The 30-lap women’s race came down to two riders, with veteran American pro Laura Van Gilder beating impressive Australian rookie pro Loren Rowney by more than a second after a late sprint – a reversal of their finishing order in the return is Gastown the night before.
Maple Ridge’s Jean Ann Berkenpas, taking a two-week “mental break” from competitive mountain biking, was part of the early breakaway but got dropped with eight laps left. She hung on to finish alone in third – 84 seconds behind the winners, but less than 14 ahead of a hard-charging chase.
Ken Hanson followed up Wednesday’s sprint win at the Gastown Grand Prix with another late burst to win the Giro di Burnaby on Thursday night.
It was an impressive repeat – not just because of a deep field of top pros the California native bested on both nights, but more so because of how hard he celebrated the first win with the rest of the Optum Pro Cycling squad.
The evening included a bachelor party for Vancouver-based teammate Sebastian Salas, and rolling into bed at 5 a.m. Less than 16 hours later, Hanson rolled across the line holding two fingers up after another perfect lead out from Alex Candelario to beat Australian pros Tommy Nankervis of Competitive Cyclist, and 2006 winner Hilton Clarke of United HealthCare in a bunch sprint.
“I think my teammates suffered a lot more than I did today, they were doing a lot of work,” Hanson said after finishing 50 laps of the 1.3-kilometer circuit along Hastings Street in one hour, 19 minutes and 48.08 seconds. “I did very minimal work to cover any breakaways and was able to stay fresh for the sprint.”
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