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Svein Tuft and Anne Samplonius win more maple-leaf jerseys

The 2008 Canadian National Road Cycling Championships began on Friday with the individual time trial events for Elite and Under-23 men and women in Saint-Georges, Quebec. Svein Tuft (Symmetrics) took his fourth title in the men's 40 kilometer event, while Anne Samplonius (Équipe du Québec) won her second title in the women's 20 kilometer race. David Veilleux of (Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast) won the Under-23 men's category and Julie Beveridge (Aaron's) the women's Under-23 race.

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By Rob Jones

2008 Canadian road nationals: Svein Tuft on his way to another TT win.

2008 Canadian road nationals: Svein Tuft on his way to another TT win.

Photo: Rob Jones

The 2008 Canadian National Road Cycling Championships began on Friday with the individual time trial events for Elite and Under-23 men and women in Saint-Georges, Quebec.

Svein Tuft (Symmetrics) took his fourth title in the men’s 40 kilometer event, while Anne Samplonius (Équipe du Québec) won her second title in the women’s 20 kilometer race. David Veilleux of (Kelly Benefit Strategies-Medifast) won the Under-23 men’s category and Julie Beveridge (Aaron’s) the women’s Under-23 race.

The out and back circuit was familiar to a lot of the men, since it was an extension of the one used a few weeks earlier in the Tour de Beauce — where Tuft took over the lead, and eventually became the first Canadian winner of Beauce since 1995.

The circuit, in the words of third-place finisher Zach Bell (Symmetrics), “is a grind”, but the primary obstacle was the steady head and cross wind the riders faced on the outward leg. Losing time here was impossible to make up in the tailwind on the way back, since almost everyone was spun out on their gearing.

Samplonius,

2008 Canadian road nationals: Anne Samplonius used a road bike with clip-on bars.

2008 Canadian road nationals: Anne Samplonius used a road bike with clip-on bars.

Photo: Rob Jones

the defending champion, won a very close women’s race with a time of 29 minutes and 59 seconds, less than four and a half seconds ahead of Julie Beveridge and Alex Wrubleski (Webcor).

For Samplonius, the win is tinged with disappointment, since she found out a few days earlier that her appeal to win a spot on the Canadian team for the Olympic Games was denied. Samplonius beat the three Olympic athletes — Wrubleski, Erinne Willock (Webcor) and Leigh Hobson (Cheerwine) — to win the time trial title.

“Bittersweet is a good word; I was a lot happier when I won last year. The last two weeks has been a roller coaster of emotion, and it was hard to gather myself back up and find the motivation. But, I just put my head down and rode as hard as I could, and now I will focus on getting ready to do the best ride that I can at the world championships in September.”

2008 Canadian road nationals: Julie Beveridge was second among the women and first in U23.

2008 Canadian road nationals: Julie Beveridge was second among the women and first in U23.

Photo: Rob Jones

Samplonius’ win was all the more impressive because she had found out at the beginning of the week that her time trial bike was damaged and not repairable in time for the event.

“I got back from Nature Valley and found out that my TT bike had the rear dropout bent. The local shop thought it could be fixed, but then realized on Monday that it was not possible, which was too late to be finding a replacement. So, I put some clipons [bars] on my road bike.”

20-year-old Beveridge, one of Canada’s up and coming stars, commented “can you believe that? Anne’s awesome.”

While Samplonius won the women’s title — and an automatic selection to the world championships — there was a second battle underway in the women’s race for the Olympic time trial position. National coach Vincent Jourdain had asked to delay the selection of which rider would get the TT spot until after the national championships, so Wrubleski, Willock and Hobson were as much interested in their relative positions, as they were in the final standings.

Wrubleski was the clear winner here, finishing 4.31 seconds behind Samplonius, 33 seconds ahead of Hobson and 47 in front of Willock. While the official announcement cannot be made until after the selection committee meets, Jourdain agreed “this makes my job much easier.”

“It was in the back of my mind,” admitted Wrubleski “but really my focus was just to do the best I could in this race.”

In the men’s race, where the time differences are usually measured in seconds, Tuft’s winning time of 51:23 was nearly two minutes ahead of second place Ryan Roth (Team RACE Pro), with third place Bell a further minute in arrears.

