By Martin Cleary
The first shall be last and the last shall be first.
Israel-Premier Tech’s Derek Gee of Osgoode, ON., fell into the latter category.
He was the last rider to start the men’s elite individual time trial at the Canadian Road Cycling Championships in Edmonton, but finished first in the standings.
One of the stars of the recent Giro d’Italia with four second- and two fourth-place results, Gee successfully defended his time-trial title Friday in 44 minutes, 14 seconds over the 38.4-kilometre course.
Gee was 19.7 seconds ahead of Michael Leonard of INEOS Grenadiers, who stopped in 44:33.7. Except for the first time split, which was the shortest, Gee had the best times over the final three intervals.
Ottawa cyclists Matteo Dal-Cin and Carson Miles, who both ride for Toronto Hustle, were fourth and ninth respectively overall in 45:05.4 and 46:16.8. Dal-Cin was third in the men’s elite standings as Leonard won the men’s U23 class.
In Sunday’s 215.2-kilometre road race, Gee was at the front of the pack with one lap to go, but dropped back to ninth in 4:53:05. Nickolas Zukowsky of Q36.5 Pro Cycling won in 4:52:11. Miles and Dal-Cin didn’t finish the race.
Ottawa Bicycle Club’s Addison Frank was one of the top three racers in the junior women’s field and the only rider to score a top-eight result in all three races – individual time trial, road race and criterium.
Frank, who gave an impressive fourth-place showing at the debut Canadian gravel championships under dreadful weather conditions, missed the gold medal in the criterium by two seconds.
Time-trial winner Nora Linton of the AG Insurance-Soudal Quick Step U19 team covered the downtown course in 41:52, while Frank was two seconds back in 41:54.
Earlier, Frank was part of a group of six women sprinting for the finish line in the road race and placed fifth. All six riders had identical times of 2:02:13 for the 75.3-kilometre race.
Frank opened the national championships with an eighth-place result in the individual time trial. She raced the 19.4-kilometre test in 28:31.6, which left her 1:10.2 behind Linton.
Hawkesbury’s Joey Desjardins recorded a two-second victory in the men’s hand-powered road race in 1:15:14, after placing second in the individual time trial over 19.4 kilometres in 28:44.1.
Ottawa Bicycle Club’s Filipe Duarte sprinted to the men’s junior criterium finish line in a group of 10 riders and finished fourth in 56:51. Duarte also was 14th in the 129.1-kilometre road race in 3:05:58, which left him 41 seconds behind the winner and 28th in the time trial.
Gatineau’s Ariane Bonhomme of Roxo Racing was 17th in the women’s time trial and 43rd in the road race. Earlier last week, she was a triple medallist for Canada at the Pan Am track cycling championships in San Juan, Argentina. She won gold in the women’s individual and team pursuits and silver in the Madison with Devaney Collier.
ONTARIO TRILLIUM FOUNDATION GRANTS HELP LOCAL SPORTS
Unofficially, this was Ontario Trillium Foundation recognition weekend in Ottawa as two long-existing groups said thank you to provincial officials for significant grants to better their product.
Tennis Centre West Ottawa, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, received a pair of grants – $498,400 from the Community Building Fund – Capital stream and $64,800 from the Resilient Communities Fund.
These two financial awards will be used to replace the club’s aging dome for indoor tennis as well as replace its court irrigation system. Tennis Centre West Ottawa is the only year-round, not-for-profit tennis venue in Ottawa.
The grants will allow the tennis centre to “secure the facility’s future in the community long-term, once these projects are complete in the fall of 2023,” says a club press release.
The event was attended by Chandra Pasma (MPP for Ottawa West-Nepean), Ottawa city councillor Theresa Kavanagh and Phil Johnson, who represented the Ontario Tennis Association and the National Capital Tennis Association.
Meanwhile, the National Capital Wrestling Club also received two Ontario Trillium Foundation grants – $10,500 from the Resilient Communities Fund and $37,900 from the Community Investments stream.
“The first (grant) supported a project to rebuild membership following the pandemic and equip NCWC’s volunteers to better serve its changing membership base,” says a NCWC media advisory.
A second grant will allow the club to buy two new wrestling mats “so it can expand its programming and (play host to) major events, including the 2024 National Team Trials.”
