‘Team Canada’ shows well in Québec and Montréal
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Sunday, September 9, 2012

‘Team Canada’ shows well in Québec and Montréal

by Kyle Moore at 11:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Hesjedal does his best, Veilleux hoping for bigger selections, Barry marks retirement

Ryder HesjedalEver since Ryder Hesjedal’s big victory in the Giro d’Italia, Canada has been especially tuned in to the Garmin-Sharp rider’s exploits, as well as Canadian cycling in general. With the entire country in the spotlight over the past three days, Canadian cyclists were hoping to represent well in the GP Québec and the GP Montréal.

A number of Canadian riders with varying experience levels on varying teams took to home roads over the long weekend, along with Canadian pro continental squad Spidertech-C10. Highlights ranged from Hesjedal’s first races on home roads since taking the Maglia Rosa, along with Michael Barry’s last rides on familiar soil before his retirement at the end of the season.

The best Canadian finisher of the weekend was Francois Parisien (Spidertech-C10), who was tenth in the GP Québec. In the GP Montréal, Hesjedal was the best of the Canadian riders, leading three compatriots in a row home in 23rd place.

“Obviously, I got a podium here in 2010 [a third place – ed.] and I hoped to do it again,” Hesjedal said according to Canoe.ca. “But I also had to be realistic. I was in perfect shape for the Giro, then I was injured [in the Tour de France] and had to recover while others continued their progress. All in all, I have to say I’m pretty happy with my performance today.”

David VeilleuxVeilleux is having an excellent late-summer season, winning the Mi-Août en Bretagne and the Tre Valli Varesine in August. In Montréal, Veilleux came in just behind Hesjedal in 24th, after attacking on the final ascent of the Côte de Camilien-Houde.

In his second season with Europcar after three seasons with the American continental squad Kelly Benefit Strategies, Veilleux is facing increasing questions about the possibility of a heavier schedule in 2013.

The Québec native is on Canada’s long list for the World Championships, and is likely to get a ride, though Veilleux is playing it modestly.

“If I have a chance to represent Canada at the World Championships, then I would want to,” he said according to The Canadian Press. “And then I’m going to take a little rest before starting to prepare for next season. We’ll start by finishing the current season, then I will continue to train using the same seriousness. If the legs are there, and if I’m lucky and healthy, we’ll see what happens [for next year].”

Veilleux also spoke of his race and his dig at the end.

“Nobody wanted to assume leadership [in the peloton]. It was more a matter of waiting,” he explained. “I tried something at the end but it did not work. I have no regrets because I gave it my all. This weekend I found that I really have improved.”

Barry, retiring from racing at the end of the season, rode an especially significant race in his home country on Sunday.

“I started this season thinking particularly of the two races this weekend in Québec and Montréal,” he said. “I was pretty sure it was going to be my last season. I have not had many opportunities to race in Canada since I became a professional cyclist. Each of these opportunities then proved to be memorable and special.

“There are so many people who have encouraged me in this country since I was young. Today's race was an appropriate end point in my career. It was great to see so many people encourage me along the way. It was great.”


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