Pictures: Scott Robarts Photography
Sara Bergen started the New West Grand Prix wearing the Canadian criterium national champion jersey and surrounded by her Rally Cycling teammates.
The combination of Rally’s hard work controlling the race and the confidence of the maple leaf jersey seemed to work. Bergen sprinted away from a breakaway group of three that included Australia’s Shannon Malseed (Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank) and Rise Racing’s Haley Gill to win the New West Grand Prix, the latest addition to BC Superweek series.
Sara Bergen rode a fast but controlled pace, smartly keeping her competition in sight. New West Grand Prix.
Kristi Lay out of the corner, followed by Alison Jackson. New West Grand Prix.
Racers kept a close eye on each other. Sara Bergen looks across to check on Alison Jackson. New West Grand Prix.
The three women that would stand on the podium at the end of the night. New West Grand Prix.
Sara Bergen takes the win. New West Grand Prix.
Your Women's Pro podium (l to r): Shannon Malseed, 2nd, Sara Bergen, 1st, Haley Gill, 3rd. New West Grand Prix.
New West Grand Prix was Bergen’s first race at BC Superweek after missing the three stage Tour de Delta while out with illness. “I am so disappointed to miss those first three races – hometown races,” the Rally rider said after Tuesday’s race, “but you’ve got to listen to your body and my body said take a lot of naps and eat a lot of cake, so that’s what i did.”
Having won her criterium title just two weeks ago in Saguenay, Quebec, Tuesday was the Vancouver, B.C. rider’s first appearance in the national champion jersey. “I’m so excited to be back and this is the first day in the maple leaf jersey,” Bergen said,” so glad I could represent!”
Next on Bergen’s Superweek schedule is Wednesday night’s Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix. “It’s always on my list, it’s a huge favourite – I can’t say enough. I live in Downtown Vancouver and raced it the last four years. With Rally Cycling coming in second and third last year so we’re excited for tomorrow, it’s gonna be a hell of a race.”
Up against Bergen and her Rally Cycling teammates will be last year’s Gastown winner, Kendall Ryan (Tibco-Silcon Valley Bank). Ryan had won three straight BC Superweek races leading into New West Grand Prix. The Australian will surely be looking to claim part of the $12,000 Gastown prize purse.
Held in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix boasts North America’s largest criterium pay-out. The challenging downtown crit pivots around a cobbled hairpin corner and is expected to draw a crowd of 30,000 fans and spectators.
Men’s Pro Race: New West Grand Prix – BC Superweek
In the Men’s Pro race, Florenz Knauer (Hermann Radteam) repeated his 2017 New West Grand Prix win. The German rider likely had a little extra sentimental motivation to repeat last years performance, as he celebrated that win by proposing to his girlfriend from the podium.
Knauer shared the 2018 New West Grand Prix podium with two Rally Cycling riders. Eric Young finished second, landing his fourth consecutive BC Superweek podium of 2018, with Rally teammate Brad Huff in third.
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Young’s second in New West adds to his wins in Friday’s North Delta Crit, Saturday’s Ladner Crit and his third place in Sunday’s White Spot Delta Road Race.