June 28, 2016 (Ottawa, ON/Gatineau, QC) – Sunshine was once again the order of the day as the “race of truth” Time Trials saw the Elite, U23 and Junior jerseys all change hands on Day 3 of the 2016 Global Relay p/b Lexus Road Nationals.
Veteran Tara Whitten delivered a fourth title to local The Cyclery-Opus team winning the Elite Women’s 26km ITT, while Ryan Roth netted Silber Pro Cycling’s second jersey at these championships as he outpaced a stacked field for his first national TT crown in the Elite Men’s 36km contest.
Ariane Bonhomme (QC) The Cyclery-Opus earned her second 2016 title at these championships claiming the U23 Women’s TT crown to go with her road race jersey. And it was all smiles in the Team RaceClean Canada camp as Alexander Cowan did not disappoint claiming the 36km U23 Men’s title.
Jordann Jones (ON) NCCH p/b DEC Express, who was second last year, took home the 26km Junior Men’s crown while relative newcomer Simone Boilard (QC) Équipe du Québec claimed a solid victory in the Junior Women’s 16km race.
“I’m really happy with how my ride went,” said Whitten at the finish earning her second career TT title. “I was really excited about this course. Riding in the Park was so nice, and I’ve been working on my climbing, so I thought I could do something here.”
Whitten set the time to beat at 37:40.66, and defending champ, Karol-Ann Canuel (QC) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam, had to settle for second at 48.47s behind. Another former TT champ, Joelle Numainville (QC) Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling, finished third.
For Roth it was a battle to the finish against mighty adversaries including 9-time TT champ Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge), defending champ, Hugo Houle (AG2R), and a surprise last-minute entry Mike Woods (Cannondale), a local legend who suffered a hand injury from a crash back in April – this was his first race back following his recovery. Yet all of these WorldTour riders, who know how to win races, were no match for the #Silberbullet on a mission.
Tuft threw down the gauntlet with a strong 48:35.92, first sub-50 minute time, which held until former U23 TT champ, Alex Cataford (Silber) edged him for the lead proving the mighty Tuft was beatable. Roth, who was won the road title but never the TT, came through with a decisive 20-second margin of 48:15.63, putting to rest any doubt who was king of the day as Houle settled for fourth.
“It’s cool to finally get the win,” said Roth post race. “I’ve been second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, tenth…you have to have a specific strategy for a course like this, and I tried to go as hard as I could on the climb and hope that I had something left for the return. Winning Time Trial Nationals is special because you have the jersey for the whole year following.”
Silber team owner, Scott McFarlane, was excited for the squad adding, “It’s great for the team to rebound after a tough road race. So happy for Ryan and Alex to see the hard work pay off.”
Tuft hoped for win number 10 but was happy to see the mantle passed to such deserving rivals. “Silber has been doing such great things and I’m happy to see the development of the sport in Canada. You always come to win but today there were two faster riders out there,” commented the veteran rider from Langley, B.C.
Interview with Svein Tuft
Cowan’s U23 victory was affirmation for Team RaceClean that tweeted, “This is why we do what we do!” And Bonhomme’s second jersey prompted The Cyclery to tweet “So is this a true Canadian #doubledouble ? @tara_whitten @arianebonhomme @formacannie #CanRoadChamps.”
In the Para-cycling TT races that started the day a familiar podium star, Shelley Gautier, a notable world champion, took the Tricycle competition adding yet another victory to her solid career.
Rising star Tristen Chernove from BC was the winner of the combined C categories while Quebec’s Charles Moreau topped the combined H3-H4 Handcycle field. Fellow Equipe du Quebec rider, Myriam Adam, won the women’s H1-H5 and Men’s H1-H2 combined Handcycle title.
Once again Robbi Weldon and pilot Audrey Lemieux (SAS-Macogep-Acquisio p/b Mazda) were unstoppable winning the jersey in the Mixte Tandem competition.
The final day of competition will see the Criterium titles awarded and Team Canada’s Rio 2016 squad unveiled as the 2016 Global Relay p/b Lexus Road Nationals comes to close in Aylmer, Quebec in front of the legendary British Hotel.
Full results for all categories here.