Whistler’s Will Routley, racing with Team Symmetrics, placed 19 th overall on the five-stage Tour of the Gila road race, one of the premier road events in North America. Routley was also the top Canadian.
Only two Symmetrics riders attended the event, Routley and 43 rd place Ryan Anderson, which put them at a disadvantage against the American and Mexican teams that were able to work together to keep riders in the lead peleton.
Routley’s top teammates, Svein Tuft and Zach Bell, were taking part in the Pan Am Track Championships in Venezuela, where Tuft won gold in the individual pursuit race. Although it should have been a victory for Canadian cycling, the win was overshadowed by some last minute scheduling by organizers that ensured Symmetrics would miss the scratch race. Some have alleged that the rescheduling was made to give a boost to South American riders, and on a post on Canadian Cyclist, Tuft called it a “fish situation” and a “major screw job.”
At the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico, Routley started off well, placing ninth on the first two days. He dropped back to 21 st on day three, climbed back to 14 th on day four, and finished 32 nd on the final day to rank 19 th in the general classification.
Despite losing a major sponsor at the end of last season — a successful season by all accounts with Tuft winning the North American tour title — the core Symmetrics team is hoping to stick together this year.
Routley now has a blog at www.willbikes.com.
Canadians on pace in World Cup
The third UCI cross country mountain bike World Cup race of the season took place in Madrid, Spain over the weekend, with Canada’s Marie-Helene Premont donning the leaders jersey after a second place finish behind Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa of Norway. Premont also won a silver medal in the previous race in Germany, and was third in the first race in Belgium. She now has 560 points, 80 points more than Chengyuan Ren of China, while Margarita Fullana of Spain is sitting in third.
Also racing in Madrid, Catherine Pendrel was ninth, Mical Dyck 27 th , Alison Sydor 32 nd , Wendy Simms 40 th , Sandra Walter 46 th and Amanda Sin 49 th .
On the men’s side Geoff Kabush was the top Canadian in 21 st , and he is now ranked 17 th overall. Seamus McGrath was 27 th .