Ottawa’s Matteo Dal-Cin wins Choices Markets Criterium at Beverley by Cressey Presents Tour de White Rock

Matteo Dal-Cin has cycling in his blood – and it goes beyond a passion for the sport. His father competed for the Canadian National Team and the 24-year-old has been exposed to competitive racing for his entire life.

The family lineage is paying off for the Silber Pro Cycling rider as he broke away from the pack in the last third of the race and held on to win the Beverley by Cressey presents Tour de White Rock Choices Markets Criterium by two seconds ahead of German rider Florenz Knauer on Friday night.

It certainly appeared that Dal-Cin and his Silber teammates had an astute game plan heading into the race, one which they executed to near perfection.

“We were going to just try and monitor things early on and then start hitting it during the last third of the race and see what that got us,” explained the Ottawa native.

On a course in which it is difficult to cause a break, Dal-Cin was able to do just that and was confident in knowing that his teammates Ryan Roth, who has already won two races at BC Superweek this year, and Derrick St. Jean were in the group behind.

“I knew I had Ryan and Derrick in the group behind, getting a free ride, so that’s pretty much the perfect situation,” he said. “I just drilled it and if I had been caught, I knew one of them would be on the attack straight away.”

Knauer, who finished on the podium at the Choices Markets criterium for the fourth straight year after a third place finish last year, a second place finish in 2013 and a win in 2012, and his H&R Block Pro Cycling team tried to counter what Silber was doing – and it almost worked.

“The group was gone and we didn’t have anyone in the front, so I tried to bring (teammate) Garrett (McLeod) into the front group. And I came out in the group so I stuck there and had to keep the pace up,” said Knauer.

Finishing third was Slovenian Aldo Ilesic. He and teammate Daniel Holloway are the two lone riders from Team Alto Velo-SeaSucker, but have still managed to find their way on the podium at BC Superweek three times through eight races, including two wins. Ilesic feels that being shorthanded definitely played a role in the Choices Markets Criterium.

“It was only two of us and the course is really hard so having a bigger team was really important because there were just so many attacks going on all the time,” he said. “We just had to gamble, we had to pick the moves we were going to follow and at the end, it almost worked out, I got third and I’m happy about it. It’s all I’ve got – there’s nothing left in the tank at the finish line.”

The 30-year-old was strategic in making a move on the last lap.

“I was trying to force a move earlier, and then when it didn’t happen I just had to wait in the field and hope that it was going to get back,” said Ilesic. “I made a huge effort on the last lap and came back from something like 20th position to third, so we played the cards earlier and at the end we just took whatever we could take.”

After a fast, short race of 60 laps at one kilometre per, the riders now look forward to Saturday’s Peace Arch News Road Race. There’s no doubt that those who have been racing BC Superweek since last Friday are starting to feel it.

“My legs feel pretty tired after a whole week of cycling and the road race is pretty early in the morning, so I’m not used to that because most of the races are pretty late. But, we’ll see what’s in the legs and I’ll try as hard as I can,” added Knauer.

BC Superweek is Canada’s biggest professional road cycling series and features more than $120,000 in prize money available during eight races over nine days. BC Superweek runs from July 10 – 18, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 10, 11, 12), UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahony & Sons (July 14), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 15), Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Development (July 16) and Beverley by Cressey presents Tour de White Rock (July 17, 18).