The Canadian National Road Championships in St-Georges, Quebec, began on Thursday with the individual time trials for Elite and Under-23. Unheralded Curtis Dearden (Russ Hays - Accent Inns) won the men's elite title, while Alex Cataford (Garneau-Quebecor) took Under-23 honours, also finishing third in the Elite category.
It was a given that a new Elite champion would be decided, since the defending champions for the past few years were absent. For the men, Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEDGE) has dominated for most of the past decade, with Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) also making an appearance, but both of these riders (plus David Veilleux) are preparing for the Tour de France and not in attendance. So, the champion would be a new name, however some of the riders challenging for the titles were completely unexpected.
Adam de Vos (Trek Red Truck) was the first to go under 51 minutes on the 39 kilometres course, good enough for tenth, but might have been even higher placed without a flat. Only three riders later Cataford was up, and he took the leading time below 50 minutes.
This was a substantial reduction, and looked like it might hold for a while, until unknown Curtis Dearden out of Victoria crossed the line an astounding 58 seconds faster. Dearden was known locally as a good time triallist, but this was an superb ride, and it continued to hold up as some of the big names from Pro Continental and WorldTour teams came in towards the end of the field.
Ryan Roth (Champion Systems) could only manage ninth, 2:12 back. Zach Bell (Champion Systems) was 1:05 behind, and Hugo Houle (AG2R la Mondiale) finished 1:20 down. Houle missed a week of hard racing leading up to the championships after he crashed out of the first stage of the Tour de Beauce last week. The only one left was Svein Tuft's team mate and former second place TT finisher Christian Meier.
Meier was close to Dearden, but between five and ten seconds down at both intermediate splits. He lost a little more ground in the final few kilometres to finish 13 seconds down, giving the 29-year-old bike shop employee, and recent father, a national title that no one except maybe himself could have predicted.
“This is by far my career biggest win,” said Dearden, who won the time trial at the recent BC Provincial Championships. “I trained specifically for this race today. It was goal-oriented training. I didn’t have to train for some big 200 kilometre races. It allowed me to focus on one-hour efforts, and I think that gave me the legs.”
"I saw the profile online and I thought it wasn’t too steep, but when I rode, it felt a little steeper. When I started riding the course today I felt really good. I knew I was climbing well, at the pace I needed. It was a good feeling and I was making time. That’s all I can ask for."
"I felt myself slipping in the 'Oh no, look at all these fancy jerseys and big teams' mentality, but every time I just had to tell myself it didn't matter. It's a time trial: how everybody else rides doesn't matter, it's what you do yourself. I just ran my own race. It made for a very stressful half-hour after my race was completed, in the parking lot, waiting for everybody else to complete the course."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Curtis Dearden (Russ Hay Raising)||0:48:24|
|2||Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEDGE)||0:00:13|
|3||Alexander Cataford (Équipe cycliste Garneau-Quebecor)||0:00:58|
|4||Zachary Bell (Champion System Pro Cycling)||0:01:05|
|5||Hugo Houle (AG2R la Mondiale)||0:01:20|
|8||Matteo Dal-Cin (Team Ontario)||0:02:07|
|9||Ryan Roth (Champion System Pro Cycling)||0:02:12|
|10||Adam De Vos (Trek Red Truck Racing Team)||0:02:35|
|11||Rémi Pelletier-Roy (Équipe cycliste Garneau-Quebecor)||0:02:46|
|12||Nic Hamilton (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda Riders)||0:02:54|
|13||Ed Veal (RealDeal/Gears p/b Fieldgate)||0:03:00|
|14||Stuart Wight (Team New Brunswick)||0:03:03|
|15||Garrett Mcleod (H&R Block)||0:03:10|
|16||Nigel Ellsay (Cycling BC)||0:03:17|
|18||Pierrick Naud (Équipe cycliste Garneau-Quebecor)||0:03:24|
|19||Kristofer Dahl (H&R Block)||0:03:42|
|20||Jordan Cheyne (Team Ontario)||0:03:50|
|21||Chris Prendergast (Team Manitoba)||0:04:00|
|22||Émile Jean (Ékoi DeVvnci)||0:04:29|
|23||James Piccoli (Équipe du Québec)||0:04:39|
|24||Simon-Pierre Gauthier (Équipe cycliste Garneau-Quebecor)||0:04:43|
|25||Kevin Massicotte (Team Ontario)||0:04:45|
|26||Dylan Cunningham (Indépendant)||0:05:01|
|27||Benjamin Perry (Team Ontario)||0:05:08|
|28||Robert Ralph (Medique p/b Silber Investments)||0:05:32|
|29||Jordan Brochu (Équipe du Québec)||0:05:38|
|30||Robert Gutgesell (Aquila / Racer Sportif)||0:05:44|
|31||Olivier Delaney (Medique p/b Silber Investments)||0:05:49|
|32||Brandon Etzl (Team Ontario)||0:05:51|
|33||Samuel Gagnon (Ékoi DeVvnci)||0:06:26|
|34||Casey Roth (Ride With Rendall)||0:06:28|
|35||Nicolas Masbourian (Medique p/b Silber Investments)||0:06:38|
|36||Jean-François Racine (Équipe cycliste Garneau-Quebecor)||0:06:55|
|37||Frederic Cossette (Ékoi DeVvnci)||0:07:02|
|38||Larbi Benhabib (Waterloo Cycling Club)||0:07:11|
|39||Yohan Patry (Ékoi DeVvnci)||0:07:12|
|40||Robert Hargrove (Indépendant)||0:07:33|
|41||Kyle Buckosky (H&R Block)||0:07:40|
|42||Benjamin Chartrand (Medique p/b Silber Investments)||0:08:00|
|43||Luke Koolman (Russ Hay Raising)||0:08:02|
|44||Elliott Doyle (Équipe du Québec)||0:08:20|
|45||David Onsow (Medique p/b Silber Investments)||0:09:11|
|46||David Fugère (Norco Bicycles/Premier Tech)||0:09:16|
|47||Frédéric Ebacher (Medique p/b Silber Investments)||0:09:25|
|48||Kiernan Orange (Ride With Rendall)||0:09:53|
|49||Marc-Antoine Boulet (Norco Bicycles/Premier Tech)||0:11:37|
|50||Atilla Avsar (Team Whistler)||0:20:59|
|DNF||William Goodfellow (Guru)|
|DNS||Sylvan Adams (Team Ontario)|