Back To News

BC Riders Crowned First Canadian Gravel Champions at 2023 Paris to Ancaster

Peloton rides over a bridge
Photo by: Rob Jones/

The 29th edition of the Paris to Ancaster (P2A) race, one of Canada’s most popular off-road cycling events took place on April 30, 2023, in Hamilton, Ontario and played host to the inaugural Canadian Gravel Championships presented by Argon 18. Over 300 Junior, Elite and Master athletes took on the 108.9km race course from Paris, Ontario to Ancaster, Ontario with 896m of climbing over challenging terrain and a mix of surfaces including gravel roads, double, and single-track trails.

Two BC riders hailing from Vancouver Island made history by becoming the first-ever Canadian National Gravel Cycling Champions in their respective categories. Cycling BC High Performance Program athlete, Evan Russell (Saint Piran) of Mill Bay, BC, won the Canadian National title in the Elite Men’s 19-34  category.

Cyclist covered in mud while riding in wet muddy conditions on gravel path
Evan Russell becomes the first-ever Elite Men’s Canadian National Gravel Champion. Photo: Rob Jones/

“It’s pretty unreal, to be honest, standing up there with the Canadian jersey,” said Russell, who cracked the top 20 in the 2021 and 2022 Canadian Road Championships. “I knew with 5K to go, that’s where I would want to attack. I caught Curtis before the main climb and it was just us to the finish. It gets chaotic, you’re cold and muddy, and then you come over [the final climb] and you’re Canadian national champ. It’s a great feeling.”

John Vanderveen (Riverway Dental Racing) from Campbell River, BC, led the Masters Men (35-44) group and claimed the championship in the category.

Three men stand on podium with hands raised.
Elite Men’s podium. Photo by Rob Jones/

Claiming the maple leaf jersey for the elite women was Devon Clarke (The Cyclery), stopping the clock at 3:23:48 in her second year of Paris to Ancaster competition. Ashlin Barry (EF Education-ONTO) and Rafaelle Carrier (CVM Sigma Assurance) had strong U19/Junior showings to capture gold in their respective men’s and women’s categories.

The women’s 35-44 top spot went to Jodi Wendland (The Cyclery). For Masters 44-54, it was Chris Pollett (London Centennial Wheelers) who brought home the title of Champion, while Amy Moore (Collingwood Collective) stood on top of the women’s podium. Bruce Bird (Wheels of Bloor) earned the gold medal for men’s 55-64 and his counterpart, Andrea Moritz, topped the women’s podium. Rounding out the inaugural class of gravel gold medallists was James Laird (Limestone City Cycling), who competed in the Masters 65+ men’s category, and Anna Tykoliz (St. Catharines Cycling) for the women’s.

“I’m so pleased I’m going to be in the history books [as the first Canadian Gravel Champion (Masters 65+ F)]. That is really amazing,” said Tykoliz. “I have never had that much mud in my whole life. It was epic. Thank you so much to the volunteers, they were so kind, the course was marked beautifully and I had a lot of fun.”

View Full Results

Next up on the Canadian Championships calendar is the Canadian Road Championships, to be held from June 23-26 in Edmonton, AB. The full calendar of national events can be found on the Cycling Canada website.

Source: Cycling Canada
About Cycling Canada
Cycling Canada is the nation’s oldest National Sport Organization and has one simple purpose – to inspire Canadians to cycle. Our mandate is to holistically develop the sport in partnership with our 11 Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations, putting more Canadians on bikes from coast-to-coast and on podiums around the world.