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Bessette, Wedge take Canadian `cross titles

Two former champions regained their titles at the Canadian national cyclo-cross championships Saturday at the Hardwood Hills Mountain Bike Centre, 90 minutes north of Toronto. Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com-Louis Garneau) won the women's title, after an absence of two years, and Peter Wedge (Kona-Les Gets) took his seventh Canadian title after his streak was snapped at six last year. The streak continuesBessette remains unbeaten in North America this season, with the nationals being her ninth consecutive win, and making her a strong contender for the world championships in Holland

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By Rob Jones, Special to VeloNews

Nine and counting: No one has figured out a way to beat Bessette yet this year

Nine and counting: No one has figured out a way to beat Bessette yet this year

Photo: Rob Jones

Two former champions regained their titles at the Canadian national cyclo-cross championships Saturday at the Hardwood Hills Mountain Bike Centre, 90 minutes north of Toronto.

Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com-Louis Garneau) won the women’s title, after an absence of two years, and Peter Wedge (Kona-Les Gets) took his seventh Canadian title after his streak was snapped at six last year.

The streak continues
Bessette remains unbeaten in North America this season, with the nationals being her ninth consecutive win, and making her a strong contender for the world championships in Holland in January. In the first lap of the women’s race, the contest turned into a two-woman race with Bessette and Wendy Simms (Kona-Les Gets) gapping the rest of the field soon after the gun.

“Wendy was going hard at the beginning, but I have raced her a lot this season and know how she’s going,” explained Bessette. “It was good to be together for the start, since we could get a gap.”

Simms regained the lead... for a bit

Simms regained the lead… for a bit

Photo: Rob Jones

Bessette led into the first long run-up climb, but hopped off her bike to run while Simms remained seated, powered up the slope and regained the lead. The duo then dropped Stacey Spencer (Cycle Smart) and Tara Ross (Victory Brewing), who would battle it out for third.

With Simms in the lead on the second lap, Bessette charged into the run-up, moved to the front and stayed there until the finish.

“I figured she’d try and go out strong,” explained Simms. “I just tried to stay with her as long as possible.”

After dropping Simms, Bessette steadily added about 20 seconds a lap to her lead, despite the onset of rain halfway through the race.

Wedge again
With the absence of last year’s winner Geoff Kabush (Maxxis), Canadian `cross’s perennial strong man, Peter Wedge, had just one major hurdle to overcome on his way to winning an unprecedented seventh national title: Greg Reain of Steven’s Racing.

Reain has spent the early part of the cyclo-cross season racing professionally in Europe and Wedge had no idea what he’d be facing as a large men’s field lined up at the start.

“I didn’t know what to expect from Greg (Reain),” admitted Wedge. “I know he’s been racing a lot.”

But Reain’s European campaign has been a tough one, as he struggled in the early events with what turned out to be a combination of over-training and stress-related ailments. Nonetheless, the man from Ontario came into the nationals as a favorite.

Wedge and Reain rode the first lap neck and neck, with Reain taking the lead on the first climb. Unfortunately for Reain, he crashed after carrying too much speed on a sandy downhill, and Wedge grabbed the lead and never looked back.

“I crashed my brains out at the bottom of the sandy descent.” Reain said ruefully. “I was going too fast, and I got off line and caught my bars in one of the stakes marking the course. That’s where Peter got a gap. But he was going good today, so who knows, anyway?”

Wedge may have looked in control, but he was having his own problems, which became apparent in the last two laps when Reain slowly began to catch up in pouring rain.

“My left hand was frozen for the last two laps – I couldn’t hold onto the bars, squeeze the brakes or anything,” Wedge said. “My hand kept slipping off the bars – I couldn’t even feel it. I had to ride conservatively, and hope that my fitness would get me through. I had heard that Greg was going strong, but all I could do was trust in my fitness.”

