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Jackson wins 2021 elite women’s Canadian national championship

Ruby West crosses first in the U23 category

Photo by: Cycling Canada

Sunday’s battle for the Elite women’s maple leaf jersey played out between Alison Jackson (Liv Racing)—who also won the time trial on Saturday—and cyclocross national champion Maghalie Rochette (Specialized Racing). In the end, Jackson took the win, with Rochette finishing second and Rally Cycling’s Sara Poidevin coming in third.

Like Rochette, Ruby West, the U23 champion, also comes from a cyclocross background. The Ontario cyclist, who finished tenth overall in the Elite/U23 women’s race, recently also started training on the track after being recruited by the Canadian NextGen program.

Elite/U23 women

After a delayed start to the event, a crash on a gravel segment just seven kilometres into the 114.6 km women’s race took down a number of riders. By the first 10 kilometres, the peloton had split.

Fifty-one riders started, but a lead group of 14 riders pushed far ahead and would not be caught by the bunch for the rest of the race. Jackson, Rochette, West and Poidevin were joined at the front by continental pros such as Olivia Baril (Massi Tactic Women Team), Marie Soleil Blais (who was riding as an independent competitor), Frédérique Larose-Gingras and Laury Milette (Macogep Tornatech Girondins de Bordeaux), Gillian Ellsay and Holly Henry (Instafund Racing). Emily Marcolini, who races with 3T/Q+M was also in the group.

The front group also included some newer faces who spiced up the race, such as Yael Klein (Dundas Valley Velo), 19-year-old Team Quebec rider Adele Normand and Clara Emond, who was racing independent.

Forty kilometres in, Jackson and Ellsay attacked the lead group as they hit the Lac-Etchemin climb the first time and, while Ellsay eventually fell back to the group, Rochette was able to bridge up to Jackson. The pair held off the chase group with a solid gap fluctuating between two to three minutes.

The chase group eventually split into two around 80km in, diminishing their chances of catching the leading two riders. As the riders concluded their final of two circuit laps Jackson attacked Rochette, managing to hold her off until the finish.

With Jackson and Rochette solidly set on the podium, the race became a push for third as both chase groups merged back together with 10 kilometres to go.

Jackson crossed the line in 3:12:43 and Rochette finished two minutes and 17 seconds later. Poidevin secured her spot on the podium with a time of 3:19:13.

The fight for the U23 national championship came down to the line, with West crossing just one second ahead of Milette and Normand finishing seconds later.

Elite Women

1 Alison Jackson (BC) Liv Racing WT, 3:12:43
2 Maghalie Rochette (QC) Specialized Racing at 2:17
3 Sara Poidevin (AB) Rally Cycling, 6:30
4 Marie Soleil Blais (QC) Indépendant, 7:11
5 Olivia Baril (QC) Massi Tactic Women Team, ”
6 Emily Marcolini (ON) 3T/Q+M, 7:13
7 Frederique Larose Gingras (QC) Macogep Tornatech Girondins De Bordeaux, 7:15
8 Clara Emond (QC) Independent, 7:19
9 Yael Klein (ON) Dundas Valley Velo, 7:27
10 Ruby West (ON) Independent, 7:31


1 Ruby West (ON) Independent, 3:20:14
2 Laury Milette (QC), Macogep Tornatech Girondins de Bordeaux, 3:20:15
3 Florence Normand (QC), Macogep Tornatech Girondins de Bordeaux,3:20:18