Anderson Wins Tour de Delta Brenco Criterium
Anderson Returns from Europe to Win Tour de Delta Brenco Criterium ~ Canadian Olympic Alternate win’s women’s race at BC Superweek
Ryan Anderson competes in some of the biggest races in Europe with the Spider Tech professional cycling team run by Canadian legend Steve Bauer. The Vancouver native is coming off a strong showing at the Tour de Suisse.
Despite all that experience, he was still nervous about racing BC Superweek.
It just didn’t show on Saturday night.
Anderson won a sprint at the Brenco Criterium, claiming both the second stage and the overall leader’s jersey at the Tour de Delta with his late surge.
“This crowd feels like a race of Europe,” Anderson said. “I still get a bit nervous because I’m back home and racing in front of family and I want to do well.”
Australian Tommy Nankervis, riding for the Competitive Cyclist team run by three-time Canadian Olympian Gord Fraser, tried the same strategy won him last year’s race, attacking early, and leading through the final two corners. But Anderson was right behind, using him as a lead out coming out of the final corner, and jumping past for the win, completing 60 laps of the 0.9-kilometer circuit through the streets of the Ladner in one hour, 13 minutes and 27 seconds.
“I knew he was fast because of last year so I figured I could go from the final corner and as soon as I could get a gap I went as fast as I could,” Anderson said.
The biggest winner may have been the guy that finished 50th.
New Zealand’s James Williamson of Pure Black Racing won a massive $3,350 crowd preem – a bonus lap of prizes collected from the crowd – with four laps to go, exhausting himself so much he had to drop out.
“That’s definitely the most money I’ve ever made in one sprint,” Williamson said, adding it helped take the sting out of losing two teammates to a nasty crash earlier. “It doesn’t get much better for a crowd preem – anywhere.”
Anderson thought about the cash, but Nankervis, who dropped to third behind Steve Fisher of Hagen Berman Cycling, was focused only on a repeat win.
“We came here to win races.” Nankervis said. “The money is an incentive but that’s why they call it the gambler’s preem. Last year the [Team] Exergy guys did a full lead out for it and I won the race so I get to look back and say I had a nice win on my resume. It would have been nice to hang on for second tonight but I’ve still got a shot at the overall – it will be the first of me of Anderson to cross.”
Anderson was also focused on the overall, especially since it was a win at both the Brenco Criterium and Tour de Delta GC that helped set him up for his current role racing in Europe. Anderson won both in 2009 while racing for US-based Kelly Benefits, and said Saturday that was an important step in his career.
“That was big because then Kelly Benefits started believing in me and then I got opportunities, so this race has been a big stepping stone for me,” he said.
Now it helps him prepare for the upcoming return to the European pro peleton.
“This is a great way for me to come home, take a little break and get ready to go back over to Europe,” Anderson said.
If the men’s race helped Anderson get ready to go overseas, the women’s finish might help Steph Roorda forgot that she isn’t doing the same.
Roorda admits it wasn’t easy to get over being named an alternate to Canada’s Track Team for the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London, but improving on a second-place finish in the first stage of BC Superweek on Friday night by winning the 40-lap Brenco Criterium 24 hours later helped take some of the sting out.
“It was for sure disappointing to not be selected but it’s fun racing here and I have great teammates and a solid group to be racing with,” Roorda said of her Local Ride / Dr. Vie Superfoods squad. “Every day I get on the line I want to battle and I’m happy to be racing. It’s my favorite thing to do and when you train on the track you don’t actually get to do that much racing, so I’m happy to be here doing this.”
It also provides some training benefits in case Roorda gets called in to fill in at the Summer Games. She’ll certainly be prepared for late sprints after following up Friday’s second-place finish by outlasting Joanie Caron (Colavita-espnW Pro Cycling) and Jenny Lehmann (Trek Red Truck) down the final straightaway, finishing the flat 36-kilometer race in one hour and 24.1 seconds.
“The last lap, teammate Lisa [Howard] and I were set up third and fourth wheel and the Trek team started to move on the right and I said to Lisa ‘go’ and she was my lead out and she went as hard as she could and brought me to last corner and I just jumped from there,” Roorda said. “I knew if I was first around the last corner I had a really good shot at the win.”
It was the end of long night of battles between the local Trek Red Truck and Local Ride squads, which is ironic since Howard helped Lehmann get her start in competitive cycling through her Young Women’s Development Program.
“It was pretty animated. It’s always a battle between us and Local Ride, same as last year,” Lehmann said after her second-straight third-place finish. “Our team worked really well together, we were in every break, and it was launching attacks one after the other between us and we just came up a bit short. I managed to hop on Steph’s wheel, but just couldn’t come around her at the end.”
Roorda will wear the leader’s jersey as the Tour de Delta wraps up with the White Spot Road Race on Sunday morning. BC Superweek continues with the UBC Grand Prix on Tuesday, July 10, the Gastown Grand Prix on July 11, Giro di Burnaby July 12, and three race Tour de White Rock from July 13 to 15.
– 30 –
BC Superweek is Canada’s biggest cycling series, with $105,000 in prize money available during nine races over 10 days.
BC Superweek runs from July 6 through 15, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (races on July 6, 7, 8), Original 16 UBC Grand Prix (July 10), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 11), Giro di Burnaby (July 12) and the Tour de White Rock (races on July 13, 14, 15)
Learn more at www.bcsuperweek.ca