Race Notes
Christian Meier (Symmetrics) repeated as Espoir champion, taking third overall. Coupled with Wedge’s win, this put two New Brunswickers on the men’s podium, leading Wedge to comment: “New Brunswick is the new powerhouse of ‘cross…”American Tim Johnson did an excellent job of playing “race husband” to Lyne Bessette (not a Canadian, he wasn’t eligible to race). Bessette had to peel off a gauze pad on her right shoulder after the race, a souvenir of the terrible crash she took at the 2001 Redlands Classic. She is forced to wear the pad to protect her shoulder when carrying her bike.Results
Elite Women
1. Lyne Bessette (QC), Cyclocross World/Louis Garneau 41:23.8
2. Wendy Simms (BC), Kona Les Gets (KLG), 42:57.6
3. Stacey Spencer (BC), 43:55.1
4. Tara Ross (ON), Victory Brewing 44:58.6
5. Kelly Jones (BC), Sugoi Factory Team – B.C. 45:09.0
6. Jennifer Stephenson (ON), Team Biovail 45:44.1
7. Amanda Shaw (ON), Team Biovail 46:28.7
8. Sarah Robbins (SK), Team SK Cycledelia 47:51.1
9. Anita Lagler (ON), Wheels of Bloor 49:43.4
10. Maogosha Pyjor (ON), Wheels of Bloor 50:31.2Elite/Espoir Men
1. Peter Wedge (NB), Kona Les Gets (KLG), 02:20.0
2. Greg Reain (ON), Stevens RT:Cycle Logik 02:51.1
3. Christian Meier* (NB), Symmetrics Cycling – B.C. 04:44.0
4. Andrew Watson (ON), GearsRacing.com 05:14.9
5. Peter Morse (ON), Chain Reaction 05:41.8
6. Nathan Chown (ON), Italpasta – Transport Belmire 05:54.3
7. Mike Garrigan (ON), Epic Ride / Digica.ca 05:57.0
8. Nick Friesen (AB), Team Alberta:Bike Shop-AB 06:51.2
9. David Gagnon (AB), Sportif Bromont – QuÈbec 06:51.2
10. Aaron Fillion (ON), Ottawa Bicycle Club 06:54.7

Junior Men
1. Mike Bidniak (AB), Team Alberta:Juventus CC 41:18.6
2. Garrett McLeod (NS), Valley Stove and Cycle – NS 42:19.0
3. Tim Clarke (NL), Canary Cycles – Newfoundland 44:08.8
4. Matthew McCartney (ON), J and J / Tabasco 44:38.8
5. Zachary Winn (ON), Impala Bicycles 44:47.0
6. David Farnell (ON), J and J / Tabasco 48:44.4

