Cyclists gearing up for Canadian championships

It’s been a strong season for the Russ Hay’s Accent Inns Cycling Team as its riders are now gearing up for Canadian National Championships

It’s been a strong season for the Russ Hay’s Accent Inns Cycling Team as its riders are now gearing up for the Canadian National Championships, June 26-29 in Lac-Megantic, Que.

Reigning national time trial champion Curtis Dearden is looking to repeat and though he’s had some disappointing results this spring, the course looks to be in his favour.

“Curtis suffered a setback at the B.C. Time Trials last week, finishing third, (but) it’s added motivation for fine tuning,” said RHAI team manager Jon Watkin, a former elite cyclist and Saanich resident.

“In terms of the national time trial course, this year’s course is even more suitable towards his strengths than last year. It was rolling hills in 2013, but this year’s is flatter, and that’s where Curtis excels.”

Dearden will be joined by four RHAI teammates: Dylan Davies, who won the Bastion Criterium of the Robert Cameron Law Series on June 1; Cody Canning, who won the B.C. Road Cycling championship as the second overall finisher in the Robert Cameron Law Series Cycling Classic in Metchosin on May 31; Jordan Cheyne, a 23-year-old on the path to going pro; and Dylan Cunningham.

Another Saanichite, Anika Todd, is eyeing up a return to the podium where she surprised many by winning silver in the 2013 national time trial championship. It was just her first year of competitive racing.

Todd is a rookie again this season, racing pro for TIBCO, currently the top-ranked team on the United States’ National Racing Calendar.  She’ll be racing all three events at the national championships, the time trial, road race and criterium.

It’s been a season of transition for RHAI’s Katie Rushton, as the 28-year-old is adjusting to life as a competitive cyclist. The former national team field hockey player is focusing on B.C. Super Week, July 4-13 in the Lower Mainland.

Saanich’s Nick Hamilton, who rides pro with Jelly Belly and is named to the Commonwealth Games team, will also be at the Canadian nationals, competing in several events.