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Coles-Lyster 14th in Junior Women’s Road Race

On Friday, Junior-aged riders competed in the road races for women and men at the Road World Championships in Doha, Qatar.  Maggie Coles-Lyster of Maple Ridge, BC, was the top Canadian for the day, finishing 14th in the Junior Women’s race.  Thierry Kirouac-Marcassa of Boucherville, Quebec, was 30th in the Men’s race.

The Junior Women’s 74.5 kilometre race came down to a sprint finish for 53 riders, with Elisa Balsamo of Italy winning the world title in a time of one hour, 53 minutes and four seconds.  All four Canadians entered finished with the same time.  In addition to Coles-Lyster, Devaney Collier (Edmonton, AB) was 24th, Erin Attwell (Victoria, BC) was 31st and Laurie Jussaume (Contrecoeur, QC) was 39th.

“It was a really fast course and really aggressive racing,” commented Coles-Lyster.  “I found it a really fun race.  Around each corner people were always pushing and bumping elbows … it was a really cool experience.”

“It was fast, but the course was really flat, so it was easy to go,” said Collier.  “The harder part was positioning; a lot of people wanted to be on the front so it was a tough place to get to.  We all did our best and I think we came away with fair results.”

“Having such a big field of Junior women was incredible to race with,” said Attwell.  “I haven’t had a ton of experience or exposure to such a big pack, so it was a little bit tricky.  The race got stretched out at points, especially on the first lap with three crashes – I got caught up in one of the them.  I learned a lot at this race.”

The Junior Men’s 135.3 kilometre race was one of attrition with Kirouac-Marcassa the only Canadian finisher.  Jakob Egholm of Denmark won the title, seven seconds in front of a chase group.  A break formed approximately 80 kilometres into the race containing 20 riders, which would prove to be the decisive move.  Kirouac-Marcassa did not make the move and finished with the main field, one minute and 45 seconds behind Egholm, sprinting for tenth in the field.  Nickolas Zukowsky (Dundas, ON) and Charles-Étienne Chrétien (Amos, QC) did not finish, while Matthew Staples (Oro-Medonte, ON) did not start due to illness.

“The biggest enemy was certainly the heat today;” said Kirouac-Marcassa, “needless to say, hydration was key. The high speed was another factor. At 45km/h over 135 km, the selection was possible even if the course was flat. All the corners and roundabouts caused so many crashes and gaps in the peloton. When I saw I had missed the break, I still wanted to give it a go in the bunch kick. I went from far (500m) to finish 30th. I’m satisfied with my day.”

Racing continues on Saturday with the Elite Women’s road race.