Centurion Next Wave team turns in great results at event in The Blue Mountains
Centurion Next Wave athletes pose with the trophy after winning the team title at Centurion Blue Mountain. SUBMITTED
There’s always some pressure to represent well when athletes compete at their title sponsor’s main event.
This was the case again for athletes on the local Centurion Next Wave Cycling Team competing at the Centurion Blue Mountain event recently.
However, again, local athletes proved themselves with excellent results and by taking home the team title.
This year saw beautiful weather, a welcomed change from previous years when parts of the weekend-long event needed to be cancelled.
Also new this year was the addition of the True Grit race, a road/off-road race Sunday taking in some of the steep gravel roads around Blue Mountain.
More than 1,200 participants took part in the weekend’s events, which also included the uphill time trial Friday evening, the 50- and 100-mile road races Saturday and the 25-mile race Sunday.
There were some incredible performances by Centurion Next Wave athletes competing among the province’s top cyclists.
Highlights included Colton Woods and Will Smith finishing first and third in the new True Grit 40-kilometre event, master’s athletes and coaches Rob Holmgren and Kevin Simms finishing fifth and eighth in the True Grit 75-km, Will Smith (again) sprinting to third overall in the 50-mile road race, Kayla McKee finishing second in the women’s time trial and third in the 50-mile road race, and the under-14 girls sweeping the 25-mile road-race podium (Erin Doble, Madeline Meeder and Cedar Wink).
Further highlights included stellar performances by 13-year-old Colton Bartholomew in the 50-mile road race, as he won his category, and the trio of 12-year-old girls Ava Holmgren, Elli Clark and Kelly Lawson finishing the True Grit 75-km together among the adult racers.
The end result was Centurion Next Wave winning the overall team classification by a large margin and Woods, Smith and Bartholomew sweeping the podium in the Gran Centurion Stage Race overall classification.
These events capped the team’s road racing season for another year, but he cycling is not done yet.
Athletes now change their road bikes for cyclocross bikes and hit the cyclocross circuit.
Races take place weekly across the province, with some athletes heading to the U.S. and overseas for European races as well.
Rob Meeder is director of the Centurion Next Wave Cycling Team.