Canadian Racing Round Up
Since I have not written any posts lately there are a lot of things to catch up on. I am going to do a round up of Canadian racing action. We have had a couple races take place in Canada and a couple good results for Canadians.
Tour of Alberta
The Tour of Alberta wrapped up last Sunday just in time to avoid the snow in Alberta. Daryl Impey took the win on the final stage which was also enough to take the overall and that lovely ten-gallon hat. The Tour of Alberta was Impey’s first race after his suspension was over turned following a positive drug test at the South African championship earlier this year.
Impey’s victory highlights an issue with this years Tour. Without a mountain stage there was nothing to separate the general classification contenders from the rest of the pelaton. Impey took the victory on the finish line by 1 second from Tom Dumoulin who had won the Prologue time trial. A strong time trial and picking up bonus seconds on intermediate sprints and at the finish line was all it took to be in contention for the overall. When races come down to bonus seconds it makes for uneventful racing. Hopefully the organizers promise of a mountain stage next year will pan out and make for a more exciting Tour of Alberta.
On a positive not, the top Canadian was Tom Anderson who finished 5th, just 11 seconds behind Daryl Impey.
La Vuelta a Espana
With Alberto Contador riding away with the overall with an impressive performance, especially for a guy who dropped out of the Tour de France after breaking his leg, Canadian Ryder Hesjedal made up for his near miss on Stage 7 with a good win at the summit finish of Stage 14. Hesjedal has been dealing with accusations of having a motor on his bike, which was investigated by the UCI, so this performances did not really help quell those ridiculous accusations. Its great to see that the former Giro d’Italia winner still has some world class performances in him.
Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec
More pro level racing is taking place in Canada this weekend with the Grand Prix Cycliste in Quebec and Montreal. The race in Quebec took place on Friday with Montreal following up on Sunday. Montreal and Quebec are both beautiful cities and are definitely great places to host pro level races. It would be great if some other Canadian cities would follow Montreal and Quebec’s lead in hosting a race, perhaps Vancouver who could build on their successful Bike Week.
The race took place on a challenging circuit which would test the climbing legs of all those in the race and favours a particular style of racer, rouleurs. In the end, one of the best punchy climbers took the win. The Australian sniper Simon Gerrans took the win, making it a great week for Orica-GreenEdge. The win is Orica-GreenEdge’s 100th World Tour win highlighting how successful the Australian team has been in their short existence.
UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
The UCI Mountain Bike World Championships took place last weekend in Norway. 33 year-old Canadian Catherine Pendrel took her second career rainbow jersey holding on to take the win after a flat tire on the final lap. The win in Norway caps off a great season for the veteran Pendral who took gold at this summer’s Commonwealth Games and a second place in the World Cup standings.
Emily Batty just missed out on the medals at the World Championships finishing in sixth. The younger Canadian, who has quickly become the face of the sport in Canada, has also had a strong season with a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games and finished third in this season’s World Cup. A pair of great performances at the World Championship cap off what has been an excellent season for Canada’s female mountain bikers.