Emma Johansson and Svein Tuft Do the DoubleSun 29 Jun 2014
Road National Championships have occupied much of the racing landscape over the past five days. ORICA-AIS and ORICA-GreenEDGE had riders racing in 12 events in seven countries. Hear from our newly crowned national champions below.
EMMA JOHANSSON – SWEDISH NATIONAL CHAMPION, TIME TRIAL + ROAD RACE
Emma Johansson did the double winning both the road race and the time trial at the Swedish National Championships. It is Johansson’s sixth time trial title and her fourth road title.
The double national champion took convincing victories in both disciplines. When Johansson was six kilometres from the finish, the skies opened up, dumping rain and hail on the course. Despite the inclement weather, Johansson handily won the time trial with a healthy margin. Her time of 39’09 over the 28 kilometre course was 40” faster than Eva Nystrom in second place.
“The course was a big road out to the turning point at almost eight kilometres,” Johansson said. “From there we went into this rolling road in the forest. When we came back, it was the same road we took out. Coming into the turning point, I felt like I was really strong and had found a good pace. I didn’t feel like I had the same kind of rhythm coming back. It was more just about survival.”
“Because I’m strong rider, I can handle a heavy load,” Johansson added. “If I try to hold back, I have no profit. I have to start my time trial on the limit straight away. I never make up time from what I’ve lost in the first part if I don’t do that.”
Johansson took an aggressive approach en route to her fourth road title. By lap two of nine of the 13.5 kilometre circuit, Johansson was up the road with Malin Rydlund. The stronger of the pair, Johansson dropped Rydlund on lap six and steadily built up her advantage over the remaining laps.
“It could not have gone any more perfectly for me,” said Johansson. “It felt really long when I left Malin and was all alone. The weather was miserable – cold and ten degrees. That made it harder mentally.”
“It might not seem like a big deal compared to some of my other results, but it is to me,” said Johansson. “I’m really happy. It was a hard course, and I could show them who is the strongest rider. Blue and yellow again! I’m very happy.”
SVEIN TUFT – CANADIAN NATIONAL CHAMPION, TIME TRIAL + ROAD RACE
Svein Tuft dominated the elite men’s individual time trial and road race at the Canadian National Championships. It is Tuft’s ninth time trial title and his second road title.
Tuft put on a clinic in the individual time trial. He posted the fastest splits from start to finish ultimately stopping the clock at 53’25 over the 40.4 kilometre course. The time was 2’03 faster than Hugo Houle (Ag2r La Mondiale) in second place. The overwhelming favourite in the event, Tuft has won nine time trial titles out of ten starts at Canadian Road National Championships.
“It’s never in the bag,” said Tuft. “You never know what you’re going to get on the day. I came here really motivated. Coming out of the Giro, I had a good little rest and worked hard coming back. I’m extremely happy to come out here strong.”
Tuft also put his time trial skills to work en route to his road title. Attacking on the second lap of the Mont-Morne circuit, Tuft spent 120 kilometres in a solo breakaway before taking a decisive victory. Christian Meier survived the high attrition rate in the chase group to round out the podium in third.
“When I won in 2011, we had some good odds with SpiderTech,” said Tuft. “We had numbers, and we could take control of the race. Today, with two guys, we had to race the perfect race. Right from the beginning, Christian and I were always in the moves and making sure that we wouldn’t be racing from behind. I’d have to say I’m proud of this one.”
Michael Albasini – Switzerland – road race – second place
Valentina Scandolara – Italy – road race – second place
Christian Meier – Canada - road race – third place
Simon Yates – Great Britain – road race – third place