OTTAWA’S MATTEO DAL-CIN WINS CHOICES MARKETS CRITERIUM AT BEVERLEY BY CRESSEY PRESENTS TOUR DE WHITE ROCK
~ Shelley Olds’ Incredible Performance at BC Superweek Continues With Another Victory
White Rock, BC – Matteo Dal-Cin has cycling in his blood – and it goes beyond a passion for the sport. His father competed for the Canadian National Team and the 24-year-old has been exposed to competitive racing for his entire life.
The family lineage is paying off for the Silber Pro Cycling rider as he broke away from the pack in the last third of the race and held on to win the Beverley by Cressey presents Tour de White Rock Choices Markets Criterium by two seconds ahead of German rider Florenz Knauer on Friday night.
It certainly appeared that Dal-Cin and his Silber teammates had an astute game plan heading into the race, one which they executed to near perfection.
“We were going to just try and monitor things early on and then start hitting it during the last third of the race and see what that got us,” explained the Ottawa native.
On a course in which it is difficult to cause a break, Dal-Cin was able to do just that and was confident in knowing that his teammates Ryan Roth, who has already won two races at BC Superweek this year, and Derrick St. Jean were in the group behind.
“I knew I had Ryan and Derrick in the group behind, getting a free ride, so that’s pretty much the perfect situation,” he said. “I just drilled it and if I had been caught, I knew one of them would be on the attack straight away.”
Knauer, who finished on the podium at the Choices Markets criterium for the fourth straight year after a third place finish last year, a second place finish in 2013 and a win in 2012, and his H&R Block Pro Cycling team tried to counter what Silber was doing – and it almost worked.
“The group was gone and we didn’t have anyone in the front, so I tried to bring (teammate) Garrett (McLeod) into the front group. And I came out in the group so I stuck there and had to keep the pace up,” said Knauer.
Finishing third was Slovenian Aldo Ilesic. He and teammate Daniel Holloway are the two lone riders from Team Alto Velo-SeaSucker, but have still managed to find their way on the podium at BC Superweek three times through eight races, including two wins. Ilesic feels that being shorthanded definitely played a role in the Choices Markets Criterium.
“It was only two of us and the course is really hard so having a bigger team was really important because there were just so many attacks going on all the time,” he said. “We just had to gamble, we had to pick the moves we were going to follow and at the end, it almost worked out, I got third and I’m happy about it. It’s all I’ve got – there’s nothing left in the tank at the finish line.”
The 30-year-old was strategic in making a move on the last lap.
“I was trying to force a move earlier, and then when it didn’t happen I just had to wait in the field and hope that it was going to get back,” said Ilesic. “I made a huge effort on the last lap and came back from something like 20th position to third, so we played the cards earlier and at the end we just took whatever we could take.”
After a fast, short race of 60 laps at one kilometre per, the riders now look forward to Saturday’s Peace Arch News Road Race. There’s no doubt that those who have been racing BC Superweek since last Friday are starting to feel it.
“My legs feel pretty tired after a whole week of cycling and the road race is pretty early in the morning, so I’m not used to that because most of the races are pretty late. But, we’ll see what’s in the legs and I’ll try as hard as I can,” added Knauer.
If fans watching the Choices Markets Criterium on Friday night noticed something very familiar on the podium when a women wearing a bright yellow jersey took the top step, it’s because the same scenario has played out at BC Superweek two other times in the last seven days.
Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini) finished two seconds ahead of last year’s winner Alison Jackson, who isn’t wearing her usual TWENTY16 p/b Sho-Air kit, but is riding for the Canadian National Team. For Olds, it’s not only her second straight win at BC Superweek, but her seventh straight podium appearance as well.
“The course was harder than the other courses at BC Superweek, so it was kind of survival today. The teams couldn’t help each other so much in this type of course, so I thought, ‘Okay, make it hard’ and get the best training that I can,” the 34-year-old who makes her home in Gilroy, California said. “With the crowds and everything, it’s so nice to be alone and hear everybody yelling for you.”
Jackson relishes the pressure that comes with representing her country, but admits that being the only member of her team at BC Superweek is a bit difficult.
“It’s been hard for the whole week, I stand out with the Maple Leaf kit on – which I love – but it makes it harder, and to not have a team… but that being said, Shelley is making these races hard and I like that. It’s better than just sitting in, so I feel like I earned this one today,” said the Abbotsford native. “I know Shelley was interested in just making it a hard race and she’s a strong sprinter who could take every sprint away and just ride in easy, but she really wants to make the race exciting, which is cool for these types of races. I knew Opus was going to do a lot of attacks and my goal was to make some breaks and if I could get in the right one with Opus or Shelley, it would be good. But the race was so hard, in the end I just wanted to save energy, be on the right moves, and when it came around to the corner, even though you’re hurting so bad, you’ve got to put in that extra dig and I came out with second, so it’s good.”
Despite being the course being only one kilometre distance and the riders only doing 30 laps, it’s the make-up of the criterium, especially with a downhill finish line that adds an extra challenge.
“There’s a lot of power stuff in this course, like the hill on the east side is short, but it’s a climb with power. Those kind of things suit me, the corners are wide, and so that’s good,” continued Jackson. “A lot of it has to do with how you position yourself and what other teams do, so it’s a different kind of ride every time.”
With Saturday’s road race, Olds has the opportunity to wrap up BC Superweek with one of the most dominant performances ever in the series. Although the 2012 US Olympian stressed earlier in the week that she was using all of the races as training for the women’s Tour de France next week, she admits it would be special to make an eighth straight podium appearance with a Top-3 finish in the road race.
“Of course, and racing professionally, the road race is sort of what I need to be good at. I’m really looking forward to doing that race and being successful because it’s at the end of all the hard races and it’s really a test of the legs at this point,” she said.
Fans were thrilled to see a local rider hit the podium with Justine Clift (Glotman Simpson Cycling) coming third behind Olds and Jackson. The 27-year-old from South Surrey has only been racing bikes since 2012 after car accident rendered her unable to continue her career in track-and-field and cross-country running.
CHOICES MARKETS CRITERIUM – Friday, July 17th
BC Superweek is Canada’s biggest professional road cycling series and features more than $120,000 in prize money available during eight races over nine days. BC Superweek runs from July 10 – 18, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 10, 11, 12), UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahony & Sons (July 14), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 15), Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Development (July 16) and Beverley by Cressey presents Tour de White Rock (July 17, 18).
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Tour de White Rock