The 2017 National Road Championships in Ottawa offered a glimpse of Canadian cycling’s future. Côté, Roberge and Zukowsky joined Ellsay, Jean, Bassett and Cowan as Silber riders who just keep elevating.
National Road Championships: Pier-André wins the gallop for 3rd
The road race was contested over 16 laps of a 10km circuit that followed the Ottawa River. The lack of hills on the circuit caused many to believe that only wind and weather would animate the race. Well, less than halfway into the race, the weather arrived in buckets, with a thrashing of thunder and lightening causing officials to neutralize the contest for 20 mins.
In the end the riders made the race more than the weather. Attack after attack was launched from start to finish, reducing the peloton to 35 riders before that group split in half with less than 30km to go. Silber alum Matteo Dal-Cin was relentless throughout the race and finally he and Marc-Antoine Soucy slipped off the front of the remaining contenders with about 15km to go. The two groups behind rejoined but many were done. Huge digs by Svein Tuft and Ryan Roth at the start of the final 10km lap could not close the gap, and Matteo won the 2-up sprint with Pier-André winning the group kick just 6 sec back.
National TT Championships: Ellsay comes of age and Silber sweeps U23 podium
As in the road race, the weather soaked the 36km hilly, out-and-back TT course in Gatineau, QC. Nigel Ellsay was one of the early starters and set the standard to beat. He would remain in the hot seat until the 3rd last starter, Svein Tuft, would cross the line. It’s easy to forget that Nigel just turned 23 in April, so it was good to see the KOM winner at Beauce showcase his pedigree at the Elite level at Nats. Canadian Cyclist recorded this post-race interview with Nigel:
Adam Roberge led a Silber sweep of the U23 podium, finishing 36 sec back of Tuft for 4th overall. Adam was followed in the U23 competition by Nick Zukowsky and the podium was completed by last year’s U23 winner, Alec Cowan. It says something about the depth of our young team that at a TT where Cowan and Roth have off days, we can still come away with 4 of 6 podium spots and 5 guys in the top 9 overall, with Emile Jean coming 9th.
National Crit Championships: Pier-André delivers the win!
As in 2016, enthusiastic crowds lined the pub and restaurant filled course in Aylmer, QC. The team was able to control the extremely aggressive racing that characterized the entire championship week. Over the last 5 laps, PA settled in behind Emile Jean as Silber orange massed on the front to deliver Pier-André to the final corner. PA’s acceleration over the final 25m opened a significant gap and announced his growing status as a sprinter to both the peloton and barrier-pounding fans.
Once all was said and done, we came away with 7 of the 15 available medals at Nats. We hope to ride the momentum of those results and the signs of our depth into BC Superweek, July 7-17.