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Frattini dominates Toronto Cross

Davide Frattini (Hudz-Subaru) captured his third UCI win of the season at the first round of the Toronto Cyclo-cross weekend on Saturday. The Italian opened up a comfortable lead on the first lap of the Elite men’s 60-minute race and crossed the finish line nearly 30 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. A pair of Canadians, Derrick St-John (Garneau Club Chaussures-Ogilvy) and Aaron Schooler (H&R Block) round out the podium in second and third place respectively.

“It’s very nice to have three UCI wins early in the season,” Frattini said. “I won three last year so I hope I can add a few more to my resume before my season is over. I didn’t want to jump as early as I did but I wanted to take the sand pit first. I thought the lines from the previous race were still there but the organizers raked it. When I came out of the sand I had a few bike lengths on the group and decided I should just keep going.”

The Toronto Cyclo-cross C2 double header weekend kicked off on Saturday at the Centennial Park in Etobicoke. The venue offers spacious park grounds and a man-made hill used as a local ski area during the winter months. This year’s course offered the riders an uphill barriers, technical and off camber hillside, wooded trails, kidney shaped berms and a sand pit.

Frattini took the hole shot onto the grass but was quickly passed by Schooler who remained in the lead for nearly the full opening lap. “It’s rare that I go out and set the pace because I usually like to stay with in my bounds for the first half,” Schooler said. “I tried to do my own thing and ended up dying a bit.”

Frattini jumped to the front of the field to lead the long line of crossers the first time through the sand pit. He exited the sand with a several second gap and gained a few more seconds after sprinting across the pavement for the start of the second lap. His lead grew from 15 to 25 seconds as a result of strong efforts over the uphill barriers and through the technical sections on laps three, four and five.

“I noticed that the other riders couldn’t close the gap so I kept going from there,” Frattini said. “The first few laps I wanted to get a good amount of time ahead of the group to control my lead. After that, I tried to just pace my self because I have to race tomorrow too. It was hard because the course was pretty fast and a lot of sections were headwind so it wasn’t that easy to stay solo with three or four guys chasing.”

St-John’s race was marred with mechanicals that began with a crash on the second lap followed by a bike change and getting caught up in the course tape. He was flushed to fourth position chasing second and third place duo Schooler and Evan McNeely (EMD Serono-Specialized), a junior mountain biker.

“I was pushing the limits and that is when I slipped out and panicked a little bit,” St-John said. “I knew Davide was going to be the guy to
watch. When you get two crashes and caught up in the tape you just keep pushing and eventually it worked out for a podium. I’m happy with today considering the luck that I had.”

In the closing laps, Schooler gained time on McNeely and looked to be en route for a second place finish until St-John, known as the pitbull of cyclo-cross, caught and passed both rider with two laps to go. Schooler hung on for third place ahead of Andrew Watson (Norco Factory Team) who caught and passed McNeely for fourth place.

“I was right behind St-John when he had all his mishap today,” Schooler said. “But he has a lot of speed so he can come back pretty fast. It looked like he was hurting after those crashes but he obviously came back in the end.”

Full Results
1Davide Frattini (Ita) Hudz-Subaru1:00:06
2Derrick St John (Can) Garneau Club Chaussure-Ogilvy0:00:22
3Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block0:00:32
4Andrew Watson (Can) Norco Factory Team0:00:52
5Evan McNeely (Can) EMD Serono / Specialized0:01:06
6Mark Lalonde (USA) Specialized0:01:41
7Jared Stafford (Can) Bikesports Racing0:01:53
8Osmond Bakker (Can) La Bicicletta Elite Team0:02:23
9Derek Hardinge (Can) Lapdogs Cycling Club0:02:32
10Mark Batty (Can) Spidertech Powered By Planet Energy0:02:57
11Kevin Noiles (Can) La Bicicletta Pro Shop0:03:13
12Adam Morka (Can) Trek Canada
13Nathan Chown (Can) Handlebars Cycle Company0:03:15
14Erik Box (Can) Cycles Devinci0:03:34
15Cameron Jette (Can) 3 Rox Racing0:03:53
16Peter Mogg (Can) The Hub Race Team0:04:23
17Zachary Hughes (Can) The Hub Race Team0:04:36
18Peter Morse (Can) JetFuel Coffee0:05:33
19Nathan Underwood (Can) Ride With Rendall0:05:34
20Thomas Devisscher (Can) Ride With Randell0:05:36
21Peter Mancini (Can) EsteemTraining.com0:05:38
22Greg Reain (Can) Ride With Rendall0:05:47
23Marco Li (Can) Darkhorse Flyers0:06:04
24Conor O'Brien (Can) EMD Serono Specialized0:06:16
25Kevin Black (Can) Wheels of Bloor0:06:21
26Tyson Wagler (Can) 3 Rox Racing0:07:27
27Imad El-Ghazal (Lib) Kunstadt Sports Cycling Club-2laps
28Preston Wagler (Can) 3 Rox Racing-3laps
29Graham Shrive (Can) Cycling Team
30Andrew De Cal (Can) Shorthills Cycling Club Race Team
31John Roden (USA) Handlebars Cycle Company
32Justin Henri (Can) Handlebars Cycling Company
33Isaac Smith (Can) Darkhorse Flyers-4laps
34Lance Johnson (USA) Handlebars Cycle Company
35Glen Rendall (Can) Ride With Rendall
36Philip Cates (Can) Lapdogs Cycling Club
37Mark Brusso (Can) Lapdogs Cycling Club
38Kiernan Orange (Can) Ride with Rendall
39Jayden Aldrich (Can) Cyclocross World
40Casey Roth (Can) Ride With Rendall-5laps
41David Freeman (Can) Independent
42Daniel Zotter (USA) Team ROG-6laps

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.

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