CANMORE – This past weekend (June 4-5), the 2022 Rundle Mountain Road Festival cycling event returned to Canmore's streets with the province's top athletes down to the U5 level participating in three different races.
The first race was the criterium (crit), a bending 1.3 km lap course downtown.
In the men's CAT 1/2 featuring the best male road cyclists in Alberta, Red Deer's Jamin Soehn won at a time of 34:12 in the 20-lapper.
Jackson Kinniberg was second and Evan Burtnik was third. Canmore's Connor Howe finished fifth.
"I can't believe it. I just feel lucky," said Soehn after winning the crit by 15 seconds. "Everyone out there works hard at this level; a lot of us have full-time jobs and families, so we're pretend pros, I guess, but pretty surreal to win."
In the women's CAT 1/2/3, featuring the province's top female cyclists, Calgary's Alexandra Volstad placed first in the 16-lap crit at 31:12.
Kelsey Duffield was second and Annabelle Thomas took third.
Volstad and Duffield had a photo finish for first place with Volstad just gaining the edge.
"Last lap, I'm trying to keep the speed high," said Volstad, 16. "I tried to stay at the front of the pack and just kind of gauge how people are racing, who's going to go a little earlier. I try to get on someone who attacks a little earlier in the last lap, like halfway through and getting on their wheel and carrying their speed into the finish is usually my strategy."
In men's CAT 3, 4, and 5, Gavin Broadhead, Randall Perry, and Banff's Finn Borstmayer all won their races, respectively.
In women's CAT 4/5, Sarah Goodridge won, Hilkka Kontro was second, and Rosalie Lapierre placed third.
Devon Thurlow, from local club Rundle Mountain Cycling Club (RMCC), was sixth.
In U17 mixed, RMCC racers Emmet Macklem and Alloya Guest finished first and fifth, respectively.
In U15 mixed, RMCC bikers Bjorn Eidsvik, Ella Eidsvik and Lyra Giesler finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
One of the highlights of the day was the Little Critters races with U13, U11, U9, U7, and U5 cyclists peddling as hard as they could to the finish line.
Later on Saturday was the hill climb at Silvertip, a tough 1.94 km race from bottom to top.
Gavin Thomas, Connor Howe, and Reid Kinniburgh finished first, second and third in the men's 1/2, respectively.
Howe, who competed at the Beijing Games in long track speed skating, hasn't raced in cycling in four years while focusing on his top sport, but signed up for some fun at the road festival.
"It's my first CAT 1/2 races and I'm happy with how it went," said Howe, who climbed the hill in 5:29.3 – only two seconds behind first.
"I like my power metre. I know what I can do for five to six minutes, so I just went out at the pace and tried to hold on."
In women's 1/2/3, Kelsey Duffield, Annabelle Thomas, and Christiane Bilodeau took the three spots on the podium.
In men's 3, 4, and 5, Luca Veeman, Evan Haddock, and Max Garvey all finished first in their categories.
Finn Borstmayer took second place in men's 5.
In women's 4/5, Hilkka Kontro won, and RMCC's Devon Thurlow was sixth.
In the men's U17 and U15, RMCC's Emmett Macklem and Bjorn Eidsvik won their categories.
In U17 women, RMCC's Alloya Guest finished second; and in U15 women, RMCC's Ella Eidsvik was third and Lyra Giesler was sixth
Sunday (June 5) was the road race, the final competition of the weekend.
The CAT 1/2 men had the longest race of the day at 112.5 km, where a sprint finish for top spot went down in the last 100 metres.
Riding slightly uphill to the finish line, Evan Burtnik won at a time of 3:01:27. Just seconds behind were Brayden Windsor in second, and Connor Howe in third.
"The pack stayed together for most of the time, so I tried to just stay with them for the finish," said Howe, who was second overall in omnium points.
In the women's 1/2/3, Annie Scott finished first in the 96 km race at a time of 3:05:37 after she put the pedal to the metal and pulled ahead in the final 100 metres.
Kelsey Duffield and Christiane Bilodeau finished second and third.
In the men's CAT 3, 4 and 5, Gavin Broadhead, Evan Haddock, and Brett Greiner all finished first in their categories, respectively.
Sarah Goodridge won the 63 km women's 4/5 race.
In the men's U17 and U15, RMCC's Emmett Macklem and Bjorn Eidsvik placed second and first, respectively.
In women's U17 and U15, Alloya Guest placed second, and Ella Eidsvik and Lyra Giesler were third and fourth, respectively.
For full results, visit zone4.ca.