Nick Zukowsky is on quite a run. Two weeks ago he won the GC at the GPC de Saguenay and finished 3rd overall at last weeks Tour de Beauce. He’s hoping to maintain his good form through the Canadian National Road Championships as he leads a strong Floyd’s team back to the Beauce.
Zuke is hoping to start the championships with a breakout result at the 34km Time Trial on Friday June 28. For the last 2 years he has finished 2nd amongst the U23s but this year he is hoping to scuff the top step with his cleats. After his recent performances, he’ll certainly be marked in the 186km road race on Sunday June 30, which will traverse the familiar Stage 1 course of the Tour de Beauce from 2018. He will then try to repeat as National Criterium Champion on Monday July 1 on the lumpy course around Usine Pro Cycle.
Zuke will be joined by Floyd’s Cycling stalwarts, Emile Jean and Alec Cowan. Jean is looking to repeat his 2017 win on Stage 1 at the Tour de Beauce–which used the same course scheduled for this year’s national championships. He was recently 3rd on Stage 3 at Saguenay and hoping to carry form from Saguenay and Beauce into the weekend. Alec Cowan has had a bounce back year, winning stages at Joe Martin and Cascade. The uphill drag race to the finish of both the road race and crit suits an in-form Cowan.
It’s easy to forget, but 21-year-old Zuke is still a U23 rider. In fact he’s won the Young Rider’s competition in the last 3 UCI stage races he has entered: Gila, Saguenay and Beauce. He’s part of a development program that Gord and I have been running for the past 6 years. As Zuke did in his first year, our newest editions to the program–Noah Simms, Robin Plamondon and Carson Miles–have been developing basic racing skills in supporting roles.
Last year, Simms finished 2nd amongst U23s (11th overall) in the RR. He’s hoping to make the splits and be opportunistic again this year. Plamondon recently won the important Granby TT and will be hoping for a good result amongst the U23s this year. He just completed both Saguenay and Beauce riding in support of Zukowsky. That’s a lot of hard racing for a first year elite so we’ll see how the RR and Crit go for one of Canada’s most promising young riders. After an excellent spring, Miles is coming off an injury which forced him to miss the Beauce. He was 4th last year in the Junior TT and is hoping for a break out time trial on Friday. A member of Canada’s Junior National team at last year’s World Championships, he’s looking to make an impact on this year’s road race amongst the U23s.