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Carmen Small (Twenty16 – ShoAir) won the Chrono Gatineau on Friday, stopping the clock at 15:36 following the 11.5 kilometre effort. It is the second win of the season for Small, who won the time trial at the Pan American Championships in early May.
“It’s a relief,” said Small. “It’s been an up-and-down year for me — a lot of emotional stuff and the transition from road to track and back to road again has been tough. I haven’t had any consistency —not in training but in racing. Every time I race, have no idea what to expect, no idea how it’s going to go. Now I know I have fitness.”
“All the big hitters were here,” said Small, commenting on the quality of the field. “We had the Ukrainian, who was second at the World Championships last year. Tara Whitten is here, and she’s back to try to go to the Olympics next year. All the Velocio girls are really strong. Amber Neben was here. I’d say it’s the best field we’ve seen here since 2012 – the last Olympic year.”
Small was eight seconds quicker than French-Canadian Karol-Ann Canual (Velocio-SRAM) in second place. Chrono Gatineau defending champion Tayler Wiles (Velocio-SRAM) rounded out the podium with a time just two one-hundredths of a second slower than her teammate.
“I didn’t know how I would feel after the road race of yesterday but I was really excited to race at home and for sure it was extra motivation,” said Canual, “I think the field was really good. Carmen just had great nationals and won PanAm Championships, so she is going strong right now so to finish at eight seconds to her is satisfying.The field in both races was quite strong.”
“I am happy with the result,” said Wiles. “Of course I wanted to defend my title but I was happy to make podium and also to have KA on the podium with me. I think the field at Gatineau this year was really good, I was happy to see more depth this year as I love this race and really hope it continues to grow each year.
The Chrono Gatineau route borrowed heavily from the city circuit used in yesterday’s road race. Run over wide roads, most riders were able to pedal through the numerous corners on course.
“The course was always up or down,” said Small. “It’s not a flat course. It’s technical in the sense that there were a few out and backs, and it’s a super short course. The last time I did this race was 2013, and we did two laps then. One lap is much different.”
While Small traveled to Gatineau without teammates, she was full of praise for the team support that she said contributed to her winning result.
“The team has been great,” said Small. “They’ve been super supportive, and they got me well-organised to get up here and make it happen. [General manager] Nicola (Cranmer) and [team director] Mari Holden aren’t here, but they’ve worked hard behind the scenes. My mechanic James was outstanding today. I had a lot of encouragement. It’s great to have such good support for the team.”
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