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One of the youngest cyclists competing in BC Superweek got the Tour de White Rock off to a great start Friday night.
Brandon Etzl, an 18-year-old from St. Catherine’s, Ont., was first in the men’s pro divison of the Homelife Realty Hill Climb, finishing ahead of Germany’s Franz Knauer, who won the event in 2012.
Knauer’s teammate, fellow German rider Yannick Mayer, placed third.
In the hill climb, riders cycle a 700-metre long steep grade on Buena Vista Avenue, between Oxford and Martin streets.
“It was a tough race,” Eztl noted right before being presented with the Tour de White Rock leader’s jersey. “I thought if I eased into the first climb while the other riders took off, then maybe I’d catch them and it just so happened that my punch pushed me right past them so it worked out well for me I guess.”
Knauer, who was in the last pair to do the men’s first ride, had to race immediately after finding out his time was good enough for the top five and the second race.
“I hope that if we come back next year, I get to do the first ride earlier and have a little more recovery time,” Knauer said.
It was the 24-year-old’s fourth straight appearance on the podium at Superweek, after winning the Giro di Burnaby Thursday, and scoring third place finishes in Wednesday’s Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix and Tuesday’s UBC Grand Prix.
The women’s hill climb was won by Lex Albrecht, who earlier in the week won the Tour de Delta criterium. Her teammates, Lauren Rauck Komanski and Olivia Dillon, were second and third respectively.
“This is my first time riding the events at BC Superweek and it was really important for me to bring
my team to come and ride and show them what it was all about,” Albrecht claimed.
Today (Saturday) the action continues with the Tour de White Rock criterium in uptown White Rock.
The first of three races, the men’s category 3/4 division, hits the streets at 4 p.m., followed by women’s pro and men’s pro races at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively.
Sunday at 9 a.m., the Peace Arch News’ Road Race begins on Marine Drive.