Tuft, who will represent Canada at in Beijing in both the time trial and road race events in just over one month, called his performance “the best 40K time trial of my life. Last year [when he finished second to Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Slipstream), who is at the Tour de France] I was struggling on the final climb, but this time I had power right until the end. You know when you are going well, and this was a day that I was on. I treated this like it was the Olympics in my preparation and visualization, so this definitely is a good win to have.”

Both Roth and Bell had virtually conceded the win to Tuft, with Bell saying “when Svein is your two-minute man, you know it is going to be hard, so my first objective was to get to the turnaround before he passed me, and I did that by 15 seconds.”

Tuft might have been even faster, had a car not gotten onto the course in the final 1500 meters, forcing him to take evasive maneuvers. “The motorcycle was trying to get this woman to pull over, and she made the best decision and just stopped. I guessed it right and was able to squeeze through on the left and then dive inside the pylons to make the corner. It gave me a little adrenalin boost for the final kilometer.”

Race Notes

  • Anne Samplonius revealed that this will be her swansong for elite racing. “I believe that this will be my last Nationals and last Worlds, so I’m going to prepare to make the Worlds a good one. At the elite level I want to scale back, and have some fun. It’s time to move on, and there’s some good up and coming talent here in Canada now.” Samplonius was a member of the silver medal team time trial squad at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, and won a silver medal in the time trial at the Road Worlds that same year.
  • A number of top men did not race the time trial, saving themselves for Sunday’s hard road race. Dominique Rollin (Toyota United) and Andrew Randell (Symmetrics) were both late scratches, Francois Parisien (Team RACE Pro) throttled his effort back after going hard for the first half, and Symmetrics riders Christian Meier and Cam Evans were not entered. Meier is a time trial specialist with multiple national titles to his name.

    Tuft commented “the way Cam and Christian are going right now, I think you are going to see some powerful rides on Sunday.”

  • The men’s race will take place on the same 9.6 kilometre circuit as stage five of the Tour de Beauce. It is a tough course with a long, steep climb to the finish that they have to cover 18 times. By contrast, the women race a 28.5 kilometre loop four times, which incorporates the time trial course – a rolling circuit with no significant climb to split up the field.

    Wrubleski, for one, is disappointed. “We need a harder course I think. This could see the field stay together, since riders will be able to get back on after the [small] climbs.”

  • Eric Wohlberg (Symmetrics) finished fifth (fourth in Elite), which is the first time — as near as we can figure — that he has been off the podium for the time trial in 14 years. When it was put to Tuft that he was starting to close in on Wohlberg’s eight TT titles (note: they were consecutive titles), he laughed and said “I don’t think I’ll be around that long.”

Photo Gallery

Results

Men’s Results:

