Victories for Eric Young, Leah Kirchmann Open BC Superweek

Young Captures Second UCI Victory of 2015

The team captured two wins and six podiums at the three-day Tour de Delta series, highlighted by victories for Eric Young in Sunday’s UCI-ranked White Spot | Delta Road Race and Leah Kirchmann in Saturday’s Brenco Criterium. The team graced the men’s and women’s podiums six times in Delta, with two second places for Ryan Anderson, one for Kirchmann, and a third place for Will Routley in the MK Delta Criterium. The team’s wins and podiums came almost solely from competitive bunch sprints at the front of mostly shattered pelotons at all three days of racing.

Young’s second UCI victory of 2015 was the result of a well-timed team effort and a day’s worth of aggressive racing by the 6-man Superweek team, finished off by a leadout from Ryan Anderson and Scott Zwizanski. Anderson finished second, with time for a smile and a fist pump for his teammate’s win. As the only Superweek race with UCI status, White Spot | Delta is targeted intensely by the team each year. Young’s win defends Jesse Anthony’s title from 2014, and the 1-2 finish will add a much-appreciated chunk of UCI points to the team’s totals.

Leah Kirchmann (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) outsprints Shelley OLDS  (Ale-Cipollini) to win the Tour de Delta Brenco Criterium.

Leah Kirchmann (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) outsprints Shelley OLDS (Ale-Cipollini) to win the Tour de Delta Brenco Criterium.

Kirchmann added to a victory in Saturday’s Brenco Criterium with a runner-up finish in the UCI White Spot race, continuing a battle at Superweek with Shelley Olds of the Italian Ale-Cippolini team. Kirchmann got the best of Olds one day earlier in Brenco by a bike throw, and the duo, two of North America’s top sprinters, will be the rivalry to watch later this month in Paris at La Course by Le Tour de France. The small Delta team for the women was all-Canadian, with Lex Albrecht and Annie Ewart playing critical support roles in the win, covering a series of dangerous late race attacks and keeping Kirchmann safe through the final corners.

The BC Superweek series, known colloquially as the “fastest week in Canadian cycling” comprises eight days of road and criterium racing through colorful British Columbia. Big crowds, huge prize pots, and one final, intense tune-up before the second half of the season make the series a yearly highlight for the team.

The series continues with the UBC Grand Prix on July 14, running through the heart of the University of British Columbia.

Just a short hop south of British Columbia, Alison Tetrick won the Northern California state championship in the time trial discipline, adding to a recent string of solo local race victories, as she trains and rests on the west coast in preparation for the team’s upcoming Euro trip.

Eric Young
“Teamwork was paramount for the whole race, with us being outnumbered by the Silber team. Everyone did a great job of covering moves and making sure we were content with most of the breakaways throughout the day. I was able to sit in and conserve over the last few laps because of the aggressive riding by Zwizanski, Anderson, and Anthony, which helps me immensely to be fast at the finish. Zwiz, Routley, and Anderson did a killer job on the leadout – we were 1-2-3 with 500 meters to go, and 1-2 at the finish. Can’t ask for a better job done by my teammates.”

Leah Kirchmann
“The team really nailed the leadout at Brenco, which allowed me to take the win. Lex was covering attacks at the end and took the crowd prime. Annie did the perfect job guiding us through the final turns at the front, giving me a clean sprint to the line. We did a decent job of a lead out on Sunday, but I ended up sprinting the longer way around to the finish and I couldn’t close the gap on Shelly. I would not have the same sprint results without the help of my teammates!”

“BC Superweek is the premier week of racing in Canada in my eyes, attracting local and international talent. There is so much community involvement and support for every event which is great to see. I love that Superweek is also setting the bar in terms of gender equality. We receive amazing race coverage in the local news, along with equal race opportunities and equal prize money on the line. Racing the Tour de Delta offered a great confidence boost before heading back over to Europe for another tough block of racing.”

Ryan Anderson
“It’s always great racing at home! This week has been about getting some more racing in my legs and staying safe. I am happy I was able to help Young get a win, and the team had a great weekend as a whole. I am really happy with my form right now. Breaking my collarbone in Portugal was a big setback for me as my form was good when I crashed and it meant I had to miss the Tour of California, so that was not easy to take. But I hit reset and have been building my form back up steadily.”

Performance Director Eric Wohlberg
“The guys were attentive and making good choices all race long. Jesse was riding really well and we were hoping we could help him repeat his 2014 win, but Young had the best horoscope for today so we rode for him. Ryan and Scott made a key 13-man selection, and while we were happy with it, we weren’t going to be the main driving factor. After 2 laps, the move came back, and Jesse jumped on the very next counter and forced a very promising three man move with 20 km to go. A repeat was in the cards right up to 300m to go. Sensing that the move may get caught the guys stayed lined up and benefited from a very desperate chase driven by the other teams. Just as the break was absorbed, Will, Randy and Eric pounced with perfect timing to get us a 1,2 finish.”

Photos © Greg Descantes

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