Former Canadian Olympian Joelle Numainville Wins MK Delta Lands Criterium

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It’s been a few years since Joelle Numainville of the Cervelo Bigla Pro Cycling Team raced at BC Superweek, but on Friday, she showed that she’s a force to be reckoned with as she sprinted to win the 2016 MK Delta Lands Criterium to kick off the Tour de Delta.

Using a timed format that saw the riders complete as many laps of the 1.2 kilometre race loop as they could in 50 minutes plus five laps, the tactics of most riders were pretty conservative until those final five laps when attacks and moves became more aggressive. For Numainville, who’s from Laval, Quebec, she finished just ahead of Vancouver’s Stephanie Roorda (Team Canada) and Bountiful, Utah’s Tina Pic (The Happy Tooth Pro Cycling).

Numainville represented Canada at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, finishing 12th in the road race, and is looking at riding the Tour de Delta and BC Superweek as a way to stay sharp – and if the results come, then so be it.

“I have to be honest, I just came here to make the most of it. I’m training pretty hard, I trained this morning and came out here to do my last training of the day, and I just want to race pretty hard. I really enjoy being here (in BC),” said the 28-year-old. “I just wanted to come here and race the best I could and give all I had. I’m in good shape, so I just want to have fun, I like coming to BC and seeing the crowds. It’s been a long time since I’ve been here, so I really enjoy it.”

Roorda, who is the Canadian Women’s Team Pursuit Record holder, is no stranger to being on the podium, as she won a bronze medal for Canada at the 2015 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. She notes that track cycling is her preferred event, although road racing seemed to agree with her on Friday, and the course at the MK Delta Lands Criterium was a fun challenge that appears easier than it actually is.

“It seems like it’s pretty simple and straightforward, but it’s really gruelling tactically with the hill there,” said the 29-year-old Roorda, who was very aware on the last few laps of which riders were around her. “Oh definitely, I was just trying to watch everyone, looking around a lot to see how everyone wanted to race and go from there.”

Pic finished third and at the age of 50, brings a winning pedigree to BC Superweek once again this year. She is a six time U.S. National Criterium Champion and a four time USA Cycling National Racing Calendar Points Champion. Pic had four top ten finishes at BC Superweek in 2015, including fourth place at both the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix and the Giro di Burnaby.