These were the fifth Pan American Championships, and the first to be held in Canada, with nearly 300 riders competing across 13 categories for the Continental champion jerseys. Masters racers faced sun, rain, sleet, hail and snow during their races on Saturday, while the Junior, Under-23 and Elite riders had sun, but biting cold wind on Sunday.
In the absence of four-time women’s champion Katie Compton (Trek), the women’s race was expected to be a battle between Rochette and American rider Ellen Noble (Trek Factory). Rochette and Noble rode together until just before the start of the final lap, when the American tried to squeeze by Rochette and crashed, giving Rochette enough of a gap that she was able to stay away and even extend her lead before the finish line.
“Today I was all about being clean and not making any mistakes,” said Rochette, referring to her crash and flat tire on the previous day in the C2 race. “It’s very special to win this; I think it is my biggest win so far. The best thing today was to have all the Canadian fans; they were on fire! To win the title in front of a home crowd is pretty cool.”
The 60 minute men’s race was one of attrition. Van den Ham was aggressive from the start, leading a group of contenders that gradually dwindled to four – van den Ham, Curtis White (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.
Photo Rob Jones/Canadian Cyclist (All Rights Reserved)
In other categories, defending Canadian champion Ruby West and American Clara Honsinger (Team S&M CX) rode away from the rest of the field, with Honsinger pulling away in the last two laps to take the Under-23 women’s title. Carter Woods came within two seconds of taking the Junior men’s title.
Masters titles won by Canadians went to Patricia Konantz (Ride with Rendall) in Women 65+, Lisa Holmgren (Hardwood Next Wave Cycling Team) in Women’s 45-54 and Sarah Gilchrist (Edmonton Road & Track) in Women’s 35-44. Robert Orange (Ride with Rendall p/b Biemme) was 30 seconds ahead in the Men’s 55-64 category with only half a lap to go when he crashed heavily and had to pull out of the race.
About Cycling Canada
Cycling Canada is the governing body for competitive cycling in Canada. With the vision of becoming a leading competitive cycling nation, Cycling Canada manages the High Performance team, hosts national and international events and administers programs to promote and grow cycling across the country. Cycling Canada programs are made possible through the support of its valued corporate partners – Global Relay, Lexus Canada, Mattamy Homes, Louis Garneau, lululemon, 4iiii, Argon18 and Bear Mountain Resort – along with the Government of Canada, Own The Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee.