Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery dominates wet Preston Street Criterium

Derrick St. John celebrates winning the men's race in the 41st Preston Street Criterium. Photo by Bill Juillette

Derrick St. John celebrates winning the men’s race in the 41st Preston Street Criterium. Photo by Bill Juillette

The powerhouse Ottawa-based Stevens Racing presented by The Cyclery team took five out of six podium spots in the elite men’s and womens’ Preston Street Criterium on a cool and wet Father’s Day.

The racing got under way at under heavy rain, but the weather did little to dampen the riders’ enthusiasm: Each race, starting with the juniors, cadets and senior 3-4 event at 11 a.m. and finishing with the elite/master’s men’s event at 3 p.m., was packed with action from start to finish.

Full results are available on the Ontario Cycling Association website. Bike Race Ottawa would like to thank all of the volunteers, riders, spectators, sponsors and media for another successful year in the Preston Street bike racing tradition.

Elite women:

The women's podium: Annie Foreman-Mackey (middle), Audrey Bernard (right) and Catherine Dessureault. Photo by Bill Juillette.

The women’s podium: Annie Foreman-Mackey (middle), Audrey Bernard (right) and Catherine Dessureault. Photo by Bill Juillette.

With 2011 and 2012 winner Florence Laplante-Lamarche not on the start line, the women’s Preston Street Criterium was wide open. The strongest team on the start line was Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery and they wasted no time in forcing the pace, quickly whittling the field down to just seven contenders: Audrey Bernard, Catherine Dessureault, Annie Foreman-Mackey and Evelyne Gagnon from the Stevens team, against Karol-Ann Canuel (Vienne-Futuroscope), Stephanie Skoreyko (Infinit Nutrition) and Chantal Thompson (Madonna Wheelers Cycling Club).

The Stevens riders exploited their strength in numbers to send Foreman-Mackey up the road at about the half-way point. As Foreman-Mackey soloed to the win, Skoreyko and Canuel were forced to spend all their energy chasing, opening the door to a Stevens podium sweep as Bernard and Dessureault finished second and third respectively.

Women’s podium:

  1. Annie Foreman Mackey (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery)
  2. Audrey Bernard (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery)
  3. Catherine Dessureault (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery)

Elite men:

The men's podium: Derrick St. John (middle), Travis Samuel (right) and JS Perron. Photo by Bill Juillette.

The men’s podium: Derrick St. John (middle), Travis Samuel (right) and JS Perron. Photo by Bill Juillette.

The men’s race was fast from the start, with four former winners vying for victory. They included 2012 winner Ken Ng (RealDeal/Gears p/b Fieldgate), 2011 winner Matteo Dal-Cin (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery), 2009 winner Derrick St. John (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery) and 2008 winner Osmond Bakker (OCTTO/Cervelo). Also among the 63-rider field were strong teams from Ride With Rendall, Jet Fuel Coffee/Norco Bicycles, Opus Bikes/OGC and NIne2FivePro.com.

After a series of early attacks, 18-year-old Travis Samuel (Jet Fuel Coffee/Norco Bicycles) found himself alone off the front of the race, and St. John quickly bridged across. The two riders worked well together — despite Samuel being half St. John’s age — and gradually eked out a 30-second gap as the rain stopped and the roads began to dry out. With Jet Fuel and Stevens patrolling the front of the pack, none of the other teams were able to organize an effective chase. Finally, Simon Lambert-Lemay (Garneau/Quebecor), Warren MacDonald (Nine2FivePro.com), Bakker and Peter Morse (OCTTO/Cervelo) clawed the gap back to just 15 seconds with eight laps to go. But the chase fell to pieces as St. John and Samuel found their second wind, and the gap grew back up to 30 seconds.

St. John left nothing to chance, attacking Samuel with two laps to go and soloing in for his second Preston Street victory. Samuel hung on for second, and JS Perron (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery) rounded out the podium with a last-lap attack.

Men’s podium:

  1. Derrick St. John (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery)
  2. Travis Samuel (Jet Fuel Coffee/Norco Bicycles)
  3. Jean-Sébastien Perron (Stevens Racing p/b The Cyclery)
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