Kirchmann wins Grand Prix de Gatineau

Lay and Ryan round out podium

Team Canada went 1-2 on Saturday at the Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau, with Leah Kirchmann taking the win ahead of teammate Kirsti Lay. American Kendall Ryan (Tibco–Silicon Valley Bank) rounded out the podium.

The eighth edition of the UCI race took the riders out for two loops in the Gatineau Park before heading into the centre of Gatineau for five laps of a 9.4-kilometre circuit, for a total of 104.4 kilometres of racing.

The opening circuits feature a long climb followed by an equally long descent, and two riders attacked from the gun - Emily Marcolini (Highgate Racing) and Emily Flynn (Cyclery-4iiii) - hoping to get a gap before the climb. However, Team Canada was setting a strong tempo and both riders were caught before the top of the climb on the first lap.

"I started the day optimistic," explained Kirchmann, "and the team, Team Canada, we believed we had a super strong roster and that we could win the race. Originally we wanted to make it a hard and aggressive race especially through the two laps through the park and we wanted to make the Camp Fortune climb hard. The first time we set a hard pace, and the second time we wanted to force a selection but, unfortunately, my derailleur kind of exploded on the base of the climb. This forced us to change our plan. But the team was amazing, they came and brought me back to the group and then from there we reassessed."

Lay said, "I knew I was a worker today, we wanted to make the climbs hard, so I did some efforts there and tried to get on a break. We communicated well and bought into the team goals and I think that is the key to the success. We believed in Leah and I had no problem laying myself out there for her because I knew she would be great. It worked well and bodes well for going forward to whoever is on the Worlds team."

The field came into the finishing circuits intact, however, two laps in Australian Lucy Bechtel (Fearless Femme Racing) attacked and carved out a 30 second-plus lead before she was shut down by the teams setting up for a sprint. Steph Roorda (Sho-Air Twenty20) tried a last lap attack but was quickly caught.

"Coming into the circuits, the first few were pretty aggressive," said Kirchmann, "but we made sure we had all the moves covered and even initiated a few ourselves. Coming into the last couple of laps, it seemed like teams wanted to keep it together for a sprint and we were also okay with that. The team was committed to setting me up in the best possible way."

Team Canada timed it perfectly, with Kirchmann coming off Lay's wheel in the final 100 metres. Lay's lead-out was so strong that she was able to hold on for second.

Lay explained the strategy for the finish, "We wanted to make the race hard just to begin with to make the selection a bit better. On the last lap, we just wanted to be near the front but we knew we didn't want to go too early. There was a headwind and we didn't want anyone to come around. Leah (Kirchmann) and I actual started a couple wheels back but we stayed calm and came up the inside and no one shut the door on us so it was perfect timing. I didn't anticipate myself being there that late, but I knew she had a good sprint and I hung on for second."

"It was amazing coming into the finish how the team came together," said Kirchmann. "We don't normally race together, but the girls did an amazing job of just staying patient, using other teams as long as possible. Coming down the long straight Katherine (Maine) and Sara (Poidevin) were able to maintain position and then Karol Ann (Canuel) drove it through the roundabout. Kirsti (Lay) lost a few positions but were making it up in the final corner. Kirsti was able to deliver me with a lot of speed, so much so that she managed to finish second. I head back to Europe tomorrow to meet up with my team and do the Women's Tour of Britain and then come back for Nationals." 