1. Svein Tuft (BC) Symmetrics Cycling in 51:23.6 at s.t.
2. Ryan Roth (ON) Team RACE Pro in 53:15.6 at 1:52.02
3. Zach Bell (BC) Symmetrics Cycling in 54:15.7 at 2:52.06
4. David Veilleux * (QC) Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast in 54:36.0 at 3:12.43
5. Eric Wohlberg (CA) Symmetrics Cycling in 55:04.6 at 3:40.99
6. Will Routley (BC) Symmetrics Cycling in 55:11.0 at 3:47.37
7. Rob Britton (BC) Trek Red Truck P/B Mosaic Homes in 55:14.7 at 3:51.08
8. Bryson Bowers * (ON) Jet Fuel Coffee in 55:18.3 at 3:54.70
9. Alexandre Cloutier (QC) Team Volkswagen in 55:51.0 at 4:27.36
10. Charles Dionne (QC) Équipe du Québec in 56:01.8 at 4:38.16
11. Jean-Sébastien Perron (QC) Eva-Devinci in 56:04.3 at 4:40.69
12. Garrett Mc Leod * (NS) Apogee-Kuota/Elicycle in 56:06.7 at 4:43.13
13. Mathieu Toulouse (QC) Eva-Devinci in 56:13.6 at 4:50.03
14. Darko Ficko (ON) La Bicicletta/J Lindeberg in 56:18.3 at 4:54.67
15. Mark Walters (ON) Team RACE Pro in 56:19.2 at 4:55.65
16. Charles Bryer * (ON) Ciclo Werks Presents Tempo 88 in 56:28.1 at 5:04.46
17. Zack Garland * (NL) Kona-Adobe in 56:40.5 at 5:16.90
18. Guillaume Boivin * (QC) Équipe du Québec in 56:54.4 at 5:30.81
19. Keir Plaice * (ON) Team RACE Pro in 57:11.5 at 5:47.87
20. Ryan Béliveau * (NB) Apogee-Kuota/Elicycl in 57:18.4 at 5:54.79
21. Mathew Bell * (QC) Calyon pro cycling t in 57:19.4 at 5:55.78
22. Nic Hamilton * (BC) Team Aviawest in 57:20.8 at 5:57.19
23. Dave Vukets * (ON) Trek Red Truck P/B M in 57:37.4 at 6:13.84
24. Michael Joanisse * (QC) Équipe du Québec in 57:51.7 at 6:28.07
25. Jonathan Prosser * (ON) Team Ontario in 57:51.7 at 6:28.14
26. …ric Boily * (QC) Team Volkswagen in 58:02.5 at 6:38.91
27. Arnaud Papillon * (QC) Team Volkswagen in 58:02.9 at 6:39.26
28. Trevor Connor (BC) Chris Cookies/Swan C in 58:10.6 at 6:47.04
29. Jamie Sparling (AB) Trek Red Truck P/B M in 58:19.6 at 6:55.98
30. Nathan Underwood (SK) Team Saskatchewan/BC in 58:21.1 at 6:57.48
31. Charly Vives * (QC) Calyon pro cycling t in 58:21.4 at 6:57.77
32. Buck Miller (ON) Team RACE Pro in 58:23.9 at 7:00.30
33. Michael Nash (ON) Ride with Rendall in 58:24.8 at 7:01.24
34. Georges-Édouard Duquette * (QC) Eva-Devinci in 58:36.4 at 7:12.79
35. Maxime Vives (QC) Calyon pro cycling team in 58:37.5 at 7:13.94
36. Mathieu Roy (QC) Calyon pro cycling team in 58:40.9 at 7:17.27
37. Jamie Riggs * (ON) Team Ontario in 58:42.0 at 7:18.36
38. Antoine Matteau * (QC) Garneau-Crocs-Suzano in 58:43.5 at 7:19.95
39. Thomas Devisscher * (QC) Apogee-Kuota/Elicycle in 58:44.1 at 7:20.55
40. Andrew Hunt * (ON) Team RACE Pro in 58:45.0 at 7:21.43
41. Adam Thuss * (QC) Team RACE Pro in 58:52.2 at 7:28.57
42. Stephen Meyer * (ON) Team Ontario in 58:55.9 at 7:32.28
43. Glen Rendall (ON) Ride with Rendall in 58:58.9 at 7:35.26
44. Ryan Anderson * (BC) Symmetrics Cycling in 58:59.1 at 7:35.51
45. Eric Robertson * (ON) Team RACE Pro in 59:02.3 at 7:38.74
46. André Tremblay * (QC) Apogee-Kuota/Elicycl in 59:05.3 at 7:41.73
47. Devon Smibert (AB) Synergy Cycling Club in 59:14.0 at 7:50.38
48. Spencer Smitheman * (AB) Creusot Cyclisme in 59:18.5 at 7:54.87
49. Geoffroy Dussault * (QC) Sports Bazar Inc in 59:24.1 at 8:00.55
50. David Maltais * (QC) Eva-Devinci in 59:25.2 at 8:01.62
51. Jean-Michel Lachance * (QC) Team Volkswagen in 59:26.2 at 8:02.56
52. Andrew Bradbury * (ON) Team Ontario in 59:34.2 at 8:10.65
53. Jean-François Racine (QC) Garneau-Crocs-Suzano in 59:36.8 at 8:13.18
54. Bradley Kerr (SK) Team Saskatchewan in 00:06.4 at 8:42.82
55. Brandon Throop * (ON) Mazurcoaching.com in 00:17.6 at 8:54.01
56. Joel-Dion Poitras * (QC) Team RACE Pro in 00:21.8 at 8:58.16
57. Ugo Lapierre (QC) 2peer.com in 00:24.4 at 9:00.78
58. Marco Li (ON) Cycle Solutions/Angry Johnny’s in 00:33.9 at 9:10.29
59. Simon Gagnon-Brassard * (QC) Eva-Devinci in 00:41.0 at 9:17.36
60. Dave Brooks * (SK) Team Saskatchewan in 01:01.5 at 9:37.86
61. Christopher Hillier * (BC) Indépendant in 01:16.4 at 9:52.81
62. Mark Batty * (ON) Team RACE Pro in 01:32.6 at 10:09.00
63. Brian Robinson * (AB) Team Alberta/ CMC/ B in 01:52.3 at 10:28.74
64. Vincent Quirion * (QC) Garneau-Crocs-Suzano in 01:52.8 at 10:29.23
65. Chris McGarity * (SK) Team Saskatchewan in 01:53.9 at 10:30.30
66. Sandy Fulton * (ON) Eva-Devinci in 01:54.1 at 10:30.51
67. Kyle Fry * (ON) Team Ontario in 02:26.0 at 11:02.35
68. Vincent Veilleux-Lessard * (QC) 2peer.com in 03:46.5 at 12:22.86
69. Jim Tsilemos (ON) Ride With Rendall in 03:53.0 at 12:29.44
70. Francois Parisien (QC) Team RACE Pro in 03:56.4 at 12:32.82
71. Nathan Schnarr (ON) Waterloo Cycling Club in 04:15.6 at 12:51.96
72. Joel Sidhu * (QC) Team Ultralink in 04:49.6 at 13:26.03
73. Luc Dionne (QC) CIBC Wood-Gundy in 05:23.4 at 13:59.82
74. Duncan Sturz * (PE) Atlantic Cycling Cen in 08:39.1 at 17:15.46
75. Simon Gabsch * (ON) Indépendant in 09:46.7 at 18:23.14
76. Dominic Guiver * (ON) Team Ultralink in 10:18.4 at 18:54.77
77. Shane Gill * (PE) Atlantic Cycling Cen in 10:25.7 at 19:02.10
*=U23

