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Clara Hughes wins 2011 Chrono Gatineau

Clara Hughes (Canadian National Team) took top honors in the individual time trial at the 2011 Chrono Gatineau in Quebec on Thursday, covering the 17.3km course in Gatineau in 23:49.17.

Ganna Solovey (Ukraine National Team) finished second at 10:74 with Amber Neben (HTC-Highroad) third at 13:68.

Racing for the first time in Canada since retiring her skates, Hughes left the start gate as the last rider of the day and rode to the win despite crashing on the wet pavement of a roundabout.

“The fall was completely my fault because I took the turn too fast,” she said. “I had to laugh at myself when I went down, thinking that my husband, Peter, who rarely sees me race, was likely on that corner watching me fall.

“I heard the crowd shudder and then cheer for me as I got going again. I kept saying to myself ‘you can’t lose this race like this’ and it really motivated me to go hard again and push through the effort of the last lap.”

Hughes dedicated the win to Daron Richardson, a young girl from Ottawa who tragically died last year. Hughes raced with a purple bracelet bearing the letters D.I.F.D. — Do It For Daron — which is the campaign to raise awareness and break down the stigma related to mental illness in young people.

“I wanted to win today in memory of Daron and in support of her family and dedicate this victory to her,” said Hughes. “I was really inspired to keep going and put the crash behind me.”

Thursday’s victory is her fourth consecutive win. Since her return to road cycling, Hughes won the general classification and the time trials at the Tour of the Gila, as well as both the road race and the time trials at the UCI Pan-American Championships.

Quick results

  • 1. Clara Hughes (CAN), Canada National Team, 23:49.17
  • 2. Ganna Solovey (UKR), Ukraine National Team, at 10:74
  • 3. Amber Neben (USA), HTC-Highroad, at 13:68
  • 4. Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (FRA), France National Team, at 49:85
  • 5. Julie Beveridge (CAN), Vienne Futuroscope, at 1:11:81

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