The team resumed racing with a bang this weekend after a brief hiatus following the Nature Valley Grand Prix, claiming three wins in three days in separate parts of North America.
With both men’s and women’s teams contesting the traditional BC Superweek opener, the Tour de Delta, Ken Hanson opened up the win column in Saturday’s Brenco Criterium, proudly displaying his US Criterium Champion colors, arms held high, to enthusiastic crowds in British Columbia. Winnipeg native Leah Kirchmann claimed a victory in Sunday’s White Spot | Delta Road Race, adding an exclamation point for the Orange and Black in the three-race omnium series. Jesse Anthony, not to be outdone by the Canadian contingent, claimed his first win of 2013 at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, near his new residence in Thousand Oaks, CA.
“This is some of the best bike racing in North America hands down,” Hanson said after reopening his account in BC. “The series is fantastic, everyone is friendly, the crowds are good and the race courses are challenging and exciting. We love racing up here, in fact if we had even more racing up here, we’d come back as much as we could. We’ll hopefully continue to build momentum for the rest of the week.”
Kirchmann claimed her win on home soil with some help from her teammates over the closing kilometers. Teammate Denise Ramsden, following up her runner-up efforts in Friday’s MK Delta Lands race, provided some crucial teamwork to deliver her newly minted Canadian Criterium champion teammate to her win, guiding her through the final winding kilometers in Delta for the victory. The duo finished second and third overall in the three-day omnium event in Delta.
“The last few laps were pretty hard, there were a couple of individual riders who got off the front and my team did a great job sitting on the front and bringing them back at the perfect moment,” Kirchmann said after her win. “They were able to give me a great leadout through the final corners and made my job much easier.”
North Vancouver resident Ryan Anderson, recently signed to the Optum p/b KBS team, followed up his runner-up finish at the Canadian National Championship Road Race by showing more of the quickness and tactical savvy that he displayed as as a key member of the roster from 2008-2011. He finished on the podium in all three days of racing, with a pair of second place finishes in Friday and Saturday’s criteriums, capping things off with a third place finish in Sunday’s UCI ranked road race.
“I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this team again, and to race with such a good group of riders here in Canada,” Anderson said. “I think everyone on the team expects a lot this week in BC. We have a strong team here and we should be on the podium every night. Delta has always been special to me – I’ve always liked competing here and used it to build towards better finishes later in the season. A big target for me and the rest of the team is the Tour de Alberta a little later in September, which is going to be a very exciting race.”
Anthony Claims First Win of 2013 on Manhattan Beach
Jesse Anthony, representing for his team back on American Soil along with teammate Ian Moir, claimed an emphatic sprint victory at the classic criterium event, holding off a chasing peloton to claim his first win of 2013. His win meant back-to-back titles for Optum p/b KBS at the Manhattan Beach event, following up Hanson’s win in 2012.
“I am really happy to win such a prestigious race and one of the oldest criteriums in California,” said Anthony. “I’m also excited for the upcoming Cascade Cycling classic and hitting the 2nd half of the season with some happy legs!”