1. Anne Samplonius (QC) Équipe du Québec in 29:59.0 at s.t.
2. Julie Beveridge * (AB) Aaron’s Women’s Pro in 30:03.3 at 00:04.3
3. Alex Wrubleski (SK) Webcor Builders Cycl in 30:03.3 00:04.3
4. Felicia Gomez (CA) Aarons/L5Flyers in 30:10.3 at 00:11.3
5. Leigh Hobson (ON) Cheerwine in 30:36.6 at 00:37.6
6. Merrill Collins (ON) La Bicicletta/J Lind in 30:45.5 at 00:46.5
7. Erinne Willock (BC) Webcor Builders Cycl in 30:50.4 at 00:51.4
8. Alison Testroete (BC) Aarons Professional in 31:16.8 at 1:17.80
9. Johanne Cyr (QC) Équipe Cascades in 31:29.0 at 1:29.96
10. Moriah MacGregor (BC) Giant in 31:31.5 at 1:32.52
11. Jennifer Stephenson (ON) Team Ultralink in 31:33.9 at 1:34.92
12. Karol-Ann Canuel * (QC) Équipe du Québec in 31:47.9 at 1:48.89
13. Carrie Cartmill (ON) Team Ontario in 31:49.9 at 1:50.84
14. Tricia K. Spooner (ON) EMD Serono Stevens in 32:17.3 at 2:18.26
15. Veronique Bilodeau * (QC) Rocky Mountain/Lessa in 32:31.8 at 2:32.79
16. VÈronique LabontÈ (QC) Équipe Cascades in 32:41.5 at 2:42.51
17. Stephanie Roorda * (BC) Giant in 32:52.2 at 2:53.18
18. Naomi Cermak (ON) Terry Precision Cycl in 32:54.4 at 2:55.42
19. Heather Logan (ON) Team Ontario in 33:01.2 at 3:02.14
20. Joanie Caron (QC) Équipe Cascades in 33:01.7 at 3:02.64
21. Alyssa Weninger * (SK) Team Sask in 33:15.6 at 3:16.63
22. Catherine Hogan * (QC) Équipe du Québec in 33:33.6 at 3:34.58
23. Lucie Poulin (QC) Le YÈti in 33:34.2 at 3:35.21
24. Terri Gregotski (ON) Team Ontario in 34:26.6 at 4:27.57
25. Julia Farell (ON) Team Ultralink in 34:51.2 at 4:52.15
26. Sarah Coney * (ON) Team Ultralink in 34:57.1 at 4:58.09
27. Kathryn Rozitis (ON) Team Ontario in 35:03.0 at 5:03.98
28. ChloÈ Saint-Arnaud-Watt * (ON) Team Ultralink in 36:17.6 at 6:18.54
*=U23