Tom Soladay Finishes Fourth in Men’s Race After Playing Critical Support Role in Five Straight BC Superweek Events
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories native Denise Ramsden followed up on her teammate Leah Kirchmann’s triple-crown at Vancouver’s Gastown Grand Prix, UBC Grand Prix, and White Spot | Delta Road Race, breaking away from a six rider group with two laps to go at the Giro di Burnaby, hitting the afterburners, and cruising across the line solo for the women’s team’s fourth consecutive BC Superweek win.
“I’m not much of a sprinter and when I went with two to go, I was worried that would be too short,” explained Ramsden, who competed for Canada at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the women’s road race. “I figured I could probably hold on for two laps.”
Team NOW and Novartis, with 8 riders in the race, was in hot pursuit of Ramsden during the closing laps. She stayed cool and focused on the road ahead.
“I was actually trying to sit on because in the first two stages at the Tour de Delta, I ended up in breaks with two NOW riders and I messed up a little bit doing too much work,” Ramsden said. “This time I wanted to get the win. Our team has been racing so well this week, helping each other out and having a lot of success because of it. It’s fun to show the fans in Canada what team racing is all about.”
Kirchmann finished seventh from the sprint inside the main field, no doubt content to let her teammate test her top-end speed after winning three consecutive sprints.
Tom Soladay narrowly missed out out another podium in Burnaby, legs surely burning from the grueling pace he helped set at Wednesday night’s Gastown Grand Prix, where a six-man Orange and Black train dictated the pace to set up Ken Hanson, taking home a $16,000 dollar prize purse. Kirchmann took home $8,000, the largest one-day women’s prize purse in North America.
The team’s northern excursion has been incredibly successful, with the Optum p/b KBS men and women on the podium at every event raced so far in British Columbia. They have gathered seven wins and 13 podiums in just one week of racing. As per usual, the men and women racing concurrently has turned into a bit of a competition – the are separated by just one win and one podium on their total palmares. The men have more podiums (13), but one less win (three). The women have four wins and twelve podiums.
BC Superweek continues with the Tour de White Rock (races on July 12, 13, 14).