2013 BC Superweek Riders to Watch

A number of pro cycling’s best set to tackle the roads of Metro Vancouver

The fastest week in Canadian cycling kicks off Friday, July 5, as BC Superweek gets underway with the Tour de Delta ­– the first of nine races over 10 days.

With $110,000 on the line and some of the top Canadian cyclists and professional American teams, the racing figures to be fast-paced and exciting from start to finish line. Below is a list of the top riders coming into BC Superweek, though if history has taught us anything, it’s to never count out top locals. Many of them now on this list are returning pros after catching the eye of team directors at past races.

MEN’S FIELD

Zach Bell

Champion System

Bell is the 2013 Canadian Elite Men’s National Road Race champion and also represented Canada at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, finishing seventh in Beijing in the men’s points race and 12th in the men’s madison. He was eighth in the men’s omnium in London last summer. The 30-year-old already has four victories in 2013.

Christian Meier

Orica-GreenEDGE

Meier is one of three Canadians to complete this past May’s Grio d’Italia as a member of ORICA-GreenEDGE out of Australia. The 28-year-old from Sussex, New Brunswick has had a strong showing this year, finishing first in both the Sprints classification and Special sprints classification at the 2013 Volta a Catalunya in March, and third overall at the Tour de Beauce just last month in Quebec. He finished first in the road race at the 2012 Tour de White Rock as part of last year’s BC Superweek.

Will Routley

Accent Jobs Wanty

Routley is in the midst of a third season racing professionally in Europe. He turned 30 on May 23rd and is coming of an impressive fifth place showing at the Canadian Nationals Road Race last month. Routley has been outstanding in the past at BC Superweek. The Whistler product won the first stage of the 2008 and 2011 Tour de White Rock as well as the first stage of the 2009 Tour de Delta.

Ryan Anderson

Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies

Born in Edmonton, this is Anderson’s fifth season on the professional cycling circuit and first with Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies. A product of the Victoria Academy of Cycling, the 25-year-old wore the Climbers Jersey for 4 stages of the 2010 Tour of California and was a Silver medallist at the 2005 and 2009 Canadian National Road Championships. Locally, he won stage 2 of the 2012 Tour de Delta on the way to a runner-up finish overall and finished second at the Gastown Grand Prix and on Stage 2 of the Tour de White Rock.

Sebastian Salas

Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies

Salas is in his second year with the Minnesota-based Team after earning a contract with an impressive showing at BC Superweek in 2011. Last year, the 25-year-old Vancouverite won the King of the Mountain Jersey as the top climber at the Tour of California, one of the biggest races in North America.

Ken Hanson

Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies

After back-to-back wins at BC Superweek last year in the Gastown Grand Prix and Giro di Burnaby, Hanson looks for another solid showing in 2013. The 31-year-old from San Diego is having another good year, with no fewer than seven stage wins or podium appearances. Along with teammates Anderson and Salas, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies is one Team to keep an eye on throughout BC Superweek.

Nic Hamilton

Jelly Belly p/b Kenda

26-year-old Hamilton was part of Team Canada’s third place finish two weeks ago at the Tour de Beauce. The Calgarian is part of Team Canada’s Tier 3 National Road Team and the only Canadian member of the Jelly Belly p/b Kenda pro team. He’s spent much of his three year professional career racing in China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.

Ben Chaddock

Team SmartStop p/b Mountain Khakis

Chaddock, a Whistler native with a downhill skiing background, burst onto the scene by knocking off Svein Tuft in the Tour de Delta Prologue in 2010, raising eyebrows in the cycling community. He overcame a serious form of childhood asthma to excel in cycling, which he discovered while at college in Washington’s Whitman College. The 28-year-old won the Canadian Criterium Championship in Quebec last year.

Tommy Nankervis

BISSELL Pro Cycling Team

The Australian first came to BC Superweek in 2005 to jumpstart his professional road cycling career, and returned in 2011 to win the second-stage of the Tour de Delta, beating multiple-time BC Superweek winner Andrew Pinfold in a late sprint. Nankervis was back on the podium last year, taking second place at the Giro di Burnaby and third place at the Tour de Delta.

WOMEN’S FIELD

Gillian Carleton

Team Specialized-lululemon

Carleton won bronze at last year’s London Olympics in the team pursuit with Tara Whitten and Jasmin Glaesser. The 24-year-old is in her first road season as professional rider and member of the Specialized-lululemon professional women’s team. She celebrated her first UCI victory in May, taking the win in Stage 5 of the inaugural Tour Languedoc Roussillon in the south of France. Despite competing around the world, Carleton is still active in BC’s cycling community, citing that she loves to organize local races in her hometown of Victoria.

Joëlle Numainville

Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies

A member of last year’s Canadian Olympic team, Numainville finished 12th in the Women’s road race in London. The 25-year-old from Laval comes into BC Superweek on a roll as she captured both the Canadian National Time Trial and Road Race Championships last month in Saint-Georges, QC. In fact, Numainville hasn’t been off the podium in 2013, with second place finishes in the Philadelphia Cycling Classic, Chrono Gatineau and the Grand Prix cycliste de Gatineau.

Leah Kirchmann

Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies

Kirchmann is another marquee rider in the women’s field at BC Superweek. The 23-year-old was second only to teammate Numainville at the Canadian National Road Race Championships last month and also finished fifth at the Canadian National Time Trial Championships. Kirchmann also won silver at the Pan Am Championships – Road Race last year. She’s been on the podium with no worse than second place finishes in four out of five races this year. The Winnipeg native is a three-time Canadian Criterium National Champion (2013, 2011, 2010).

Lex Albrecht

Team NOW and Novartis for MS

Albrecht is one professional athlete who doesn’t mind using her stature for a good cause. As a member of the NOW and Novartis for MS team, the Barrie, Ontario product and fellow NOW (No Opportunity Wasted) riders are on a mission to further awareness and deepen understanding about Multiple Sclerosis. Albrecht was the 2012 Champion of Québec, 2011 Canadian Vice-Champion and has represented Canada at the World Championships. Her most recent podium finish was winning the Grand Prix Granby in May.

Rhae Shaw

Vanderkitten Athletics

A former elite triathlete who spent 12 years as a technical advisor to the CEO of Microsoft before making the jump to full-time professional cycling three years ago, Shaw is coming off an overall win at the Second Ascent Ballard Criterium in Seattle last month and a third place finish at the Redlands Bicycle Classic in California this past April. The 38-year-old 2012 Canadian Criterium Champion has four podium finishes in 2013. She was also seventh at the 2011 UCI Road World Championships Time Trial.

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