Sunday, May 20, 2012

Clara Hughes wins Chrono Gatineau

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Clara Hughes © Peter Kraiker / Miroir du Cyclisme
Clean Sweep for Specialized-Lululemon

By Peter Kraiker

May 19, 2012 (Gatineau, QC) – Clara Hughes (Can) led a Specialized-lululemon sweep in the 18.4km GP Gatineau Chrono ITT on Saturday as she topped the field in 23:56.76 with Evelyn Stevens in second and Amber Neben 3rd. Tara Whitten (Can) TIBCO-To The Top was just off the podium in 4th as four Canadians made the top 10 including Rhae Christie Shaw (Can) Canada National Team in 6th and former ITT Canadian champ, Julie Beveridge (Can) Canada National Team, in 10th.

The Specialized-lululemon team put on a show in today’s ITT at the Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau taking all three podium steps, with Clara Hughes defending her title nailing the best time in the 18.4km Elite Women’s ITT.

The race was held in perfect conditions with a bright and clear sky, little wind, and good pavement to contest the event. Five waves were set up, with one hour intervals between each start. One team member was entered into each wave and all of the teams were able to learn about the course and conditions from previous waves as the race went on.

The expanded field for the 2012 event featured teams from around the world including Italy, Germany, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, the U.S.A along with other countries present that saw nearly 50 racers contest the time trial. Canada was well represented and ultimately put five riders in the top fifteen.

The early fastest time to beat was set by Marty Shea (Destination Cycling) at 25:44.82 on the undulating 18.4km course. In the second wave it was topped only by Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Specialized-lululemon) at 24:38.43. Her time stood up until teammate Evelyn Stevens took over 30 seconds off it in the third wave.

The last two waves contained each team’s strongest riders however the early best times were hard to beat. Canadians Rhae Shaw (Canadian National Team) and Tara Whitten (Tibco – To The Top) came close, adding their names to the top 10 list with Whitten sitting second for some time. The fireworks were just getting lit though as the final riders in wave 5 were setting best times at the half-way mark on the course.

Hughes had her minute-woman Nicole Cooke of Faren Honda Team in her sights already. Remembering her crash in the same corner in 2011, Hughes commented after the race that she reminded herself that taking the corner a bit slower and more safely would only cost her a second.

Still she rode it fast and hard, ignoring her own advice scraping a pedal along the way in the same corner. It was just right balance between her desire to do her best with just enough caution as she made it through accelerating to close the gap on Cooke.

The crowd was thrilled to see Hughes heading toward the finish and made sure she could hear their support. Even with her great time she made sure to throw her bike to line, perhaps to make up for that bit of time her caution in the corner may have cost her.

In the end she was 7.8 seconds ahead of teammate Stevens and three places ahead of Whitten, her nearest Canadian rival.  For all of the top Canadians, and Olympic hopefuls from all nations, the UCI points earned here are invaluable.

Ukraine National Team rider Olena Sharha was the only racer to succumb to a “Hughes corner” crash.

Two Canadian riders missed the finishing turn, taking the first lap route and lost precious seconds in the process.

More Photos coming soon ...

Full results

1. Clara Hughes (Can) Specialized-lululemon 23:56.76  
2. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon 7.80
3. Amber Neben (USA) Specialized-lululemon 19.68
4. Tara Whitten (Can) TIBCO-To The Top 30.48
5. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger) Specialized-lululemon 41.67
6. Rhae Christie Shaw (Can) Canada National Team 54.66 
7. Carmen Small (USA) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 01:02.34
8. Shara Gillow (Aus) GreenEdge-AIS 01:03.47
9. Alexis Rhodes (Aus) GreenEdge-AIS 01:27.43
10. Julie Beveridge (Can) Canada National Team 01:27.86
11. Megan Guarnier (USA) TIBCO-To The Top 01:45.50
12. Marty Shea (USA) Destination Cycling 01:48.06
13. Olivia Dillon (Irl) Now And Novertis 01:54.44
14. Denise Ramsden (Can) Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 01:57.04
15. Nicole Cooke (Gbr) Faren Honda Team 02:02.21
16. Olena Pavlukhina (Ukr) Ukraine National Team 02:02.94
17. Jasmin Glaesser (Can) Colavita ESPN 02:13.38  
18. Sari Saarelainen (Fin) Forno D’asolo Colavita 02:20.27
19. Bridie O’donnell (Aus) Vanderkkitten Focus 02:21.95
20. Caroline Ryan (Irl) West Quebec Wheelers 02:30.56
21. Claudia Hauesler (Ger) GreenEdge-AIS 02:33.86
22. Annie Ewart (Can) Canada National Team 02:47.15 
23. Olena Sharha (Ukr) Ukraine National Team 02:53.27
24. Moriah MacGregor (Can) Colavita ESPN 03:01.83  
25. Ally Stacher (USA) Specialized-lululemon 03:06.26
26. Kacy Wander (USA) PK Express Biemme 03:25.06
27. Evelyne Blouin (Can) Realdealracing/La Bicicletta 03:32.55
28. Alizée Brien (Can) Equipe du Québec 03:36.92 
29. Catherine Dessureault (Can) Realdealracing/La Bicicletta 03:37.62
30. Whitney Gaggioli (USA) Forno D’Asolo Colavita 03:45.66
31. Steph Skoreyko (Can) Kallisto Wheels Of Oakville 03:45.98
32. Allison Bevridge (Can) Specialized-Mazda-SGC 03:58.25  
33. Veronik Bourgon (Can) Infinit Nutrition Cycle 04:11.80
34. Adriane Provost (Can) Stevens Racing p/b The Cycl 04:19.54
35. Suzie Brown (Can) PK Express Biemme 04:36.12
36. Sara Byers (Can) Stevens Racing p/b The Cycl  04:38.04
37. Flavia Oliveira (Bra) Forno D’asolo Colavita 04:39.59
38. Jessica Hebelhart (Sui) Forno D’Asolo Colavita 04:44.3
39. Heather Shearer (Can) Infinit Nutrition Cycle 04:50.39
40. Hsiao-Chia Tseng (Tpe) Axman Team 05:10.65
41. Ho Hsun Huang (Tpe) Axman Team 05:34.32
42. Mei-Yu Hsiao (Tpe) Axman Team 05:53.25
43. Evelyne Gagnon (Can) Stevens Racing p/b The Cycl  05:53.35
44. Yu-Hsuan Lee (Tpe) Axman Team 06:57.58
45. Chia-Hui Lin (Tpe) Axman Team 07:45.50
46. Gabrielle Pilote-Fortin (Can) Equipe du Québec 11:05.65 
DNF Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Dolman-Boels


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