This year’s Jeremy’s Roubaix race didn’t look like other years. There was social distancing, special rules and racing against a backdrop of fall colours. Despite the changes, race director Barry Lyster says the event (which is normally held in the spring) was a success.
Jeremy’s Roubaix is named after Canadian cycling icon Jeremy Storie. He was a coach, director, team manager, event organizer and an advocate for the rights of all cyclists, particularly women and juniors. Suffering from depression, Storie died by suicide in 2013. “Today is a reminder that depression is out there, just like COVID-19. Let us take care of ourselves and each other,” said Lyster.
A fall Roubaix
The race took place on Oct. 25, a cool, crisp, sunny day in the farmlands of the City of Pitt Meadows, B.C.. Close to 80 riders signed up race laps of the 10km circuit.
The first cohort of racing started at 8:30 a.m. with the Open Women and Category 4 Men’s 80km race. Braden Kersey of the Victoria Wheelers broke away early from the group to win the Cat 4 Men’s race. The women’s race was won by local Maple Ridge B.C. sisters Maggie Coles-Lyster of DNA Pro Cycling (first of the Elite women) and Kaelen Coles-Lyster of Local Ride Racing (first of the Category 4 women).
This was the first race since February for Maggie Coles-Lyster who, in a normal year, would be competing internationally. “ It was so nice to see everybody, from a distance of course,” she said. “Jeremy coached me when I was 13 and although it was only for a short time, his knowledge and passion for the sport helped make me the rider I am today. I am honoured to ride a race in his name and in my home community.”
After a short break, the day’s second cohort, Elite Men and Master Men 40+, took to the roads. The socially distanced on-lookers and local residents were treated to an exciting second event. The Master Men’s race saw an early break when Michael Wegner of Langlois Brown Racing and Scott Goguen of United Cycling, got away. Eventually the power in the peloton reeled them in and Vincent Marcotte of Langlois Brown Racing won the race in a bunch sprint across the line.
The Elite men’s full field of racers let loose their pent up cycling energy early into their 100 km race to shred the field with an eventual break of 3 riders staying away. In the end it was Matt Usborne who took the solo win. Usborne is a long time racer and current Cycling BC Board Chair who remembers Jeremy and the early incarnation of this race. “I remember when this event was called Harris Roubaix – raced in typical BC spring weather,” he says. “I had just finished the 1/2 race and couldn’t feel my fingers or toes. I was miserable. I bumped into Jeremy in the parking lot – he had won the cat 3 race (I think) and he was just as cold and wet, but with a huge grin on his face, celebrating overcoming the adversity of the course and the day. This race is such a great way to remember Jeremy, a man who played such a role in the development of so many athletes and contributing immensely to the BC racing scene. I feel very privileged to have been able to even pin on a number in this crazy year. To be able to put on such a well-run event, and hopefully pave the way for future events in these challenging circumstances is a great tribute to Jeremy.”
Elite Women 1,2,3
1. Maggie Coles-Lyster—DNA Pro Cycling
2. Helena Broomham— Fluevog’s Crit Nasty
3. Fiona Majendie— Red Truck Racing P/B Mosaic Homes
Elite Men 1,2,3
1. Matt Usborne
2. Thomas Shellenberg—TaG Cycling Race Team
3. Nicholas Monette—Mighty Riders
Master Men 40+
1. Vincent Marcotte Langlois—Brown Racing
2. Jon Bula Bicicletta—Factory Racing
3. Jay Delaney—Lost Boys Hit Squad
Cat 4 Women
1. Kaelen Coles-Lyster—Local Ride Racing
2. Kira Pedersen
3. Mathilde Roldan—U Kon Echelon, Team Squamish
Cat 4 Men
1. Braden Kersey—Victoria Wheelers
2. Erik Haaheim
3. Noah Rubuliak—Giant Off Road Team