Oak Bay’s cycling fox Adam de Vos of Rally UHC Cycling wins the 2019 Canadian road race championship in Saint-Odilon, Que., on Saturday (June 29). (Photo by Vincent Drouin/VéloGazette)

Oak Bay cyclist wins Canadian cycling championship

Adam de Vos sprints to road race title, Rob Britton wins time trial

Pro bike racer Adam de Vos of Oak Bay will wear the maple leaf jersey in the Tour of Delta next week as Canada’s 2019 national road race champion.

It’s de Vos’ first national elite road race win and it was in perfect weather conditions at the 2019 Canadian Road Championships on Saturday. The 186.2-kilometre course ran from Saint-Georges to Saint-Odilon in Quebec, where they rode about 30km to a a steep 15km circuit that they did eight times, then rode the 30km back. De Vos’ time was four hours, 31 minutes and two seconds.

“It was pretty amazing, I was pretty pumped crossing the line, especially with my parents came out to watch the race,” de Vos said. “They’ve been super amazing supporters, though all the years of amateur racing when you’re not making money, and it’s costing you money, they were there for me.”

De Vos, now 25, switched to competitive cycling from swimming as an Oak Bay High student riding with Tripleshot Cycling club. He is in his fourth season with Rally UHC.

READ MORE: Junior Oak Bay cyclist, 18, finishes second among elites in Bastion Grand Prix

De vos said that with seven members from the Rally UHC team in the men’s elite race, there wasn’t really a plan as to who would be prioritized. They just felt the onus was on their team to win, and anything less wouldn’t cut it.

“As a team we knew we were the strongest and the biggest, so we were making sure we covered our bases getting as many guys up ahead in the race,” de Vos said. “We definitely had to win the race to live up to our expectations. The win was the only way it would be a success for us.”

The rider James Piccoli attacked solo with about 100km left to go and it was such a superb effort, de Vos said it was touch-and-go whether anyone would catch Piccoli.

De Vos chased in a nine-man group that eventually whittled down to four others including Rally UHC teammate Nigel Ellsay, 25, from Courtenay and Victoria’s Jay Lamoureux, 23, currently of Toronto Velodrome Club. The other two were Alexis Cartier of Velo 2000/Rhino Rack and promising 21-year-old Nickolas Zukowsky of Floyd’s Pro Cycling.

The group caught the early breakaway rider James Piccoli with 10km to go. Shortly after Ellsay attacked and held a lead. With about 3km to go de Vos then bridged ahead to Ellsay, and out-sprinted his pro teammate for the victory.

(Inset photo: De Vos points to his tattoo of a fox (Vos in Dutch) chasing a rabbit as he celebrates a one-day race victory at the 2018 Tour of Delta. Photo by Chris Relke)

“Ellsay’s attack was strong, but I saw the chance to go across,” de Vos said. “In the end, I knew we could go 1-2 [on the podium], and not let the guys we just dropped to catch up, wanted to get away from those guys,

Just two days earlier, on Thursday (June 28), current Victoria resident Rob Britton, another Rally UHC rider, won the 34km national individual time trial in 42 minutes and 54 seconds. It was 14 seconds ahead of Rally UHC teammate Svein Tuft, of Langley, former national champion a veteran of the Tour de France and world tour. Britton averaged 39.2km per hour across the 34km course. Ellsay finished 11th and Lamoureux 19th.

Fernwood’s Sarah Van Dam finished second in the junior women’s criterium while Saanich’s Riley Pickrell’s best finish was ninth in the junior men’s road race.

READ MORE: Lamoureux on track for Canada at Commonwealth Games

reporter@oakbaynews.com

– This story was updated to include an interview with Adam de Vos a few hours after it was initially published.

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