German National Team Member Tim Gebauer Claims Tour de White Rock Criterium
Team NOW and Novartis for MS Continues Dominance of BC Superweek
Tim Gebauer (National Team Germany) broke free of the pack to win the Tour De White Rock’s Choices Market Criterium on Saturday night, finishing five seconds in front of countryman Florenz Knauer (Team Baier Landshut) and Australian Tommy Nankervis (BISSELL Pro Cycling Team).
Gebauer, who was part of the pack that saw 2012 USA National Criterium Champion Ken Hanson break away with six and a half laps to go, finished the hilly 30-lap, 60 kilometre course in one hour, ten minutes and one second. Hanson looked like he would cruise to victory before falling to the back of the group for an undisclosed reason, much to the surprise of everyone in attendance.
“I felt good for all of the race, I was at the front and attacking,” Gebauer said. “At the end, I raced away and it’s very good for me and our team.”
For Knauer, the podium is becoming a familiar place at BC Superweek as the 24-year-old has made five straight appearances in the top three this year. The Lisberg, Germany product was second in Friday’s Hill Climb, he won the Giro di Burnaby on Thursday and finished third in Wednesday’s Gastown Grand Prix and Tuesday’s UBC Grand Prix.
“One of my teammates made a good chop for me on the hill on the last step,” Knauer expressed. “That move helped me win the sprint from the peloton.”
Knauer is also getting used to having little recovery time. After being in the last heat in the Hill Climb yesterday and then having to race it again less than ten minutes later, he and all the riders now have to get ready for a 9 a.m. start in Sunday’s Tour de White Rock Road Race. Knauer’s confident he’ll be good to go.
“I hope so, yesterday’s Hill Climb was so hard, I felt so bad today,” Knauer added. “During the race though, I got better and better.”
The second place finish ensures that Knauer goes into the final day of the Tour de White Rock wearing the leader’s jersey.
Nankervis first came to BC Superweek in 2005 to jump start his professional road cycling career, and returned in 2011 to win the Tour de Delta Brenco Criterium, 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 Brenco Criterium. He’s been there this year too, with another third place finish at Brenco Criterium.
“I got pretty lucky in the end, usually this race goes to a breakaway, especially because there’s a couple of really strong teams here and they like to do a bit of blocking,” Nankervis explained. “It’s a pretty easy course to get out of sight down the finish straight, so I kept pushing and pushing, hoping for something to go and nothing would. Then we got in a move with about three to go and Tim had a bit of a gap and the rest of us hesitated for a minute and as the bunch was catching up to us, I started my sprint down the bottom of the hill and got passed by Florenz.”
Fans in White Rock could be forgiven if they thought they were seeing a replay of Friday’s Homelife Realty Hill Climb on Saturday at the Choices Markets Criterium as Team NOW and Novartis for MS swept the podium for the second straight day at BC Superweek.
Devon Gorry of Logan, Utah and Robin Farina from Nashville broke away from the pack close to midway through the 30 kilometre race and managed to maintain the lead the rest of the way. In third place, eight seconds back was their teammate Lauren Rauck Komanski from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The finish ensured that Rauck Komanski would wear the Tour de White Rock leader’s jersey heading into Sunday’s final day.
“Maura (Kinsella) and Olivia (Dillon) started it off making it hard (for the field), getting out front early, people had to chase and then once they got caught, we attacked again,” Gorry said. “Robin and I got off and she was working hard pulling me along, cheering me on. It’s definitely a team win, all the other girls on the team made it hard for people to chase us.”
The NOW and Novartis for MS team’s goal, which was founded by Phil Keoghan, host of “The Amazing Race”, is to show the world that multiple sclerosis does not define those living with the disease. With results like the team is having at 2013 BC Superweek, it’s safe to say more and more people are becoming aware of their cause.
“The fans were great, lots of cheers kept us going,” Gorry added. “It’s a great crowd out here and we thank the organizers for putting on a fantastic race.”
Farina, who owns a bike shop in Charlotte, North Carolina which also serves as a training center where she coaches riders, made her fourth appearance on the podium at BC Superweek.
“Robin’s usually on the top step of the podium, she’s our team captain,” smiled Gorry, who’s had six podium finishes herself in 2013. “We were both working really hard and she said, ‘You have this one today’. She still gave me a little sprint, but just wanted to make me work hard at the end. It was definitely a team effort and a team win.”
Overall NOW and Novartis for MS has 12 podium appearances as a team during BC Superweek.
“We’re really happy, we’ve been here all week, this is our second to last race, we’ll be here one more day and then head to the Cascade Cycling Classic,” said Farina. “We really use these races to kind of learn how to ride some crits together better and get dialed in before one more stage race.”
“Everybody’s contributed really well this week, so we try to share the love and that comes from attacking and counter-attacking and keeping it aggressive.”
The nine-stage $110,000 BC Superweek and the 34th Tour de White Rock both wrap up with the Peace Arch News Road Race on Sunday morning.