Karol-Ann Canuel time trialled to Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team’s final national title of the week in Ottawa, Ontario on Tuesday. The 29-year-old covered the hilly course more than a minute faster than Team Sunweb’s Leah Kirchmann in second place. The win is Canuel’s second of the season and her second Canadian time trial title. It is the sixth national championships victory for Boels-Dolmans.
“I was really bummed to lose the jersey last year,” said Canuel. “It’s so nice to get it back. I would have been really disappointed if I hadn’t, especially in front of my family and my friends.”
The 2017 Canadian Road Championships were held near Canuel’s hometown of Gatineau. Her supporters turned out in full-force, and her partner drove her follow car over the 26-kilometre out-and-back-route.
“The course was really, really hard,” said Caneul. “It was rolling with some climbs, which made it hard to pace. I wanted to go harder in the climbs, to make up time there, and recover on the downhill, but I also wanted to push good power throughout the rolling sections.”
Canuel caught her minute (wo)man at the eight kilometre mark.
“That scared me a little bit,” she said. “I worried I was going to pay for it later, but there was more downhill on the way back than the way out, and I was able to use that to recover.”
The final rider to race, Canuel stopped the clock at 38:37, handily beating Kirchmann by 1:18. Sara Poidevin (Rally) rounded out the podium at 1:24.
“Maybe if I had a do-over I would go smoother at the start, but I won today, so that’s enough,” she said. “I’m happy I won and that I had a good day.
“I want to give a special thank you to [partner] Shawn [Clarke],” Canuel added. “He was really great in the car behind me. He helped me pace and kept me motivated. He was awesome today.”
Four hours after her race finished, Canuel was on a plane bound for Italy. She’ll debut her new speedsuit at the Giro Rosa, which begins on Friday.