Hamilton Passes Cycling Test

News & Results

07/1/2003| 0 comments
by David Cohen

Hamilton Passes Cycling Test

Perras-Jeanson takes national championship.

Hamilton, Ont. -- <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Hamilton
is ready.   Bring on Road World Championships October 6-12.   <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

 

That was the unanimous verdict after the Canadian Road National Championships were held in this southern
Ontario
city June 27-29.

 

"This was a real test of the course," said Pierre Hutsebaut, Executive Director of the Canadian Cycling Association and the man responsible for the all technical aspects of the World Championships. "All I can say is that we'll have a true champion next October."

 

Charly Mottet, the former French cycling star in the 1980's and 1990's and now a representative of the Union Cycliste Internationale, the governing body of the World Championships, said at the end of the elite men's race Sunday afternoon: "The City of
Hamilton
is ready."

 

The national championships were held in
Hamilton
to provide a test for the 12.4-km road course and the extended versions of it for the long and short time trial competitions.

 

The nationals also served to test the city's ability to organize security and logistics in support of the races.

 

The course chosen for the World Championships is entirely urban, linking
Hamilton
's older downtown area with its newer "mountain" community atop the Niagara Escarpment, which runs through the city from east to west.   It covers a number of major downtown traffic arteries as well as two important accesses to the top of the escarpment.

 

Apart from some minor traffic inconveniences, the racing went off without a hitch.   City police and an army of volunteers kept spectators and competing cyclists in their respective designated spaces.   An estimated 10,000 people watched the series of time trial races on Friday, criteriums on Saturday and road races on Sunday.

 

A heat wave gave way to pleasant, mostly sunny weather on the first racing day, and this enjoyable weather continued through the weekend.

 

The course proved challenging to the men and women alike.    In the Elite Men's Road race only 17 of 121 cyclists finished the race.   Among the women, only 22 of 79 riders were able to cross the finish line.

 

Peter Hein of
Toronto
, a long-time coach, commissaire and team director in
Ontario
cycling, noted that the course very quickly separated fulltime from part-time athletes.   In both the men's and women's road races, the course's dual climbs quickly shredded both fields.

 

"This is a beautiful, world-class course," Hein said.

 

The Men's road race (for results, see below) was taken by Australian Nathan O'Neill (Saturn). He held the lead from the second lap and had leads of up to 8 minutes through much of the race.   After the race he said that the difficulty of the two climbs, which together cover 5.2 km, helped him protect his lead

 

The Women's road race was much more closely fought, ending in a sprint with Genevieve Jeanson (Rona-Eskar) edging out rival Lynn Bessette (Saturn) at the line. Hamiltonian Susan Palmer-Komar (Genesis Scuba) came in a distant third.

 

The women's race was marred by

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