Conditions were unseasonably favourable for the first annual 12km Pitt-Polder cycling time trial on Saturday with mild temperatures, dry roads, and a tailwind for most of the route. That all changed on Sunday, however, as clouds moved in overnight and brought steady rain and epic conditions for the weekend’s feature event, the fourth annual Barry’s Roubaix road race, presented by Local Ride Bike Shop.
“I’m extremely pleased with the new time trial course. It received great reviews from the racers. I was expecting the wind to be more unforgiving, but we can still hope for a headwind on April 27 when this same course will be used for stage two of Race the Ridge,” said Barry Lyster, race organizer and owner of Local Ride Bike Shop in Maple Ridge.
The fastest time on the route that started on Harris Road, followed McNeil Road to Neaves Road, and all the way north along the rough, broken pavement to Pitt Lake, was 14 minutes and 19 seconds set by Dave Stephens (Team H&R Block) of Vancouver. Meghan Wolfe, also of Vancouver, churned out the top women’s time of 16 minutes and 40 seconds. Galen Kehler (Phoenix Velo) of Maple Ridge was the quickest local, stopping the clock at 15:29.42 and snagging eighth place overall. The Maple Ridge based Local Ride Racing Team’s 16-year-old star, Jackson Pickell of Port Coquitlam, logged a fantastic time of 15:34.57 to place him ninth overall, while Meghan Grant (Local Ride Racing) of Tsawwassen cranked out the fourth-best women’s time in 17:30.26.
Fourteen-year-old Maggie Coles-Lyster (Local Ride Racing) finished fourth in the Open Women’s category, followed by teammates Kelsey MacDonald and Megan MacDonald of Pitt Meadows in ninth and 10th, respectively.
Other notable results include Brett Wakefield (Local Ride Racing) of Maple Ridge in 16th, and Brian Griffin (Team Alliance) of Pitt Meadows in 31st. Adam Reddy (Local Ride Racing) of Aldergrove, Julian Base (Local Ride Racing) of Langley, and Richard Machhein (Local Ride Racing) of Port Coquitlam finished 15th, 16th, and 17th, respectively, in the Cat 1/2 men’s competition.
Sunday saw the first packs of racers hit the Pitt Meadows dykes at 8:30 a.m. for the Barry’s Roubaix road race, modeled after the historic Paris-Roubaix in France, the 111th edition of which also took place on Sunday in France. The original Roubaix is famous for its long rough sectors of cobblestones that take their toll on riders.
“Since we don’t have cobblestones in Pitt Meadows, I chose to include a 5km section of the scenic Pitt Meadows Dykes. Using gravel in a road race is unique and really helps make this event special,” said Lyster. “It has always been a popular race with the riders and we’re very lucky to have such great support from the community.”
Later in the morning, as the rain began to fall more heavily, the top riders took to the 9km course. Mud and grit sprayed up in rooster tails off of their tires and soon racers were so caked in dirt that they were nearly unrecognizable and their numbers were illegible. Visibility for the riders was challenging due to the spray. Despite the tough conditions, the races battled on.
“That was some of the best racing I have seen at this event. It was a fantastic day from a spectator’s perspective. The weather and the caliber of riders really made for some exciting competition,” said Lyster.
After 12 laps and over 110 grueling kilometres, Greg Christian (Garneau Evolution) of Vancouver won a close sprint for the top podium spot in the Cat 1/2 men’s competition, nipping second place, Curtis Dearden (Russ Hay Accent Inns p/b PCC) of Victoria at the line. Third place went to Bailey McKnight (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) of Calgary. Local Ride Racing’s Machhein finished 23rd.
The Cat 1/2/3 women’s race saw 2012 Canadian Criterium Champion and Canadian Road Cycling Team Member Leah Kirchmann (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) of Squamish score the victory after nine laps and 83 kilometres. Kirchmann, a formidable sprinter, was a strong favourite going into the race, but without teammates, the 22-year-old was outnumbered by the four-person Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes squad. Despite the disadvantage, Kirchmann’s speedy legs prevailed and she won the sprint for victory ahead of second place, Jenny Lehmann (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) of Vancouver and third place, Jean Ann Berkenpas (Xprezo Factory Team) of Maple Ridge. Sandra Walter (Local Ride Racing) of Coquitlam finished sixth.
Michael Wegner (C4/Power2Max) of Vancouver won the highly competitive 74km Cat 3 men’s race and the coveted first prize entry to the RBC GranFondo Whistler event. Second place went to Local Ride Racing’s young Pickell. John Courtney (Cycle Logic) of Quesnel grabbed the final podium spot, while Local Ride Racing members Wakefield, Carten Ivany of Abbotsford, and Ryan Newsome of Port Moody finished 12th, 14th, and 15th, respectively.
Anika Todd (Triple Shot Cycling) of Victoria rode away with the win in the 55km Cat 3/4 women’s race and took home the second sought-after entry to the popular RBC GranFondo Whistler ride. Hilary Wille (Russ Hay Accent Inns p/b PCC) of Victoria surged across the line over seven minutes later, winning the sprint for second place, ahead of Local Ride Racing’s Grant, who finished third. Teammate Coles-Lyster finished 12th, with Kelsey MacDonald in 14th.
Alex Dove (Lynn Valley Bikes) of Vancouver won the 55km Cat 4 men’s contest in a four-up sprint, besting second place, Graham Tutti (Trek Red Truck Racing p/b Mosaic Homes) of North Vancouver, and third place, Oliver Kaelin of Victoria, at the finish line. Local Ride Racing teammates Andrew Kerr of Pitt Meadows and Ryan Jeans of Port Moody finished 14th and 21st, respectively.
Coquitlam’s Troy Neale (Westwood Cycle) won the four-lap, 37km Novice men’s race with North Vancouver’s Tara Mowat (Cycling BC) scoring the big “W” in the Novice women’s competition.
The U17 men’s race featured some heated competition from a strong group of up-and-comers, including champion Ethan Pauly (Tripleshot Cycling) of Victoria who won in a solo breakaway by over two minutes ahead of second place, teammate Lachlan Fraser, also of Victoria. Quinn Storey (dEVo Cycling Club) snatched the third podium place.
Both the Pitt-Polder Time Trial and Barry’s Roubaix were used as Team B.C. selection races for the Canada Summer Games cycling, which will be held in Sherbrooke, QC later this summer.
Thank you to race sponsors and supporters Local Ride Bike Shop, Power2Max, Superior Glass, Ramada Inn Pitt Meadows, City of Pitt Meadows, Cycling BC, Gran Fondo Canada, Giant Bicycles Canada, Ridge Meadows BMX, Kicking Horse Coffee, and all of the volunteers who made the event a success.
Find the full results HERE.
More photos of the Pitt-Polder TT by Paul Craig HERE.
More photos of Barry’s Roubaix by Paul Craig HERE.