North Vancouver’s Ryan Anderson on the Podium to Start BC Superweek

Quebec City’s Lex Albrecht Edges 2012 Canadian Olympian Denise Ramsden

A spectacular summer Friday evening welcomed both fans and riders alike to the the opening of the 13th Annual Tour de Delta and the 3rd Annual MK Delta Lands Criterium.

Just over half of the 89 riders who started the men’s race finished the 48 kilometre trek through the streets around the Social Heart of North Delta. When it was all said and done, 13-year veteran Luis Amaran of Cuba (Jamis Hagens Berman) was atop the podium after breaking away from one of BC Superweek’s ambassadors, Ryan Anderson of North Vancouver (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), who finished second at last year’s Tour de Delta. It was a close finish, with just 1.1 seconds separating the two.

Amaran didn’t take command of the lead until two laps to go and stayed away a field that included Zach Bell of Whitehorse (Champion System), Australia’s Tommy Nankervis (BISSELL Pro Cycling), Calgarians Nic Hamilton (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) and Kris Dahl (Team H&R Block) plus Ken Hanson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies).

“We were a grouping of eight there for a while with the two Jamis Hagens Berman guys in the group,” Anderson said of Amaran and teammate Guido Palma. “I don’t think there was a whole lot else I could have done and I’m happy with the start to the week.”

Anderson is set to follow up on last year’s BC Superweek performance which saw him win the Brenco Criterium and finish second on Stage Two of the Tour de White Rock and the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix.

“I always hope that I can get on the podium at some point during the week so to do it on opening night is special and I hope to build on that,” said Anderson, who stresses that he won’t rest on his laurels. “I expect a lot out of myself for the rest of the week and my team. We have a very strong team here and we should be on the podium every night.”

24-year-old Tim Gebauer, who’s a member of Germany’s National Team, was third, just over 2-and-a-half seconds behind Amaran.

In the 36 kilometre women’s race, it was Lex Albrecht of NOW and Novartis for MS that found the extra gear – but not until right at the finish line.

The Quebec City native narrowly edged 2012 Canadian Olympian Denise Ramsden of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies to sport the yellow jersey as Tour de Delta leader.

The famous finish of the MK Delta Lands Criterium, which sees the riders only have less than 100m out of the final corner of the race to sprint to the line, took Albrecht by surprise.

“That finish line comes pretty fast after that last corner especially because it’s a downhill.”

The victory was extra special for Albrecht, being that it was on home soil.

“It’s special for me because with our team, I’m the only Canadian,” she expressed immediately after crossing the finish line in 53 minutes and 36 seconds. “It’s very cool for me to be able to do such a huge race like this at home and I’m really proud to be able to represent all the sponsors here.”

San Francisco’s Elle Anderson of Team Vanderkitten was third to the line, 2.2 seconds behind Albrecht and Ramsden.

The nine-race, $110,000 BC Superweek continues with the second stage of the Tour de Delta, the exciting Brenco Criterium, on Saturday night, before wrapping up with the White Spot Road Race on Sunday morning.

Full results here.