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Canada’s Canuel Sixth in Worlds Road Race

Canadian women had one of their strongest performances in two decades on Saturday in the Elite women’s road race at the Road World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. Karol-Anne Canuel finished sixth after challenging for a bronze medal, Sara Poidevin came back from a crash to finish 14th, and Leah Kirchmann finished 25th, to put three Canadians in the top-25. Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands won the world title in a solo breakaway.

The 155.6 kilometre race began in Kufstein with an 80 kilometre run into the final 24 kilometre circuit in Innsbruck, which the women rode three times. At the 60 kilometre mark, the riders faced the first significant climb of the day, the Gnadenwald, however, a crash on the early portion of the climb took down Poidevin, along with time trial world champion Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands. Poidevin made it back to the bunch, joining Alison Jackson, Kirchmann and Canuel.

Photo Rob Jones/Canadian Cyclist (All Rights Reserved)

Anna van der Breggen attacked on the second lap and powered away to win her first world title ahead of Australia’s Amanda Spratt. Behind, Canuel powered a chase with Tatiana Guderzo (Italy), who broke clear to win the bronze medal, while Canuel sprinted for fourth with Emilia Fahlin (Sweden) and Malgorzata Jasinska (Poland), finishing sixth.

“It was a long race and hard,” said Canuel, who was eighth earlier in the week in the time trial and won silver in the Team Time Trial. “I had trouble following attacks, but I could hold my pace. In the last climb I was able to get away with two other girls, and it worked for me to get my best [Worlds road race] result.”

“This was my first Elite Worlds road race,” said Poidevin. “I got unlucky with the crash, but I was with two really strong Dutch riders, so I knew their team would keep the pace slow in the pack and I was able to chase back conservatively, and try not to burn too many matches getting back to the group. There were a lot of attacks on the climb and it was super fast on the descent, so I just tried to position myself well, with lots of help from my team mates. I’m just happy to come away with a good result.”

Zach Bell, manager for the women’s race, said “We started today with a lot of good options for different parts of the course. After some hiccups with a crash early on, the team did great damage control. Sara [Poidevin] did well to climb with front group, and Karol-Ann and Leah did great work on the circuit to take advantage of tactical moves. The whole team rode at a world class level, and Karol-Ann finished it off with a great aggressive move. Anna [van der Breggen] was just so strong today, and a big congrats to her. Overall, I think this is a big step for Canada, and a clear demonstration that our women are at a world class level on the most challenging courses.”

Source: Cycling Canada
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.