Canning upsets favourite to claim Challenge Sprint Pro


QUÉBEC, Sept. 11, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Cody Canning boldly attacked early in the Challenge Sprint Pro final to upset title holder Bryan Coquard of France while fast Australian Steele von Hoff was third ahead of another Canadian, Elliott Doyle.

Coquard, winner on Grande Allee a year ago, and Von Hoff, impressive in the heats, started the final showdown as favourites but the Edmonton-born Canning was not impressed. The French title-holder cunningly stayed in Von Hoff's wheel, probably thinking he was his most serious rival and was unable to react when the Alberta rider took his chance and jumped for the finish line. Von Hoff had to be content with the last podium spot.

Canning, who had a first taste of the Challenge Sprint Pro at the Canadian national championships, used his experience of the format to try his luck. "It's an event that these guys don't train on specifically. So I thought I had as good a chance as anyone," said the Canadian, delighted to end his season on such a high note.

Favourite Coquard admitted he had probably been "trapped at his own game". "I had decided to stay behind and to wait for the right moment to start my sprint but when I did, Canning had already gone," he said.

But the Frenchman added he was fully motivated for Friday's Grand Prix du Quebec: "It rained today so many riders did not have a chance to ride. For us, it was a great way to heat up for tomorrow. I have great ambitions for tomorrow's Grand Prix."

It was the second time in four editions that a Canadian stole the show in the curtain raiser of the GPCQM. In 2012, Zachary Bell had been the first local rider to win the event introduced by Serge Arsenault in 2011.

The weather may have been a factor as strong winds blew in the final stages of the event but rain, that had fallen all day, stopped just as the competition got underway.

The Québec City and Montréal Grands Prix Cyclistes, the only two UCI WorldTour races held in North America, contribute in large measure toward the achievement of one of the International Cycling Union's primary objectives: the globalization of élite-level cycling. These races are now established, UCI-sanctioned events alongside events in Europe, Oceania and Asia. The organizing committee has been responsible for planning and putting on the Québec City and Montréal GPs since 2010, and receives vital support from public- and private-sector partners: the Government of Canada, the Government of Québec, the City of Québec, the City of Montréal, the National Battlefields Commission, the Office du tourisme de Québec, Tourisme Montréal, Québecor, Air Transat, Via Rail and Québec Original.



For further information: AMERICAS | Véronique Lavoie, Head, Communications and Media Relations, cell: 514 554-2161,; INTERNATIONAL | Yves Perret, International Media Director, cell. 514 378-2677


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