Stage 9 brought us 21.4km course of rolling hills. The course often changed grades from moderate to steep as it worked its way up for the first half, then rolled mainly downhill for the back half while still providing hard hits of climbing now and again. This was a course for the all-round rider who can generate high power for the climbs and maintain this on the descents. Mix in the sprint finish and this course really took it’s toll on the legs.
The fastest rider of the week laid down a seriously fast time, and was the only rider to go sub-35 minutes. This man was Sam Janicki from Tri Fitness Minnesota who captured the maximum 20 points after racing to a time of 34:31.8. This could have been the largest victory to date as Sam’s nearest contender Alexandre Gagnon from Peak Ottawa came in over one minute behind Sam to take second place, finishing in 35:39.5. Rounding off the podium was Peak Ottawa’s Glen Budgell. Glen has been Mr. Consistent this year by frequently placing just shy of the top three but this week he finally managed to step onto the podium after finishing in a time of 36:15.7. This boost in points for Glen has helped him climb to third in the GC standings, while Sam remains in second place behind Alexandre, with the two separated by 19 points.
After a few weeks of Vancouver dominance, Kelly Knowles from Peak Ottawa restored some winning form for Stage 9. The racing was close, but it was Kelly who prevailed after clocking the fasted female time of the week – a 39:08.9. Peak Vancouver’s Alison Wood ensured Kelly didn’t steal too many points as she finished in second place, 16s behind the winner in a time of 39:26.8. A further seven seconds behind was SBR Coaching’s hot shot Summer Ohlendorf who took the final podium spot this week in a time of 39:33.5, taking her second consecutive podium finish. There is no movement at the top of the GC as it is still Alison who occupies the top spot, with Kelly only five points behind. Carol Deavy from Peak Ottawa refuses to give up third place as she still holds on to a 22 point gap over Rua Reid from Challenge By Choice Squamish.
Congratulations to Connor Byway from Peak Ottawa! After weeks of knocking on the door Connor has finally topped the race for a Men’s B stage win. The times were tight between the top three riders but it was Connor who came out on top after laying down a time of 38:03.8. Coming in second place, and only a shade over 12 seconds behind Connor was Bill Martin from SBR Coaching Wisconsin. Bill marked his return after a couple of weeks off with a solid time of 38:16.0 earning 17 all important GC points. Taking the final spot was your Men’s B GC leader John Forsyth from Peak Vancouver. After a couple of weeks absent from the podium John put in a solid ride coming in a mere four seconds behind Bill, finishing in 38:20.5. Stage 9 did not change the faces on the overall podium, but John Forsyth has extended his lead to a more comfortable eight points, whilst Shawn McCleery from Peak Ottawa separates himself from Alex Willis of Peak Vancouver by a lonesome point! It still is up for grabs.
There was a surprise in Women’s B this week as new rider to the series Kerri Labrecque from Peak Ottawa debuted straight to a stage win. Kerri had the legs to race to a finish time of 41:50.3 which was only eight seconds faster than current GC leader and team mate Emily Flynn from Peak Ottawa who finished in 41:58.6. Preventing Ottawa from filling the podium was Jessica Yurchich from SBR Coaching Wisconsin. Jessica’s time of 43:23.0 was enough for 15 points and her second podium of the series. Jessica has now closed the gap on Melanie Shields from Peak Burlington to three points in the GC standings as they occupy third and second respectively. Emily Flynn still reigns supreme at the top with a nice 25 point cushion.
Stage 9 also marked the final chance for riders to put out some max power for Sprint points. The women’s podium was topped by Carol Deavy from Peak Ottawa who took her second sprint win with a huge 9.04 Watts/Kg. Second and third place was more closely contended as Emily Flynn from Peak Ottawa and Summer Ohlendorf from SBR Coaching Wisconsin were only separated by 0.07 Watts/Kg. Emily came out on top with 8.17 Watt/Kg whilst Summer powered to 8.10 Watt/Kg. Carol’s stage 9 win secured her the overall Sprint gold with 57 points, with Emily Flynn taking silver with 41 points, and Summer claiming bronze with 35 points. The maximum 20 points for the men’s sprint were awarded to no other than Peak Ottawa’s Alexandre Gagnon. Alexandre showed us once again that is arsenal has variety as he maxed out at 12.41 Watts/Kg. Roger Lee from Peak Vancouver was second with 12.01 Watt/Kg and Jay Menning from Peak Vancouver was third with 10.31 Watts/Kg. This stage win for Alexandre allowed him to squeeze past Roger at the final hurdle, taking the overall sprint gold by one point!!! Alexandre totaled 50 points, while Roger took silver with 49 points. Completing the men’s podium was Peak Vancouver’s Alex Willis with 38 points, just one ahead of Jay Menning!
Here is the link with the full results of the stage and updated GC results: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhXrz7isgo7NdDg2LWZrNS01dmlwMTZocE9vR3MxQXc&hl=en_US#gid=1
One rider deserves a special shout out this week for his immense dedication. Rob Neilson from Peak Vancouver turned up to race sporting a nice plaster cast covering his broken radius and ulna. We applaud your commitment Rob!
Next week we look forward to the second Net Downhill course of the series. As you all know by now, the course name should be taken with a pinch of salt – check out the course profile on our website for a sneak preview!