Cody Channing winning the elite race. Photo by Jonathan Foweraker.
Cody Channing winning the elite race. Photos by Jonathan Foweraker.

© Copyright – 2016 – Victoria Sports News

The weather was perfect, the crowds showed up and the racing was exciting. Today’s Russ Hay’s/Accent Inns Grand Prix was the culmination of three days of classic cycling. To top it, two cyclists were declared BC Criterium Champions – Sarah Bergen from Trek Red Truck Racing and Cody Canning from title sponsor Russ Hay’s/Accent Inns.

It was clean 1-2-3 sweep for the Russ Hay’s/Accent Inn Team with an exciting sprint to the finish, after a tight 50-lap race. Isaac LeBlanc, BC Road Racing Champion, came second and Amiel Flett-Brown third. “We lost control a lot of times,” said Canning. “But the team kept working together and Isaac gave an incredible effort.”

Sarah Bergen after her victory.
Sarah Bergen after her victory.

The women’s race was dominated by Coquitlam’s Sara Bergen, who took an early lead to riding solo for the last 15 laps of the 30-lap women’s elite race. With a 45 second lead by the last lap and lapping the field this was the first time in the race’s 25-plus history that a female has lapped the field. “I wasn’t expecting it as we’re always trying to ride aggressively,” Bergen said. “But it was a super awesome team effort.”

The pack, who remained tight through the race, had to fight for second and third place. Maggie Coles-Lyster of Team TaG, from Maple Ridge, came second just ahead of Vancouver’s Alysia Withers of Glotman Simpson Cycling Club

men's start

The Cameron Law Cycling Series included an elite ominium awarding points to top riders in the EnergyLab Dallas Road Time Trial, Cheemos Perogies Cycling Classic and Accent Inns/Russ Hay’s Grand Prix. The overall Robert Cameron Law Cycling Series orange jerseys were won by Women’s Team ATAC’s Jenna Gillick and Trek Red Truck’s Kyle Buckosky.

The day’s action also included the BC Masters Criterium Championship, non-elite and junior category races, the Victoria Volkswagen Celebrity Bike Relay and the ever-popular crowd-favourite Tim Hortons Timbits Challenge where more than 180 tykes on trikes or bikes (aged 3 to 10) took to the street.

“This whole weekend – with about 500 participants and coming at the heels of Bike to Work Week – showcases the popularity and strength of Victoria’s cycling community,” said Jon Watkin, Race Director. “On the roads, on the trails, at the Juan de Fuca velodrome, we’re seeing not only the weekend warriors and commuters, but Canada’s next Olympians, Paralympians and other international stars.

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