Guillaume Boivin counterattacked Antoine Duchesne in the final quarter of Saturday’s elite men’s road race at the Canadian National Championships in Beauce Country, QC and soloed over 50 km to victory to earn his second elite title. Carson Miles of the Tag Cycling Race Team was the U23 champion.
The men took on the same course as the Junior women, with five laps of the 18-km circuit, each with a climb to Lac Etchemin, instead of one for a total of 199 km.
There were 65 elite men and 59 U23 men on the start line. The WorldTour had representation in new time trial champion Hugo Houle (Astana-Premier Tech), 2015 road champ Guillaume Boivin (Israel Start-up Nation) and 2018 champ Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ). The trio was poised at the front at the start line. Reigning champ Adam de Vos was not in the Beauce Country to defend his title.
Immediately five riders skipped clear and were reinforced with four more. Included was Alexis Cartier, who just missed out on the podium in 2019. Houle lit out after them and the injection of pace fragmented the peloton. Friday’s chrono runner-up Alex Cowan was in a third group behind Houle, Boivin and Duchesne’s chase.
On Lap 1 of 5 the gap was still over a minute. The Houle, Boivin and six others reeled in the fugitives. Duchesne and Cowan were able to link up too.
By the end of Lap 2 there was little chance that the elite and U23 winners were in the 14-strong leading group.
Lap 4 saw Houle, U23 Carson Miles and others begin to lose contact. Duchesne and Boivin carried on in a sextet. Houle did the majority of work in his chase group but the gap grew.
After another rider dropped away, Duchesne and Boivin had to start thinking about how to beat Derek Gee, who was third in Saturday’s time trial, Alexis Cartier and BC’s Alexander Fraser-Maraun. On Lap 5‘s climb to Lac Etchemin Duchesne tried to take his leave, and as soon as Tony the Tiger was tamed, Boivin counterattacked. With 51 km to go, Boivin forced a gap.
The Israel Start-up Nation rider, recently 34th in the WorldTour Benelux Tour, headed back to Sainte-Georges with a minute’s lead. Duchesne attacked the chase group and would finish runner-up. For the second day in a row Derek Gee rounded out the podium.
Saturday was Boivin’s third national title: two elite men’s road race championships and one U23 road race trophy.
— Cycling Canada (@CyclingCanada) September 11, 2021
The final day of the Canadian nationals on Sunday will hold road races for para-athletes, along with the Junior men and elite and U23 women.
Elite Men Road Race
1) Guillaume Boivin (Israel Start-up Nation) 4:53:03
2) Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ) +2:24
3) Derek Gee (XSpeed United) +4:09
U23 Road Race
1) Carson Miles (Tag Cycling Race Team) 5:03
2) Thomas Schellenberg (Tag Cycling Race Team) +6:18
3) Eric Inkster (Gsc Blagnac Velo Sport 31) +7:00