Joelle Numainville showed the world how talented she is this past week by winning both the Canadian National Time Trial title as well as the National Road Race title.Leah Kirchmann, sacrificing her own ambitions for glory, was essential in setting up Joelle’s impressive finishing sprint.
A few weeks ago the USA riders laid down a challenge to the Canadians taking 1, 2 at the USPRO National Championships and the Canadian trio of Joëlle, Leah and Denise proved up to the challenge, with Joëlle doing the double after her TT victory yesterday and Leah holding on for 2nd after giving Joëlle a winning lead-out in a nail biting finish.
Early in the race a break of 4 riders formed, and slowly and steadily built up a gap, gaining a maximum of 2 minutes. As the obvious strongest team in the race, the responsibility was on Optum p/b KBS’ shoulders to chase, and at around half distance all 3 riders took to the front in a concerted chase, quickly halving the breakaways lead before a chase group including Joelle formed bridging to the break, and shortly after a small chasing group caught on giving a leading group of around 20 riders. From that point on small breaks formed and were caught, always with Optum p/b KBS represented.
With 10km to go Joëlle and Leah forced a break of 5 riders clear and things were looking great for us, but then on a gravel section of road at 5km to go, Joëlle flatted. We were prepared for this and did a very swift bike change and Joëlle was quickly back in the chasing pack. Inside 3km to go, Joëlle attacked the chasing group and bridged back up to the break catching them inside the final kilometer. Leah switched immediately from sprinter to lead-out mode and took the 2 of them first into the final corner, and fueled with adrenalin from a chaotic finale Joëlle sprinted to her 2nd national championship in 2 days with Leah holding on for 2nd.
An awesome job by the whole team