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Gallery: Canadian Masters start snowy Silver Goose weekend on the podium

Pan-Am masters first championship titles to be awarded in Midland, Ont.

A snowy Day 1 of Silver Goose racing is underway and already Canadians have earned several Pan Am championship titles.

Canada’s masters racers are making good use of all those days they walked to school uphill, both ways, in a snowstorm*, to earn Pan-Am wins and podiums in categories from 35-44 all the way up to 65+.

The women’s 55+ and men’s 65+ events were the first championship races of the day, after early morning youth and sportif racing. Laird James and Patricia Konantz were the first Canadians to kiss the Silver Goose and wear a Pan Am jersey. James won the 65+ men’s race, while Konantz won the 55+ women’s championship. In the women’s 45-54 championship race, New York’s Marit Sheffield finished ahead of Ontario’s Marcie Girouard.

Masters Women – 2019 Silver Goose Pan-American Cyclocross Championships

Sarah Gilchrist of Edmonton, Alta. was the next to take a championship title for the home team. Gilchrist led a Canadian sweep of the women’s 35-44 championship race, ahead of Kathy Eggenberger (Ont.) and Caitlin Callaghan (Alta.).

In the women’s 45-54 race, New Jersey’s Stacey Barbossa bested Calgary’s Alana Heise and Ontario’s own Lisa Holmgren by a narrow 13 second margin.

The men’s 55-64 category went to the Americans, with New York’s August Andrew leading a quartet of visitors. Robert Orange of Quebec was the top Canadian finisher, 31 seconds behind Andrew in second.

In men’s 45-54, it was Canada’s turn to sweep the podium. Jean-Francois Blais (Que.) takes the win, and Pan-American championship, after a close race with Robert Holmgren (Ont.). Vancouver Island’s Sean Lunny completed the sweep in third.

Masters Men – 2019 Silver Goose Pan-American Cyclocross Championships

Jake Wells of Colorado is the winner of the men’s 35-44 championship category. Frederic Auger of Quebec was the top Canadian finisher in sixth.

Saturday’s racing continues with the UCI C2 races for junior men, elite women and elite men. Championship racing for the elite, under-23 and junior men and women will take place Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. It will be the first time Pan-American championships will include a junior women’s category.

*This author also walked to school in many snowstorms, though it was a mostly flat route, and can’t wait for that to start paying off on the cyclocross course.