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Routley wins B.C. Cup opener

Whistler cyclists open season on road and trail

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Whistler’s Will Routley kicked off his B.C. Cup road racing season last week with a win in the top category at the Harris Roubaix Classic in Pitt Meadows, aided by his teammates on Symmetrics Cycling. He also finished third in the time trial the day before.

Routley had a breakout season on the road last year, winning a B.C. Cup, finishing third among espoirs in the Canadian championships, placing third overall in the Tour de White Rock, and finishing first among espoirs in the international Grand Prix Cycliste de Beauce stage race in Quebec – to name just a few.

With the Symmetrics team getting even stronger this year with a few key additions, and Routley training at an even higher level than last year, he is feeling good coming into the season.

"I was in California for about five weeks, doing some pretty tough races. I got sick before the final race that I really wanted to do well in, which was kind of disappointing, so I was pretty psyched to come back to B.C. and win the Harris Roubaix," said Routley. "The team pretty much dominated in that race, which helped."

The road race consisted of 11 laps of a 9.5 km course that included about 3 km of gravel riding.

The Symmetrics team led the pack from the very beginning, dropping back just once as a member of the team flatted on the gravel. The entire team waited, then chased their way back to the front, before finally breaking away from the group. Symmetrics, led by Routley, claimed the top-five spots, as well as seventh, 12 th and 15 th .

"The team jelled really well, everyone is highly motivated, and really racing together. We’re generally happy as long as someone in a Symmetrics jersey wins the race, and that means we work together and share the wins – this was my turn to win. I had the legs and was feeling good, and it made sense to give it to me because one of my goals is to win the B.C. Cup title, and I’m doing all the races to get points for that. We ended up with almost all of the points anyway, but it was a good start."

Routley leaves this Saturday for the Tour de Georgia, where he will compete with Symmetrics against four of the top teams in the world – including the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling team anchored by Lance Armstrong.

"They’re all really long races, all of them over 200 kilometres – which is usually good for me, although it is a bit early in the season. I’m training to peak later in the summer for the nationals, the Super Series (Tour de Gastown, Tour de Delta, Tour de White Rock), and the Grand Prix de Beauce," said Routley.

After that it’s off to Argentina, where Routley is one of three espoir racers representing Canada at the PanAm Games.

"I was away for five weeks, home for two weeks, and I’m gone for more than three weeks – it’s a good thing that everyone on the team is good friends, or I might get homesick," he said.

Sometimes home comes to him – at the Harris Roubaix, Routley was joined by his father, Tony Routley, and several other riders from Whistler.

Lloyd Thomas, riding for the Sugoi/Giant team, finished ninth in Category 1/2. Michael Boehm and Matt Bodkin, riding for the Whistler Bike Co., finished first and 13 th respectively in Category 3. Ryan Watts, riding for Sugoi/Giant, was seventh in the same category, while Tony Routley, riding for Floraglo/Norco was ninth.

Dave Burch was taken out in a crash.

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