Local road cyclists show well in recent races

The Valley may be better known for mountain biking, with good reason, but, there is a very talented group of young road cyclists from here as well.

At the BC Provincial youth championships  in Penticton two local riders came home with BC Champion jerseys.  Mark Grant won both the time trial and road race in the U17 category, while Gillian Ellsay took home the BC Champions jersey for the time trial in U19 girls. In the road race, Ellsay  finished third and another local rider, Kia van der Vliet, was 10th. Kia also placed ninth in both the TT and the Crit.  In the U17 boys Isaac van der Vliet took sixth in the TT, fifth in the road race and third in the Crit, right behind Mark Grant, in second.

In the U19 boys events James Grant was 10th in the TT and sixth in the Crit.

A week earlier the senior BC Championships were held in Maple Ridge.  Nigel Ellsay in his first race back after recovering from a broken collarbone placed second in the TT, behind only Curtis Deardon, the 2013 National time Trial champion. In the road race Nigel finished 10th.

Nigel continued his preparation for Nationals by coming out to the Comox Valley Cycle Club Thursday night TT series, sponsored by Trail Bicycles, on our Dove Creek course. He proceeded to show us why he has a pro contract by setting a new course record of 20:44 for the 16 km circuit ( an average of 46.3 kph).  Nigel then headed to Quebec for the National championships, where he placed 14th in the TT, 28th in the road race and second in the Crit, racing for his Silber Pro Cycling team.

The following week the Junior nationals took place also in Quebec.  In the U19 (junior) girls category Gillian blew away the competition taking the national champions jersey.  In the Junior boys category James Grant finished 16th out of 70+ riders in the TT.

The tour of Rimosuskie runs July 8-12 in Quebec and both Gillian and James will be staying out east to compete with junior racers from around the world.

Nigel is gearing up for BC Superweek July 10-18 at locations around the Lower Mainland.  Isaac will also be entering junior/cadet events that week.  Gillian and the Grants may get home in time to compete in the final day or two of Superweek.  Then in August Gillian will be representing Canada at the World Track Cycling championships in Kazakstan.  Big brother Nigel will be racing the tour of Alberta with his Silber Pro Cycling Team.  Best of luck to all our local riders.

***

July 4th saw the Comox Valley Cycle club host its annual stage race.  The morning road race on the Dove Creek course had a great diverse set of riders in the three categories, from 12 year olds Erik Ashton and Carson Damery to several  60 year old Masters riders.  We should mention that Erik and Carson just finished 1st and 3rd last weekend in the U13 BC Provincial Mountain Bike championships in Whistler.  The two youngsters raced in the C category 52 km event and were doing well until the heat began to take its toll.  William Corbett from Victoria went on to take the win, with local CVCC riders Tim Everets 2nd and Chris Bowman 3rd.   In the afternoon Time Trial William again led the way with Tim 2nd and Pat Gerrie 3rd.   Total time for the two events presented William with overall win, Tim 2nd and Chris 3rd.

The B group raced 69 kms with a local trio leading the way.  Scott Fleming 1st, Nicolas Parlee 2nd and Ray Wagner 3rd.  These three finished in the same order in the TT as well and the overall combined time. It was an exciting race with the younger legs of Scott and Nicolas able to pull away from Ray on the final climb up Pearcey road. The race for 4th saw a group of 5 riders wheel  to wheel coming to the finish line where Aaron Milan took that sprint.

The A group raced 85 kms with a trio of Steve Bachop and Andrew McCartney from Victoria trying to stay with surprise guest Nigel Ellsay in a breakaway. It worked for 60km and then Nigel, just home from his great showing at the National championships in Quebec, turned up the heat and rode away to win by almost 3 minutes.  Steve took 2nd but in the TT Andrew gained enough time back to jump over Steve into 2nd overall bumping Steve to 3rd for combined time in the two events.

The heat took had a significant effect on the riders as several opted out of the afternoon Time Trial and hence the opportunity to win the days awards.  It was still a great day of bicycle racing appreciated by all.  A big thanks to everyone in the community for sharing the road with us, Quality Foods for providing the post race refreshment and all the volunteers for making it possible.  One never knows,  another  future National Champion could have had been out there today.

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