Red Truck Garneau Dominant with two wins at Cycle-Smart International
Michael van den Ham closed out his North American Cyclocross season on a high note by taking his first ever UCI win in Northampton on November 7th. Meanwhile, Raphael Gagne also finished his year in victory as he took another impressive win on the following day. Natasha Elliott rode at the front of the race both days to land sixth place in each.
As has been the case so many times this season, Raphael and Michael worked together as teammates to the secure victory on both days. On day 1, they broke away from the most of the field early on with only two other riders, Mark McConnell and Anthony Clark, able to keep pace. As the race wore on, Gagne and van den Ham first left Clark and then McConnell behind as they set the stage for the Red Truck Garneau 1-2 finish. Ultimately, Van den Ham was able to distance Gagne in the final meters to seal the victory.
Van den Ham said, “Wow! It was my goal all season to take a UCI victory so to be able to accomplish that goal and to do so the support of a teammate feels amazing. Thanks to everyone - sponsors, friends, family, everyone - who made this happen.”
On the second day of racing Gagne attacked from the gun and established a gap by the end of the first lap. He said, ”after 3 minutes I was like, I'm going. I'm trying hard. Second day, you know, not everyone is as sharp so if you're willing to go hard not everyone's willing to do it.”
The strategy worked as Raph took yet another beautiful victory to cap off his season. Meanwhile in the group behind, Michael van den Ham launched a last lap bid for second place but fell painfully short and had to settle for 5th on the day.
In the women’s race, Natasha Elliott continued her string of solid results by landing two 6th places. Racing against a field that contained some of the best riders in the continent, Natasha rode some of her best racing of the year to add to her extensive list of UCI top-10s.
As always, a huge thank you to all the sponsors who make this team possible. With 3 UCI victories, over a dozen top-10s, and over 20 local victories the team is, without a doubt, the best our country has to offer!
Link to Michael van den Ham Interview: http://dirtwire.tv/2015/11/csi-day-1-mike-van-den-ham-1st-we-joked-we-should-break-away-from-everybody-and-go-one-two/