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Wrubleski wins Canadian road title

Alex Wrubleski (Webcor) won the second Canadian national road title of her career on Saturday when she outsprinted Leigh Hobson (Cheerwine) and Felicia Gomez (Aaron's) after 114km of racing. Julie Beveridge (Aaron's) took the under-23 title after finishing seventh in the lead group. A nontechnical 28.5km course with no major climbs meant that the only way to reduce the number of contenders was through attacks, and time trial champion Anne Samplonius (Quebec) did just that on the second of four laps with a strong move along a crosswind section.

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Young Webcor rider scores her second national title

By Rob Jones

Wrubelski played her cards right to win the 2008 Canadian road title

Wrubelski played her cards right to win the 2008 Canadian road title

Photo: Rob Jones

Alex Wrubleski (Webcor) won the second Canadian national road title of her career on Saturday when she outsprinted Leigh Hobson (Cheerwine) and Felicia Gomez (Aaron’s) after 114km of racing. Julie Beveridge (Aaron’s) took the under-23 title after finishing seventh in the lead group.

A nontechnical 28.5km course with no major climbs meant that the only way to reduce the number of contenders was through attacks, and time trial champion Anne Samplonius (Quebec) did just that on the second of four laps with a strong move along a crosswind section.

When the dust had settled, there were 12 riders at the front going into the third lap. A group tried to chase up for a lap, with Alison Testroete (Aaron’s) getting to within 20 seconds of bridging, but the race came down to these 12.

In addition to Wrubleski, Hobson, Gomez and Beveridge, the others who made the cut were Samplonius, Erinne Willock (Webcor), Heather Logan (Ontario), Sue Schlatter (EMD Serono Stevens), Merrill Collins (La Bicicletta), Joelle Numainville (Quebec), Audrey Lemieux (Quebec) and Natasha Elliott (EMD Serono Stevens). Beveridge and Numainville were the only two U-23 riders in the group.

Willock played the consumate teammate to set Wrubelski up for the win

Willock played the consumate teammate to set Wrubelski up for the win

Photo:

For a lap and a half, the group worked well together, steadily rotating through a double paceline. In the final half lap, as the riders left the headwind behind, with only a crosswind section and a final tailwind run into the finish, the attacks began.

“Erinne and I had two strategies,” Wrubleski said of her Webcor teammate. “Erinne was going to attack and I would counter, and if that didn’t work then Erinne was going to lead me in for the sprint finish.”

The pair did attack, with Willock getting 15 seconds clear with Gomez and Hobson at 10km to go. But it wasn’t enough, as Samplonius and Collins towed a reduced group of six back to the front three.

So the Webcor women went to Plan B, with Willock towing the group in at a high tempo for the final eight kilometers.

“Erinne did a great job for Alex,” Hobson agreed. “She was pulled us hard enough that no one wanted to attack and it was a great lead out for Alex.”

“Erinne was so strong,” Wrubleski said. “She had me hurting on the climbs. It worked out perfectly. A couple of riders came around at about 500 metres to go, and I got on them and then went to the front in the final few hundred meters.”

Race Notes
– Leigh Hobson said after the race that, like Anne Samplonius, this will be her final nationals, and the Olympic road race will be her final race (on her birthday). Hobson has been on a sabbatical from teaching high school physical education for the past two and half years, and will return to the classroom after Beijing.

– Beveridge said she forgot about the U-23 race within the race, as she worked for team mate Gomez to make the podium. “It wasn’t until they came up and told me that they needed me at the podium that I realized I had won.”

