Back To News

Carleton and Davies take Provincial Titles at Russ Hay’s Grand Prix, Toppings takes first major criterium win

You would think with eight other Smart Savvy+ / Garneau teammates in the mix, it wouldn’t have been such a hard day at the office for Calgary’s Connor Toppings, but it was a bit of a grind as he solo’ed through most of the Russ Hay’s Cycling Grand Prix / BC Criterium Championships. But laying down the hammer proved worthwhile in the end as Toppings came away with his first major criterium win.

Toppings left the field in the first quarter of the 40-lap race and never looked back, sacrificing himself hoping to get a BC Criterium Championship crown for one of his team mates.

“I just put my head down and went,” he said after crossing the line with the field. “The guys did a lot of work to slow down the field for me.”

“Lapping the field is pretty rare,” he said. “But no one else does the kind of team work that we do and that’s what made the difference for us.”

Toppings said the win was particularly sweet with the B.C. Legislature Buildings as a backdrop. “It’s great profile.”

Toppings finally joined the field with two laps to go and was lost a bit in the crowd for the obligatory finish line celebratory shot. Trek Red Truck Racing’s Kyle Buckosky and Langlois Brown Racing Dylan Davies also broke from the pack early on and both battled it out with 2014 grand prix winner Davies earning second-place and the BC Criterium Championships and Buckosky third.

On the women’s side, it was a home-coming of sorts for Broad Street Cycles’ Gillian Carleton. The Olympic and World Championships track bronze medallist hasn’t raced since 2014, taking a racing hiatus to complete her undergraduate degree in neuroscience.

As it often goes in criterium racing, you never quite know who’s coming around that last corner, and after Trek Red Truck Racing Anika Todd broke from the field for four laps of the 35-lap women’s race, the crowd was a bit surprised to see Carleton’s Broad Street Cycle kit come round the bend to take the women’s title and the BC Criterium Championships.

“I was 95 per cent sure I could go,” she said, describing her attack after the first corner. “So I tried to stretch it out. I was sitting (in the field) for most of the race trying to stay as fresh as possible.”

“It was a quality field this year,” Carleton said. “There were tons of really good racers so it was a really hard race.”

Crit Nasty’s Sarah Coney was second while Glotman Simpson Cycling Janna Gillick was third.

The day of racing ended a successful weekend of races at the Robert W. Cameron Law Cycling Series p/b PISE which saw 200 children between the ages of 3 and 10 participating in the Tim Hortons Timbit Challenge and older folks racing in youth races, the inaugural Broad Street Cycles Fixed Gear Criterium, the Schwalbe Cycling Classic road race in Metchosin and the EnergyLab Dallas Road Time Trial.

The Robert W Cameron Law Cycling Series p/b PISE Omnium titles went to Rally Cycling’s Adam deVos and Broad Street Cycles’ Megan Rathwell, who also won the road race. Second went to TaG Cycling Racing Team’s Maggie Coles-Lyster and Smart Savvy+/Garneau’s Connor Toppings while third went to Glotman Simpson Cycling’s Janna Gillick and Trek Red Truck Racing’s Kyle Buckosky.

Full results will be posted on

Photo Credit: TLBVelo Photography: Smart Savvy+ / Garneau takes the corner of the Russ Hay’s Cycling Grand Prix. Broad Street Cycles Gillian Carleton looks amazed at her home-coming win. Greg Descantes: Megan Rathwell leads the women’s field in the Schwalbe Cycling Classic.