A busy stretch of nationals racing came to a close on Monday with the Canadian criterium championships, and Rally UHC Cycling made the final day of racing in Quebec count. Allison Beveridge claimed the team’s third maple leaf jersey of the weekend, defending a title won last year by teammate Sara Bergen.
The race came down to a sprint out of a very small group after a challenging day on a hilly course – just the way the squad drew it up.
“We wanted to make it hard in the second half of the race, sending girls on the attack, and leaving me to save energy for a sprint if it came to it,” Beveridge said.
With her teammates keeping the pressure high into the finale, Beveridge stayed fresh while the pack shed rider after rider. As the race rolled into its last few laps, Bergen and Beveridge prepared for the final kick. The 2018 champion led the way into the last turn with Beveridge ready to strike on the finishing straight.
“Sara did a lead out through the final corner and out of it, and I just had to jump in the final hundred meters or so,” Beveridge said. “It was a hard day for me, but I was pretty motivated to finish it off there after the way the team rode.”
She did just that—and no one could touch her in the closing moments of the race.
Beveridge’s win marks Rally UHC Cycling’s third victory of this year’s Canadian national championships, and the second elite national title of her career after her 2017 road race win.
Pier-André Coté delivers a podium performance in the men’s criterium
Canadian nationals concluded with the men’s criterium, where Pier-André Coté battled to a third-place finish on Monday afternoon.
Coté survived the attrition of a selective race as a peloton that started with nearly 80 riders dwindled down to around 30 by the midway point.
“We knew it would most likely not come down to a bunch sprint because of the nature of the course, so we mainly just tried to stay in the mix,” Coté said.
Ryan Roth (X-Speed United Continental Team) would make the winning attack with two laps to go. Coté held on with the main chase group, nabbing third on the day at the finish line.
“I was super happy at the finish,” Coté said. “We had a chance to win or podium at every race with different guys.”
The podium performance was a fitting way to close out an incredibly productive stretch of racing in Quebec and Knoxville, Tennessee. All told, Rally UHC Cycling wrapped up U.S. and Canadian nationals with four elite titles, and a total of eight podium finishers, across 12 races.