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Chaddock meets Routley in Delta tour

Whistler cyclists enjoying break-through seasons



While Whistler has grown accustomed to seeing the name Will Routley on various leaderboards, it was another Whistler rider who took the Tour de Delta by storm last weekend.

Ben Chaddock, riding for Team Rubicon-Orbea, placed first in the men's prologue. He edged out national time trial champion Svein Tuft. Routley placed fourth while riding for Team Jelly Belly, presented by Kenda.

Chaddock followed that result with a tie for fourth place in the criterium while keeping pace with the chase group. Routley's group dropped behind and was two seconds back at the finish.

The road race was up next. Chaddock placed ninth in that event in 3 hours,18 minutes, 53 seconds, 10 seconds off the lead pace. Routley was 11 th , just 0.3 seconds back of Chaddock.

Chaddock finished his weekend ranked fifth in the general classification with a combined time of 4:36:57. Routley was one spot back in sixth in 4:37:02.

Chaddock, better known for his career as a ski racer, started to get into cycling while in college and spent the last two seasons racing with the Whitman College team in Washington, one of the top NCAA teams in the U.S.

He's had some good results in the last few years, and started to attract the attention of pro cycling teams. In 2009 he rode for Team Cannondale-Westwood. This year he was recruited by Team Rubicon-Orbea. It's been a different experience racing with the team, said Chaddock, who was keen to play any role he could. He now cycles full time, while holding down a part-time job based on his environmental economics degree from Whitman.

"I had pretty poor form at the start of the season while coming out of school, so I played a supporting role for the first couple of weeks," he said. "At the (Tour of America's) Dairyland (in late June) I was able to contribute my sprint. Then we went to St. Louis for two criteriums (at the Tour de Grove) and I was able to place second in the first one, which blew my mind because I was up against Brad Huff (Team Jelly Belly) who is one of the top sprinters in North America right now."

Chaddock also won the first stage of the 2010 Tour of Wall Walla in Washington this season and was solid through the next few stages before a mechanical problem cost him a shot at an overall result.

While he's working on improving his performance over longer distances he says his sports background is better suited for prologues, sprints and criteriums.

"My skiing physiology is for intense three or four minute efforts which is why in the last few years I've aimed to do well in the prologues," he said.

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