(WINDSOR, ON) – If nothing else, this was a good year for what was the 59th bike race down Erie Street and around the block, in Windsor’s Little Italy. Its classic car event Saturday night had more cars than last year then, on Sunday, registration was significantly up for the wide range of heats which brought out competitors from age 4 years and up.
The Sunday afternoon at the races gave fans a thorough look at today’s best and the future of the competition. The 4-and-under riders biked a 200m course on every kind of two and three wheeled bike imaginable.
As the ages moved up, and the 9 to 10 year olds lined up, more and more of them wore the prized racer outfits; brightly coloured with various logos. It was a clue that these children were in it to win it.
They were first to go a full lap of 1.75km, while the 11 and up racers took two rounds around the loop, travelling 3.5km.
As the racers moved down Erie, fans not only cheered, but rang bells to encourage their favourites. The noise makers were provided this year by Pinnacle Physiotherapy.
Two members of Toronto’s Rise Racing were on the podium as the best women riders. Rise’s strategy for this year was to focus on elite level competitions across North America. It seems to be working.
Rise member, and London resident, Joyce Spruyt was at the top of the podium in the All Woman results. Last year’s winner, Sarah Rasmussen, of Hamilton riding for SAS Macogep, had the second best place.
Elizabeth Archbold, of Scarborough’s Madonna Wheelers Cycling Club, was third. Spruyt’s team member, Jamie Gilgen of Dundas, placed fourth while Hamilton’s Amelia Bell, of the National Cycling Centre, was fifth.
The women achieved an average speed of 39.7kph while the men were slightly faster in an average of 44.6kph.
In the races there seems to be a rule: the race isn’t over until it is over. This was certainly the case in the Men’s ProElite Masters final.
In the last three laps, winner Paul Martin, First Internet Bank Cycling, lost his leading position, but pulled ahead in the last lap. He took the win in a time of 1:45:48. Challenger Jason Valenti, National Cycling Centre, who came in second, was only 11 seconds behind.
Both Jeff Schiller, To Wheels, who placed third, Daniele Defranceschi, Tower International Cycling Team, fourth, and Simon Fothergill, Ascent Cycling, fifth, were not in the top five as the racers made their way to lap 42. Their moving up brought considerable excitement to the final lap.
Details have not been released on plans for next year’s 60th anniversary.