Photo Gallery

Results

Results
Elite Women

1. Lyne Bessette (QC), Cyclocross World/Louis Garneau 41:23.8

2. Wendy Simms (BC), Kona Les Gets (KLG), 42:57.6

3. Stacey Spencer (BC), 43:55.1

4. Tara Ross (ON), Victory Brewing 44:58.6

5. Kelly Jones (BC), Sugoi Factory Team – B.C. 45:09.0

6. Jennifer Stephenson (ON), Team Biovail 45:44.1

7. Amanda Shaw (ON), Team Biovail 46:28.7

8. Sarah Robbins (SK), Team SK Cycledelia 47:51.1

9. Anita Lagler (ON), Wheels of Bloor 49:43.4

10. Maogosha Pyjor (ON), Wheels of Bloor 50:31.2

11. Melissa Chappel (ON), J and J / Tabasco 52:01.1

12. Caroline Lavoie (QC), Biogen Idec – QC -1 lap

13. Cynthia Phelan (ON), Velocity Racing -1 lap

14. Lesley Chown (ON), St. Catharines CC -1 lap

15. Amanda Cox (QC), SG / Espoirs de Laval -1 lap

Elite/Espoir Men

1. Peter Wedge (NB), Kona Les Gets (KLG), 02:20.0

2. Greg Reain (ON), Stevens RT:Cycle Logik 02:51.1

3. Christian Meier* (NB), Symmetrics Cycling – B.C. 04:44.0

4. Andrew Watson (ON), GearsRacing.com 05:14.9

5. Peter Morse (ON), Chain Reaction 05:41.8

6. Nathan Chown (ON), Italpasta – Transport Belmire 05:54.3

7. Mike Garrigan (ON), Epic Ride / Digica.ca 05:57.0

8. Nick Friesen (AB), Team Alberta:Bike Shop-AB 06:51.2

9. David Gagnon (AB), Sportif Bromont – QuÈbec 06:51.2

10. Aaron Fillion (ON), Ottawa Bicycle Club 06:54.7

11. Ryan Hopping* (ON), Team Alberta 06:57.3

12. Martin Lazarski* (ON), RockyMountain BusinessObjects 07:21.2

13. Rob Britton* (ON), Team Saskatchewan 07:21.2

14. Benoit Simard (QC), Perigny – QuÈbec 07:47.8

15. Phil Cortes (NB), UC Sable – New Brunswick 08:00.4

16. Drew MacKenzie (BC), Sugio Factory T:Giant 08:12.6

17. David Coughlin (ON), 08:14.8

18. Peter Glassford* (ON), Epic Ride / Digica.ca 08:16.6

19. Osmond Bakker (ON), Cycle Logik Racing 08:36.2

20. Per Strom* (AB), Bicisport CC – Alberta 08:59.9

21. Alexandre Frappier (QC), Biogen Idec – QC 10:16.2

22. Shaun Adamson* (AB), Team Alberta:United Cycle 10:23.6

23. Shawn Bunnin (SK), Team Saskatchewan 10:39.0

24. Tristan Galbraith (ON), Kona Les Gets (KLG), 11:01.0

25. Myles Romanow (NY), Hampton Velo / Jessie`s 11:06.9

26. Derrick St. John (ON), Ottawa Bicycle Club 11:15.6

27. Mark Batty* (ON), GearsRacing.com 11:56.3

28. Travis Brown (ON), The Cyclery -1 lap

29. Brooke Boocock* (ON), Cycle Logik Racing -1 lap

30. Kyle Douglas* (ON), Bay Cycle / 3 Rox Racing -1 lap

31. Stephane Deshaies (ON), St. Catharines CC -1 lap

32. Timothy Carleton (ON), Sports Swap Racing -1 lap

33. Cameron Jette (ON), Epic Ride / Digica.ca -1 lap

34. Mathew Hewitt (ON), Oak Bay Bicycles -1 lap

35. Mike Sarnecki (AB), Team Alberta:Pedalhead – AB -1 lap

36. Shawn Marshall (ON), -1 lap

37. Warren Tilbrook (ON), St. Catharines CC -1 lap

38. Shawn Clarke* (ON), The Cyclery -1 lap

39. John Fee (ON), Velocity Racing -1 lap

40. Marco Li (ON), Aquila Racing/Racer Sportif -2 laps

41. Paul Ignatiuk (QC), ERTC / Redbike – Alberta -2 laps

42. Keith Moore (ON), Waterloo CC/The Flying Dogs -2 laps

43. Mark Stables (ON), -2 laps

44. Michael Dennis (ON), Midweek CC -2 laps

45. Brent Poulsen (ON), -2 laps

46. Alexander Fulton* (ON), Ottawa Bicycle Club -2 laps

47. Scott Kelly* (ON), McMaster CC:Freewheel Cycle -2 laps

48. Kyle Rothwell (ON), Cavern Cycles – Sneaky Dees -2 laps

49. Nicholas Vipond (ON), Team Hardwood -2 laps

DNF. Ryan Belliveau* (NB), Atlantic Cycling Center NB

DNF. Ian Manning* (ON), BikeSports-Pfaff Racing Team

DNF. Dave Brown* (ON), BikeSports-Pfaff Racing Team

DNF. Andrew Pinfold (BC), Symmetrics Cycling – B.C.

*-U23

Junior Men

1. Mike Bidniak (AB), Team Alberta:Juventus CC 41:18.6

2. Garrett McLeod (NS), Valley Stove and Cycle – NS 42:19.0

3. Tim Clarke (NL), Canary Cycles – Newfoundland 44:08.8

4. Matthew McCartney (ON), J and J / Tabasco 44:38.8

5. Zachary Winn (ON), Impala Bicycles 44:47.0

6. David Farnell (ON), J and J / Tabasco 48:44.4