Photo Gallery

Results

Elite Women
1. Alex Wrubleski (sk) Webcor Builders Cycling Team
2. Leigh Hobson (on) Cheerwine
3. Felicia Gomez (ca) Aarons/l5flyers
4. Heather Logan (on) Team Ontario
5. Sue Schlatter (on) Emd Serono Stevens
6. Anne Samplonius (qc) Équipe Du Québec
7. Julie Beveridge * (ab) Aaron’s Women’s Pro Cycling
8. Erinne Willock (bc) Webcor Builders Cycling Team
9. Merrill Collins (on) La Bicicletta/j Lindeberg
10. Joelle Numainville * (qc) Équipe Du Québec
11. Audrey Lemieux (qc) Équipe Du Québec
12. Natasha Elliott (on) Emd Serono/ Stevens
13. Jennifer Stephenson (on) Team Ultralink
14. Alison Testroete (bc) Aarons Professional Cycling
15. Jenny Trew (bc) Giant
16. Stephanie Roorda * (bc) Giant
17. Joanie Caron (qc) Équipe Cascades
18. Cara Gillis (ca) Organicathlete’s Team Vegan
19. Carrie Cartmill (on) Team Ontario
20. Lucie Poulin (qc) Le Yéti
21. Julia Farell (on) Team Ultralink
22. Vicki Thomas (on) The Cyclery
23. Naomi Cermak (on) Terry Precision Cycling
24. Megan Rathwell (bc) Team H&r Block
25. Karol-ann Canuel * (qc) Équipe Du Québec
26. Raphaëlle Chrétien * (qc) Équipe Du Québec
27. Elisa Gagnon (qc) Advil-chapstick
28. Julie Bellerose (qc) Équipe Cascades
29. Geneviève Gauthier (qc) Indépendant
30. Moriah Macgregor (bc) Giant
31. Mathilde Hupin Debeurme (qc) Marin Bikes
32. Ireen Wieditz (on) Terry Precision Cycling
33. Alyssa Weninger * (sk) Team Sask
34. Alyssa Mellon (on) Team Ultralink
35. Terri Gregotski (on) Team Ontario
36. Vanessa Godbehere (qc) Le Yéti
37. Julie Marceau (gqc) Specialized-brault & Martineau-
38. Marie-christine Guilbert (qc) Le Yéti
39. Isabelle Riedl (qc) Équipe Brunet
40. Allison Lampi (qc) Team Ultralink
41. Sarah Coney * (on) Team Ultralink
42. Chloé Saint-arnaud-watt * (on) Team Ultralink
43. Kim Lambert-gosselin (qc) La Cabosse D’or
DNF. Catherine Hogan * (qc) Équipe Du Québec
DNF. Véronique Bilodeau * (qc) Rocky Mountain/lessard
DNF. Julia Bradley (on) Emd Serono/ Stevens
DNF. Jessica Burns (qc) Équipe Cascades
DNF. Catherine Couture * (qc) Équipe Cascades
DNF. Valerie Crête * (gqc) Specialized-brault & Martineau-
DNF. Johanne Cyr (qc) Équipe Cascades
DNF. Janie Fortin * (gqc) Specialized-brault & Martineau-
DNF. Véronique Labonté (qc) Équipe Cascades
DNF. Julie Madore (qc) Le Yéti
DNF. Sophie Matte (qc) Emd Serono Stevens
DNF. Ariane Patenaude * (gqc) Specialized-brault & Martineau-
DNF. Kathryn Rozitis (on) Team Ontario
DNF. Tricia K. Spooner (on) Emd Serono Stevens
*=U23.

U23.
1. Julie Beveridge (ab) Aaron’s Women’s Pro Cycling
2. Joelle Numainville (qc) Équipe Du Québec
3. Stephanie Roorda (bc) Giant
4. Karol-ann Canuel (qc) Équipe Du Québec
5. Raphaëlle Chrétien (qc) Équipe Du Québec
6. Alyssa Weninger (sk) Team Sask
7. Sarah Coney (on) Team Ultralink
8. Chloé Saint-arnaud-watt (on) Team Ultralink
9. Kim Lambert-gosselin (qc) La Cabosse D’or
DNF. Catherine Hogan (qc) Équipe Du Québec
DNF. Véronique Bilodeau (qc) Rocky Mountain/lessard
DNF. Catherine Couture (qc) Équipe Cascades
DNF. Valerie Crête (gqc) Specialized-brault & Martineau-
DNF. Janie Fortin (gqc) Specialized-brault & Martineau-
DNF. Ariane Patenaude (gqc) Specialized-brault & Martineau-
DNF. Karine Tessier (qc) Marinoni-cadence
DNF. Julie Munro (qc) Équipe Cascades