Maggie Coles-Lyster leads the pack during the annual racing of Jeremy’s Roubaix on Sunday.

Maggie Coles-Lyster leads the pack during the annual racing of Jeremy’s Roubaix on Sunday.

After long break due to pandemic, bike racing returns to BC

Rock the Ridge brings racing back to Pitt Meadows Sunday

Jeremy’s Roubaix saw the successful return to bike racing in B.C. last weekend after a seven-month COVID-19 hibernation.

Even with racing running under special rules due to the pandemic, the day was a huge success at uniting the cycling community, said organizer Barry Lyster of Local Ride Racing.

Close to 80 riders signed up to take part in the event.

Jeremy’s Roubaix is named after Canadian cycling icon Jeremy Storie. He was a coach, director, team manager, event organizer and an advocate for the rights of all cyclists, especially women and juniors. Jeremy committed suicide in 2013.

“Today is a reminder that depression is out there, just like COVID-19. Let us take care of ourselves and each other,” SAID Lyster.

He said the race was blessed with a cool, beautiful sunny day in the farmlands of the City of Pitt Meadows. The fall colours cast an uncommon backdrop to a race traditionally held in April.

The first cohort of racing started at 8:30 am with the Open Women and Category 4 Men’s 80 km race. It only took the racers a couple of laps of the 10 km circuits to find their race legs and tactical savviness.

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The women’s race winners were a local sister act. Maple Ridge’s Maggie Coles-Lyster, DNA Pro Cycling, unleashing her world-class sprint to win the Elite women’s field, with Kaelen Coles-Lyster, Local Ride Racing, taking top spot in the Category 4 Women’s race.

“This was the first race I’ve done since February. It was so nice to see everybody, from a distance of course,” said Maggie. “Jeremy coached me when I was 13 and although it was only for a short time, his knowledge and passion for the sport helped make me the rider I am today. I am honoured to ride a race in his name and in my home community.”

Braden Kersey, Victoria Wheelers, broke away early from the group to win the Cat 4 Men’s race.

After a short break, the day’s second cohort, Elite Men and Master Men 40-plus, took to the roads and dikes. The socially distanced on-lookers and local residents were treated to some exciting racing from some very talented cyclists.

The Master Men’s race saw an early break with Michael Wegner of Langlois Brown Racing and Scott Goguen, United Cycling, get away. But the power in the peloton reeled them in, and in the bunch sprint it was Vincent Marcotte, Langlois Brown Racing taking the win.

READ ALSO: L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

The Elite men’s full field of racers let loose their pent-up cycling energy early into their 100 km race to shred the field with an eventual break of three riders staying away. In the end it was Matt Usborne taking the solo win. Usborne is a long time bike racer and current Cycling BC Board Chair who remembers Jeremy and the early incarnation of this race:

“I remember when this event was called Harris Roubaix – raced in typical BC spring weather. I had just finished the 1/2 race and couldn’t feel my fingers or toes. I was miserable,” said Usborne. “I bumped into Jeremy in the parking lot – he had won the cat 3 race (I think), and he was just as cold and wet, but with a huge grin on his face, celebrating overcoming the adversity of the course and the day.”

“This race is such a great way to remember Jeremy, a man who played such a role in the development of so many athletes and contributing immensely to the BC racing scene. I feel very privileged to have been able to even pin on a number in this crazy year. To be able to put on such a well-run event, and hopefully pave the way for future events in these challenging circumstances is a great tribute to Jeremy, and shows your dedication and character,” he said.

Racing continues Nov. 1 in the North polder area of Pitt Meadows with Rock the Ridge. For full information and to register, go to: localride.ca

Top 3 Results. Full results available at localride.ca/results

Elite Women 1,2,3

1. Maggie Coles-Lyster DNA Pro Cycling

2. Helena Broomham Fluevog’s Crit Nasty

3. Fiona Majendie Trek Red Truck Racing P/B Mosaic Homes

Elite Men 1,2,3

1. Matt Usborne

2. Thomas Shellenberg, TaG Cycling Race Team

3. Nicholas Monette, Mighty Riders

Master Men 40+

1. Vincent Marcotte, Langlois Brown Racing

2. Jon Bula, Bicicletta Factory Racing

3. Jay Delaney, Lost Boys Hit Squad

Cat 4 Women

1. Kaelen Coles-Lyster, Local Ride Racing

2. Kira Pedersen

3. Mathilde Roldan, U Kon Echelon, Team Squamish

Cat 4 Men

1. Braden Kersey, Victoria Wheelers

2. Erik Haaheim

3. Noah Rubuliak, Giant Off Road Team


 


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