Race Results


Hamilton, Ontario


After riding in a two-strong breakaway for about 60 kilometres, RONA/Esker’s Geneviève Jeanson beat Saturn’s Lyne Bessette by a half bicycle length in the Canadian road race championship today.  This is Jeanson’s first Canadian road race championship since she turned Elite in 2000. 

Jeanson and Bessette completed the race’s 111.6 kilometres in 3h 16’ 50”, at an average speed of 34.02 km/h.  Genesis / Scuba’s Sue Palmer-Komar, on her Hamilton home turf, took third place, 2’30’’ behind the winner.  The race was marred by two crashes.  The worst one involved nine riders, including Saturn’s Manon Jutras, who suffered a broken collarbone.  RONA/Esker’s Andrea Hannos was involved in the same crash and left the race 15 kilometres later, suffering from cuts, bruises and road rash. 

Today’s race was held on the course that will host the World Road Race championships next October, a course “tougher than the Montreal World Cup course”, according to Geneviève Jeanson.  So like in Montreal, the race quickly developed into a race of attrition as the pack lost members from behind.

 But in front, RONA/Esker were quick to animate the race.  RONA/Esker’s New Zealander Melissa Holt attacked during the very first few kilometres, along with Australian Jane Despas. (This year, the Canadian road race championship was a UCI race open to foreigners).  Then RONA/Esker’s Carrie Tuck bridged to the leading duo and the three quickly pulled away.  Soon, Holt and Co. had built a lead of more than one minute on the main filed, while a chase group of three was struggling to catch up on them. 

When the main field reached the Becket Drive hard climb for the second time, Bessette set a hard pace and “I realized it would be a long, tough day”, admitted Jeanson after the race.  “Lyne (Bessette) was obviously very strong and I didn’t have my best legs today. Certainly I felt nowhere as good as I had at the Montreal Word Cup.  It didn’t have the juice to attack Lyne today, so I decided to wait for the sprint.” 

Bessette and Jeanson stuck together for the remainder of the race.  After about 20 kilometres of racing, shortly after the crash involving their respective teammates Jutras and Hannos, they hardened the pace and made up time on the break in the front.  With Palmer-Komar and Leigh Hobson, they caught up with Holt’s break at 35 kilometres.  Shortly after Bessette and Jeanson left everybody else behind. 

From that moment the gaps increased continuously.  Jeanson and Bessette fairly and efficiently shared the work, so their lead over Palmer-Komar at one point reached more than 3 minutes and a half.  Unable to catch up with the two leaders, Palmer-Komar remained the fastest of the chasers and spent the last 70 kilometres of the race all by herself, increasing to more than six minutes her lead over the following group, which included, among others, Amy Moore (Saturn), Erinne Willock (RONA/Esker), Sandy Espeseth, Cybil DiGuistini, Anne Samplonius and New Zealand’s Joanne Kiesanowski. 

So the Canadian Road Race Championship would boil down to the sprint.  Bessette and Jeanson started a game of cat and mouse more than 10 kilometres from the finish.  “I had to be patient”, said Jeanson, “and we had plenty of space to be”.  She was almost too patient.  In the last turn, about 400 metres from the finish line and at the bottom of a very fast descent, Jeanson miscalculated her line and has to brake in order not to crash in the fences.  At the start of the last straight, she had a 25-metre hole in front of her.  “I thought I had lost the race right there”, feared Jeanson, “but fortunately I could make it up.” 

Bessette launched her sprint from very far, about 300 metres.  Jeanson took her wheel and jumped her in the ultimate 30 metres to beat her by a half bicycle length.

 “I worked very hard to improve my sprint this season”, beamed Jeanson before she climbed on the podium to receive her new maple-leafed red and white jersey.  “Today, that work certainly paid off!” 

Final Standings


Name (team)



Geneviève Jeanson (RONA/Esker)

111.6 km in 3h 16’50”  (34.02 km/h)


Lyne Bessette (Saturn)



Sue Palmer-Komar (Genesis/Scuba)



Amy Moore (Saturn)



Sandy Espeseth (Victory Brewing/Amoroso)



Joanne Kiesanowski (NZL, Genesis Scuba)



Cybil DiGuistini (Genesis /Scuba)



Merrill Collins (Bicycletta)



Erinne Willock (RONA/Esker)

8’ 59”


Anne Samplonius (Équipe du Québec)



Linda Jackson (Rest of the World)



Jane Despas (AUS, Rest of the World)



Felicia Greer (Opus)


The Canadian road championship’s web site is at www.canadiancycling.ca/roadnationals

 Team RONA/Esker is one of only two Canadian women’s cycling teams in the Elite Category that are recognized by the International Cycling Union. The team is made up of four Canadian racers (Geneviève Jeanson, Andrea Hannos, Carrie Tuck and Erinne Willock), French racers Catherine Marsal and Magali Le Floc’h, New Zealander Melissa Holt, German Karen Bockel and American Kristen LaSasso. The team’s web site is at www.ronateam.ca

RONA is Canada’s leading hardware and home renovation retailer (www.rona.ca). Esker is a natural spring water from the north of Canada, sold in North America and Asia (www.eskerwater.com).  

The team also receives equipment and service sponsorships from many companies, including Colnago, Biemme, Shimano, Michelin, Mavic, Diadora, Limar, Selle Italia, ITM, Look, CatEye, Tacx, Finish Line, Cane Creek, Saris, Power Tap, Cycles Lambert and Club Médico-Sportif. 

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