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Canada2:50:21 
2Kirsti Lay (Can) Team Canada  
3Kendall Ryan (USA) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
4Joelle Numainville (Can) Équipe du Québec  
5Lauren Stephens (USA) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
6Mandy Heintz (USA) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling  
7Rebecca Wiasak (Aus) Fearless Femme Racing  
8Ingrid Drexel Clouthier (Mex) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
9Karlee Gendron (Can) Rise Racing  
10Michaela Drummond (NZl) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling0:00:04 
11Jamie Gilgen (Can) Rise Racing  
12Daphne Karagianis (Can) Velo Classic p/b STAN'S NoTubes  
13Lex Albrecht (Can) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
14Elisabeth Albert (Can) Équipe du Québec  
15Leah Thomas (USA) Sho-Air TWENTY20  
16Catherine Ouellette (Can) The Cyclery - 4iiii  
17Carrie Cartmill (Can) Rise Racing  
18Claire Rose (GBr) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling  
19Irena Ossola (Can) Sas - Macogep  
20Marie Soleil Blais (Can) Fearless Femme Racing  
21Alizée Brien (Can) Équipe du Québec  
22Jasmin Duehring (Can) Sho-Air TWENTY20  
23Flora Yan (Can) Fearless Femme Racing  
24Cynthia Frazier (Can) Velo Classic p/b STAN'S NoTubes  
25Brianna Walle (USA) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
26Ariane Bonhomme (Can) The Cyclery - 4iiii  
27Véronique Bilodeau (Can) Sas - Macogep  
28Steph Roorda (Can) Sho-Air TWENTY20  
29Genevieve Whitson (Can) Sélection de la Région Capitale Nationale  
30Marjolaine Bazin (Can) Sas - Macogep  
31Sara Poidevin (Can) Team Canada  
32Katherine Maine (Can) Team Canada  
33Sara Giovannetti (Can) The Cyclery - 4iiii  
34Annie Foreman Mackey (Can) Sho-Air TWENTY20  
35Miriam Brouwer (Can) Rise Racing  
36Haley Gill (Can) West of Quebec Wheelers  
37Jennifer Luebke (Can) Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling  
38Anna Gabrielle Traxler (Can) Sélection de la Région Capitale Nationale0:00:12 
39Tarah Cole (Can) Fearless Femme Racing  
40Ann Pascale Ouellet (Can) Desjardins-Ford  
41Lucy Bechtel (Can) Fearless Femme Racing  
42Luce Bourbeau (Can) Équipe du Québec  
43Sophie Bernard (Can) West of Quebec Wheelers  
44Allyson Gillard (Can) Desjardins-Ford  
45Jodi Wendland (Can) West of Quebec Wheelers  
46Christel Ferrier Bruneau (Can) Sas - Macogep0:00:17 
47Karol Ann Canuel (Can) Team Canada0:00:22 
48Nicole Mertz (Can) Velo Classic p/b STAN'S NoTubes0:01:26 
49Ruby West (Can) Rise Racing0:06:18 
50Evelyne Gagnon (Can) Stingray/Trek par Ultime Vélo0:06:19 
51Lorie Nedescu (Can) Sélection de la Région Capitale Nationale  
52Sarah Rasmussen (Can) Sas - Macogep  
53Alexa Gubinski (Can) Sélection de la Région Capitale Nationale0:06:22 
54Ashley Barson (Can) Rise Racing0:06:25 
55Olivia Ray (Can) Stingray/Trek par Ultime Vélo0:10:30 
56Tara Macdonald (Can) Stingray/Trek par Ultime Vélo0:10:34 
57Helene Pilote Fortin (Can) Stingray/Trek par Ultime Vélo  
58Nicole Lentini (Can) Highgate Racing p/b d'Ornellas0:11:01 
59Emily Marcolini (Can) Highgate Racing p/b d'Ornellas  
60Clio Dinan (Can) Velo Classic p/b STAN'S NoTubes0:14:53 
61Allison Beveridge (Can) Team Canada0:14:55 
DNFKathryn Buss (Can) Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank  
DNFAdriane Provost (Can) Sas - Macogep  
DNFLaurie Jussaume (Can) Équipe du Québec  
DNFEmily Flynn (Can) The Cyclery - 4iiii  
DNFKinley Gibson (Can) The Cyclery - 4iiii  
DNFDevaney Collier (Can) Sélection de la Région Capitale Nationale  
DNFCarly George (Can) Sélection de la Région Capitale Nationale  
DNFStephanie Bester (Can) West of Quebec Wheelers  
DNFIsabelle Mayrand (Can) West of Quebec Wheelers  
DNFMarie-Renee Vial (Can) West of Quebec Wheelers  
DNFElise Piedalue (Can) Stingray/Trek par Ultime Vélo  
DNFGenevieve Fradet Carlos (Can) Stingray/Trek par Ultime Vélo  
DNFDafne Theroux Zquierdo (Can) Desjardins-Ford  
DNFOlivia Baril (Can) Desjardins-Ford  
DNFIvana Gotzeva (Can) Highgate Racing p/b d'Ornellas  
DNFAubrie Desylva (Can) Highgate Racing p/b d'Ornellas  
DNFBrittlee Bowman (Can) Velo Classic p/b STAN'S NoTubes  



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