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Tuesday, May 22, 2012
CLARA HUGHES REPEAT TIME TRIAL WIN IN GATINEAU
Fastest women on two wheels tackle the Chrono Gatineau Time Trial race
(Gatineau, QC– May 19, 2012) It was a beautiful day for a time trial race in glorious sunshine in Gatineau. Forty-seven cyclists participated in the Chrono Gatineau Rona, a time trial race of 18.4 km. The course was comprised of two laps of a 9.2 km loop, with a sharp hill of 500 m at 5.9% grade, as well as some technical corners including a roundabout difficult to negotiate.
The level of racing was very high and Specialized Lululemon was the team to beat with the winner of last year, the popular Clara Hughes (CAN), but also Amber Neben (USA), the American champion, Evelyn Stevens and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (GER). The other runners to watch was the Australian champion Shara Gillow (GreenEdge), track specialist Tara Whitten (CAN, Tibco to the top) and the British champion Nicole Cooke (Faren Honda Team).
The American Marty Shea (Destination Cycling) recorded very early a great time of 25:44.82, which remained the time to beat for nearly an hour. Powerful German rider Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (GER, Specialized Lululemon) finally managed to dislodge Shea with a very fast time of 24:38.45, averaging 44.88 km / h.
This time, however, was quickly beaten by Teutenberg’s teammate Evelyn Stevens (USA, Specialized Lululemon), The American time trial champion which flew along the first leg; the first rider riding the first hal under 12 minutes. Her time of 24:04.56 gave her an advantage of 34 seconds on Teutenberg and seemed very promising. Among the next riders, only Amber Neben (USA, Specialized Lululemon) was able to come close, posting a time of 24:16.44, 12 seconds slower.
The enthusiasm of the audience was growing while the last wave took the road. All eyes were on the last rider to take to the start, Clara Hughes, but more powerful riders were still racing. The Canadian Rhae Shaw (Canadian National Team) surprised everyone by recording a fast time of 24:51.42. Her compatriot Tara Whitten (Tibco to the top) did even better by flying the route with a final time of 24:27.24, the third best provisional, only 22 seconds slower than Stevens.
Three riders were still on the course: Shara Gillow, Nicole Cooke and the favorite Clara Hughes. Halfway through, Hughes was only a hundred meters from Cooke and quickly catching up - the crowd went wild when she was negotiating the roundabout on the heels of the British rider. While Gillow finished with a respectable time of 25:00.23, the world watched the clock: Clara had passed Cooke, and was heading towards the home stretch. The applause was deafening as she took the last turn to finish with the best time of 23:65.76, beating her teammate Evelyn Stevens by 7.8 seconds, with an average speed of 46.13 km / h.
At 39, Hughes showed she is one of the top riders in the world in the time trial. After the race, she said her motivation was excellent for the Olympics in London - after such a performance, Canadians will surely have their eyes fixed on her this upcoming July.
Another person was smiling was the team director of Team Specialized Lululemon, who placed four riders in the Top 5 with, only Tara Whitten able to challenge the supremacy of the German team.
With such a demonstration of excellence, the Specialized-Lululemon will be marked for the road race on Monday. But the other teams, especially GreenEdge, Faren Honda, Optum Kelly Benefits and Tibco have at heart to take their revenge.
The GP Cycliste Gatineau Hydro-Quebec and the Gatineau Chrono Rona are the only two CanadIan events sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (WE UCI 1.1). The Chrono Gatineau Rona to be held on May 19 is time trial of 18.4 km with two laps of a 9.7 km loop containing a climb of 500 m at 5.9% and some technical corners that should benefit the powerful riders. The Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau Hydro-Quebec is a road race of 134 km, 13 laps of a circuit of 10.18 km. The world's top riders are expected during the long weekend in May in Gatineau.
In addition to the two women's races, the Grand Prix will hold a provincial men's race, a Gran Fondo, a family ride and many activities promoting cycling.
RESULTS – CHRONO GATINEAU (TIME TRIAL) – GATINEAU, QC
1 HUGHES Clara SPECIALIZED LULULEMO 23:56.76
2 STEVENS Evelyn SPECIALIZED LULULEMO 24:04.56 +7
3 NEBEN Amber SPECIALIZED LULULEMO 24:16.44 +19.68
4 WHITTEN Tara TIBCO - TO THE TOP 24:27.24 +30.48
5 TEUTENBERG Ina-Yoko SPECIALIZED LULULEMO 24:38.43 +41.67
6 SHAW Rhae CANADA NATIONAL TEAM 24:51.42 +54.66
7 SMALL Carmen OPTUM KELLY BENEFITS 24:59.10 +1:02.34
8 GILLOW Shara GREENEDGE-AIS 25:00.23 +1:03.47
9 RHODES Alexis GREENEDGE-AIS 25:24.19 +1:27.43
10 BEVERIDGE Julie CANADA NATIONAL TEAM 25:24.62 +1:27.86