Ottawa-Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari, NCWC president Kelsey Dayler and Peter Shannon, an assistant coach with the club, were among those attending the event, which also was the club’s end-of-season awards ceremony.
Club members also watched a livestream presentation of Kyler Keogh representing Canada at the 2023 Cadet (U17) Pan American Wrestling Championships in Mexico City.
Keogh was one of eight international wrestlers in the boys’ 71-kilogram class. He was seeded eighth and lost his opening match 11-0 to Ecuador’s Sixto-Garcia Mina. Club coach Chris Schrauwen was part of the Canadian staff.
CASSANDRE PROSPER’S BROTHER SELECTED IN NBA DRAFT
It has been quite a year for Capital Courts Academy graduate Cassandre Prosper of Montreal.
After completing her high school courses at Cairine Wilson Secondary School in December, she immediately enrolled at the University of Notre Dame and became an impact player as a freshman for the second half of the Fighting Irish’s women’s basketball season.
Last week, she watched her brother Olivier-Maxence Prosper, a 6-8 junior forward at Marquette University, become a first-round draft pick in the NBA.
He was selected No. 24 by the Sacramento Kings, but was immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas team officials broke the news to him before his name was announced at Thursday’s NBA Draft.
The Prosper siblings are close and fully support each other.
“She’s my only sibling. (We) are really, really close and as an older brother, I just want to do everything I can to help her basketball journey be the best it can be and to guide her through that,” Olivier-Maxence told Canadian Press reporter Abdulhamid Ibrahim.
“I think what I love about him is that he always understood that I’m his little sister and I’m looking up to him,” Cassandre said. “So, whatever he did, it was with the intention of ‘I have someone that I’m trying to inspire’ and he always did things right on the court.”
ONE WIN IN FOUR GAMES FOR CANADIAN MEN’S VOLLEYBALL TEAM
The Canadian men’s volleyball squad posted its second straight 1-3 win-loss record on the Volleyball Nations League circuit.
After losing its first two matches in Orleans, France, to Japan (25-22, 25-17, 24-26, 25-14) and Slovenia (25-23, 25-22, 25-14), Canada defeated Bulgaria (22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-20). In its final match of the league’s second week, Canada fell to France (25-17, 25-21, 25-21).
Captain Nicholas Hoag of Gatineau accounted for 27 points in his matches against Japan, Bulgaria and France. He had 22 attack points, two block points and three service points.
Canada has a record of 2-6 and is in 13th place in the 16-country league.
CANADIAN SENIORS LITTLE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP IN NEPEAN
July will be Little League Baseball championship month in Ottawa and area as three Ontario and one Canadian titles will be determined on area diamonds.
Ottawa West Twins will play host to the Ontario intermediate (age 13) championship July 5-9 at the Pinecrest intermediate diamond.
The Ontario seniors (15-16) championship is slated for July 5-8 at Riverside Park in Pembroke. The winner will qualify for the Canadian championship, which is scheduled for July 15-24 on the Hamilton Yards diamonds at the Nepean Sportsplex.
The Twins also will stage the Ontario majors (11-12) championship July 20-24 on the Pinecrest majors diamond.
LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST
· National triathlon development team member Kamille Larocque of Gatineau placed second in a Quebec Grand Prix meet in Montreal, while Ottawa’s Cara Macdonald was ninth overall, but fourth among juniors.
· Stormy weather played havoc with the first day of the Quebec Golf Association’s Alexander of Tunis tournament on Monday at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club. Only 48 golfers in the field of 138 completed their first round and 15 players never reached the first tee. Jayson Ross of the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club is the clubhouse leader at two-under-par 69. Play is scheduled to resume Tuesday.
· Israel-Premier Tech has officially announced Michael Woods of Ottawa will be one of three Canadians on his team to race in the Tour de France, which starts July 1. The other Canadians are Guillaume Boivin and Hugo Houle.
· Veterans Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann, who are both from Gloucester, have been named to Canada’s women’s long-track speed skating team for the 2023-24 season. Jake Weidemann was placed on the NextGen team.
· Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club’s Leo Wallner scored 5,549 points to win the men’s open division at the Ontario combined events championship in Toronto. Teammate Kathryn Moreland made her heptathlon debut, placing third in the women’s U20 event with 3,609 points.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.
When the pandemic struck, Martin created the High Achievers “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com and on Twitter @martincleary.
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