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Spring Classic features top riders from throughout western Canada

Saskatoon’s Gagnon comes away with overall win in top division
The temperatures might have been unpleasantly cool and the heavy winds less than ideal, but that did little to stop Saskatoon’s Andre Gagnon from taking first place in the Category 1/2/3 division during the Moose Jaw Spring Classic cycling road races this past weekend.

The event – staged by the Moose Jaw Pavers cycling club – featured riders from throughout the province and western Canada taking part in three races through two days of competition: a time trial hill climb in Buffalo Pound, criterium on the tarmac at 15 Wing and road race from Bushell Park and down into Wakamow Valley.

Gagnon, a member of the provincial cycling team, finished second in the hill climb with a time of 5:44, eight seconds back of Saskatoon’s Michael Gavelis. He followed with a commanding 17-second win ahead of a trio of riders in the criterium, crossing the line in 38:04, before closing out with a second place finish in the road race and a time of 2:01:58.

B’yauling Toni of Saskatoon broke away from the group to win the road race in a time of 2:01:41.

In the women’s division, Caitlyn Kirkpatrick of Saskatoon pulled off a sweep on her way to the title, winning the time trial in 6:50, the criterium in 33:33 and a full lap ahead of the nearest competitor and the road race in 1:49:31, just under 13 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher.

Regina’s Jonathan Slywka also had a perfect weekend in the Category 4 division, finishing first across the board (6:30 time trial, 32:41 criterium and 1:49.16 road race).

It was much the same case in the Category 5 race, this time with Regina’s Dufton Lewis taking the sweep, even if all three of his races were close. He won the time trial by 15 seconds in 6:22, squeaked out a 14-second win in the criterium and finished with the same time as Regina’s James Korpan in the road race in 1:13:44.

The Pavers’ Jennifer Gauthier took part in the road race and finished 20th overall in a time of 1:24:01.

The event was part of the Sask Cup road race series and acted as one of the qualifying events for the Western Canada Summer Games in Swift Current this fall.