Sports

Kellen Viznaugh wins RCA road race season opener

Kellen Viznaugh charges to the finish line to win the first RCA road race of 2014. - Alex Cooper/Revelstoke Times Review
Kellen Viznaugh charges to the finish line to win the first RCA road race of 2014.
— image credit: Alex Cooper/Revelstoke Times Review

Kellen Viznaugh was the winner of the first Revelstoke Cycling Association road race of the 2014 season on Wednesday.

Viznaugh won the race in a time of 1:04:50 after beating out eight other riders in the lead pack in a thrilling sprint to the finish.

“I just tried to keep it slow in the middle and sit on someone’s wheel for the sprint and go,” he said following the race.

The 16-year-old has been slowly making his way up the standings over the past few years and this was his first victory in a local road race.

Stuart Smith finished second and Rich Hamilton placed third.

The 40-kilometre race consisted of two laps of Airport Way from the Airport until the end of the pavement and back.

All 19 racers started out together on a warm April evening, but it didn’t take long for a group of 11 men to separate themselves from the other riders.

They pedalled together quickly along the pavement, with no one attempting to break away from the peloton. Still, by the time they reached the end of the pavement the first time, two racers had fallen off the pace, making it a battle of nine cyclists for the remaining 30 kilometres.

The group stayed together until the final 100 metres when it was every man for himself. In the final metres, Viznaugh managed to burst ahead to take the win over Smith and Hamilton.

Becky Bellis won the women’s race in a time of 1:21:10, ahead of Margo Hager.

Viznaugh’s performance impressed his senior competitors. Bart Jarmula said Viznaugh has been improving every year. He said Viznaugh has been strong in the sprints in the past, but his endurance hasn’t held up. Now it appears his stamina is improving too.

Viznaugh also won the races two times sprints.

The second road race is schedule for Wednesday, May 14. The cross country race series kicks off on Wednesday, May 28. Details for both races have yet to be announced. Races will alternate between a road race and XC race every two weeks until September.

The first downhill race is set for Sunday, June 1, at Mt. Macpherson.

 

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