Canada’s elite para-cyclers were in fine pedalling form on the opening day of the 2016 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships in Ottawa, Ont.
Cranbrook, B.C.’s Tristen Chernove, the No.1 ranked male C2 cyclist in the world, highlighted Saturday’s road race competitions by winning gold in a 50 km race featuring male C1-C3 athletes, and female C4-C5 athletes, with a time of 1:15.36 — 11 seconds faster than runner-up Michael Sametz (Calgary, Alta).
This race consisted of five laps around the 10 km course (every para-race was completed on this course) set up at the Tunney Pasture Campus. The riders’ average race speed was clocked at 39.68 km/h.
Three-time Paralympian Robbi Weldon, ranked as the fourth best female tandem cycler, won the 60 km para-tandem contest (for blind or visually-repaired riders). The Thunder Bay, Ont. native and her guide, Audrey Lemieux, finished in 1:27.09. Shawna Ryan/Joanie Caron finished second with a time of 1:29.15. This race’s average pace was 41.31 km/h.
Daniel Chalifour was the best male tandem rider. He and his guide Jean-Michel Lachance recorded a winning time of 1:39.46 completing the 70 km circuit. Mathieu Croteau Daigle/Benoit Lussier finished in 1:41.13 to earn second in a race with an average speed of 42.1 km/h.
Myriam Adam of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. finished first in the 50km hand-cycle race for women H1-H5 riders, and male H1-H2 riders. The H3 competitor completed the track in 41.43. The lone male participant, H2 cyclist Matt Kinnie (Velo, N.B.), finished 10 seconds afterwards. The average speed of this event was 28.77 km/h.
The world number seven H3 cyclist, Charles Moreau (Victoriaville, Que.), finished the 30 km men’s H3 and H4 race with a time of 47:23— just three seconds quicker than Alex Hyndman (Blenheim, Ont.). The average race speed was 37.99 km/h.
Tricyclist Louis-Albert Jolin-Corriveau (Ste-Claire, Que.) was in a class of his own in the 3o km men and women’s T1-T2 competition, as he finished the course over eight minutes quicker than his closest competitor, Mike Shetler (Kirkland, Que.). Jolin-Corriveau brisked through the course in 37:16, while Shetler crossed the finish line at 45:18.The average speed of this race was 32.2 km/h.
Atilla Avsar (Whistler, B.C) was the lone entrant in the men’s C5 40 km race. He finished the racetrack in 1:15.34, while pedalling at an average speed of 31.76 km/h.
There are no para-cycling competitions scheduled at this championship on Sunday or Monday. The individual time trials for para-athletes are scheduled to start at 8 a.m. on Tuesday in Gatineau, Que.
On Wednesday at 2 p.m. — the last day of the championship — both Canadian Olympic and Paralympic cycling teams will be named in Gatineau.
Keep connected to @ReportonRio and reportonrio.com for continuing coverage of the championship.
Photo: Dan Galbraith/Canadian Paralympic Committee