – Wh2 – Canada +12:05.94
3. Natalia Yanuto – Wh2 – Russia +38:36.39
Women H3 – 17.3Km
1. Monica Bascio – Wh3 – Usa 37:00.3
2. Sandra Graf – Wh3 – Switzerland +3:50.03
3. Svetlana Moshkovich – Wh3 – Russia +8:04.55
5. Chantale Petitclerc – Wh3 – Canada +9:26.16
Women C4 – 17.3Km
1. Marie-Claude Molnar – Wc4 – Canada 29:49.8
2. Isabelle Cote – Wc4 – Independant +9:17.35
Women Tandem – 25.9Km
1. Josefa Guzman Benitez / Maria-Mayalen B. Noriega – Wb – Spain 39:59.9
2. Robbi Weldon / Lyne Bessette – Wb – Canada 55.13
3. Martine Chaudier / Laure Girard – Wb – France +1:02.58
4. Genevieve Ouellet / Emilie Roy – Wb – Canada +1:20.04
7. Melissa Boisvert / Audrey Sarrazin – Wb – Canada +3:30.57
Women T1 – 8.6Km
1. Shelley Gautier – Wt1 – Canada – 25:47.5
Women T2/3 – 8.6Km
1. Marie-Eve Croteau – Wt2 – Canada 18:32.2
2. Madre Carinus – Wt2 – South Africa +3:05.57
3. Jana Majunke – Wt2 – Germany 03:38.0