California rider dominates Giro and Superweek

Shelley Olds won four of eight Superweek races in preparation for women's Tour de France

Shelley Olds brought something new to B.C. Superweek.

The 2012 road World Cup and two-time U.S. national criterium champion, racing alone for Ale-Cipollini, put together a dominating week of racing, winning four separate Superweek races, including the Giro di Burnaby, while reaching podium at all eight stages of Canada’s largest pro cycling series.

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On Thursday, Olds, who was sixth at last year’s world championships in Spain and seventh in the road race at the London Summer Olympics, outraced the peleton to the finish on the 1.3-kilometre Hastings Street course in Burnaby to win the Giro in her second appearance at the Burnaby Heights event.

Giro women
Shelley Olds, in yellow left, won the women's stage of the Giro di Burnaby in Burnaby Heights last week - Jennifer Gauthier

“It’s a really good atmosphere,” Olds said after the race, “the atmosphere, training hard, the crowd, the wonderful spectators.

Olds held off Red Truck Racing’s Denise Ramsden from Vancouver, who won the Gastown Grand Prix the night before and the opening stage of the Tour de Delta, taking first place in the 30-lap race in a time of 59.17 minutes.

American Samantha Schneider and Joanne Kiesanowski of New Zealand placed second and third, respectively.

Olds opened Superweek with a third-place finish in the opening crit in Delta, was the runner-up the following night, before winning the 105.2-kilometre road state of the Tour de Delta over four-time Canadian criterium champion Leah Kirchmann of Winnipeg.

Olds was also third in Gastown and second at UBC, before taking the Giro and most the primes in a dominating hour of racing.

Shelley Olds
Shelley Olds, waves to the Giro di Burnaby crowd after winning her second of four B.C. Superweek races last week. - Jennifer Gauthier

The 34-year-old California rider also won the last two stages of Superweek in White Rock last weekend.

Olds used Superweek as a tune up in preparation for the women’s Tour de France.

“The big goal was the (UCI sanctioned) White Spot road race. My positioning in the rest of the races was icing on the cake,” said Olds. “I’m here to get the best sprint training I can.”

A 16-year-old Lower Mainland rider also raced well with the big wheels.

Maggie Coles-Lyster of Maple Ridge was not lost in the women’s international pro field.

The Local Ride Racing teen placed 25th at the Giro di Burnaby after winning the women’s crowd prime with just one lap to go.

Coles-Lyster also finished just three seconds behind the lead pack at UBC and was 13th overall in Gastown, before finishing as high as sixth at the Tour de White Rock.

“It’s awesome to race in my hometown, where I can get a feel for the next level,” said Coles-Lyster after the race. “The speed is so good for my development.

“There are so many big wheels out there, being able to do this is a great experience.”

Picking up of the $1,200 crowd prime is also a nice stipend for one hour of racing.

“It shows me I can race at this level,” she said. “I won that same prime last year, so I felt I had to do it again this year.”

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