Fighting on in the domestic cycling trenches could be a daunting challenge often without major results. Show plenty of hard work & motivation & good results will follow. That's what happened to 27 year old Will Routley of the Jelly Belly Cycling Team. On Sunday, Routley became Canadian National road champion on a tough, hilly 182 km course in Edmonton.
The heat like the riders were cranked up rising up to 26 C. Three notable professionals were there too; Svein Tuft (the newly crowned TT champ), Christian Meier from Garmin-Transitions, & Dominique Rollin from Cervélo TT. Tuft was a pre-race favorite along with track cyclist Zach Bell (Kelly Benefit Strategies) but were unlucky to catch Routley and Andrew Randell of SpiderTech.
Entering into Hawrelak Park is a downhill sprint. I know, after seeing Steve Bauer win the 1982 Nationals and the 1983 Universiade Women's road race it's a quick & final 200 meters to the finish. For Will Routley, it was his day winning the sprint ahead of Randell. A huge win for the former mountain biker taking his first Canadian national championship will give him that extra push to go further. He looks a sure bet for October's Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India and perhaps a medal? Why not? The maple leaf jersey will be highly inspirational.
Routley proudly says, "For the next year, I get to wear the national championship jersey. I can only imagine going for a training run in the pouring rain on a crud day, and just knowing I can put that jersey (in competition) on will be a lot of extra motivation. It means a lot!"