First-ever Canadian gravel champions crowned at muddy Paris to Ancaster Bike Race
The annual P2A race incorporated the first-ever Canadian gravel championships on a wet and muddy Sunday. As a result of the weather conditions, alterations were made to the course, resulting in a 108.8 km route with 874 m of climbing.
Evan Russel emerged as the winner of the men's race and was crowned the Canadian gravel champion. In the women's race, Devon Clarke from Collingwood, Ontario, became the first-ever Canadian women's gravel champion, with Ruby West coming in second, and Rafaelle Carrier placing third.
Maghalie Rochette, last year's women's race champion, withdrew from the race after experiencing a puncture around 50 km.
The overall winner was American Curtis White.
The event, which featured a full lineup of events from a family-friendly 20K to the classic 70K and more, lived up to the Paris to Ancaster hype. It was wet, there was plenty of mud, and everybody went home with a smile plastered over their face.
Before there were gravel races and gravel grinds, there was the venerable Paris To Ancaster Bike Race.
The Paris to Ancaster bicycle race is a long-standing cycling event that takes place annually in Southern Ontario. The race has a rich history, dating back to 1994 when it was first organized as a grassroots event. Since then, the race has grown significantly in popularity, with thousands of participants from around the world now taking part. The race is known for its challenging terrain, which includes gravel roads, trails, and other obstacles, making it a popular choice for competitive and recreational cyclists alike.
Over the years, the race has undergone several changes, including the addition of new routes, the incorporation of the Canadian gravel championships this year, and modifications to accommodate changing weather conditions. Despite these changes, the race has remained a beloved tradition for Canadian cyclists and continues to attract participants from around the world.
Photo: Ryan De Groote
And, despite the weather, people had a great time, clearly.
If you're a cycling enthusiast looking for a challenge, the Paris to Ancaster race is an event you won't want to miss. So why not start training now and make plans to join the thousands of cyclists who will be taking part next year? You never know, you might just discover a new passion and form lasting connections with other cycling enthusiasts. Mark your calendars, get your bikes ready, and start counting down the days until the next Paris to Ancaster in 2024!