// Home / Road / news

After racing in the individual time trial yesterday, Canada’s top U23 female athletes came back to Birds Hill Provincial Park to take part in the road race. Unlike week 1, the weather was not on their side and athletes faced cold and rainy conditions throughout the day, affecting some of the riders who finished the 80km race with a more significant time gap.

29 riders of different ages and abilities took the start and it wasn’t long before athletes got dropped by the pack, which was led by Ontario, Alberta and Quebec. During the second of six laps riders from Alberta, Quebec and BC went in the front and attempted to break away from the pack, creating a gap of almost 1 minute before being caught up by the main peloton.  With the course being flat and mostly straight, it was hard for riders to take a significant lead, and most teams had to change their strategy in the middle of the race.

Although stretched out, the peloton stayed together until the very last lap, at which point teams started getting more aggressive. The pace picked up as teams were preparing their top athlete for the final sprint in the final 500 meters of the race. In the end, Simone Boilard, who won a silver medal in the ITT yesterday, crossed the finish line first followed by Katherine Maine of Ontario and Anna Talman of Alberta.

Simone Boilard was beaming at the finish line, stating, “We knew at the start of the race that we had the strongest team, but I didn’t expect I would win. It was not a difficult race because it was flat but the rain made it harder. It was really a strategic race, so we are happy.”

Athletes highlighted the role their team played in their success, each squad working collectively to get one of their women on the podium. “The race was very aggressive and my team did really well. Everyone was supportive of each other and we got in every move. It didn’t quite come together at the end but we came pretty close so we’re all pretty happy,” said Katherine Maine.

Tomorrow, it will be the men’s turn to take on the 120 kilometer road race.