Anderson sprints to Bastion Square title

But this guy is certainly no lump. He’s got jump.

Men’s winner Anderson and women’s winner Mical Dyck added their names Sunday to the list of past Bastion Square Grand Prix champions such as Olympic-medallists Alison Sydor and Brian Walton, world-champion and Olympian Roland Green, Olympians Erinne Willock, Gina Grain, Andreas Hestler and world champion Melanie McQuaid.

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“I’m honoured to add my name on that list,” said Dyck, who is Canada’s top-ranked women’s cyclo-cross rider.

There was again frenetic spoke-to-spoke racing over the tight 900-metre circuit on the downtown streets bordering the historic Victoria square.

“It was a nice atmosphere with such a great crowd lining the course,” said Anderson, who outlasted a bunched sprint to the finish line after 75 laps.

Anderson and second- and third-place finishing Trek Red Truck teammates Jesse Reams and Bailey McKnight were across in the leading-pack time of 1:22:30.

What made Anderson’s win impressive in the 2013 Russ Hay’s/Accent Inns-sponsored Bastion Square race was that the native of Spruce Grove, Alta., and graduate of the Victoria Academy of Cycling, is currently unattached and could not rely on teammates.

Team racing is a crucial part of individual success in cycling, so Anderson had to be shrewd tactically by playing off what the other teams were doing.

“I was by myself and tried to use the other teams as much as I could,” said the 25-year-old pro cyclist, now based in Vancouver, and preparing for the Canadian championships later this month in Quebec.

The key for Anderson was that the large lead group of about 30 riders, from several teams, did not shatter but held together through to the final sprint.

Anderson was a mountain biker when based in Victoria under coach Steve Lund from 2004 to 2007. But while mountain biking was all the Canadian rage in the 1990s and early 2000s, road cycling rebounded into prominence thanks to the likes of Hesjedal’s recent performances in the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.

“I switched [from mountain to road] because the road scene was really picking up in North America,” said Anderson.

Anderson was third in Saturday’s draining Westhills Road Cycling Classic in Metchosin and accumulated enough points over the weekend to win the overall men’s championship of the Robert W. Cameron Law Cycling Series, which also included Friday night’s individual time trial along Dallas Road.

McKnight was second in the overall standings and Rob Britton of Victoria third.

Dyck, who has raced on the national mountain-bike team at World Cup events and who was top-20 earlier this year at the world cyclo-cross championships, proved on Sunday she’s not too shabby on the road, either. The 31-year-old Victoria-based geologist from Fort McMurray, Alta., won the 45-lap Bastion Square women’s race in a frenzied sprint to the finish line against fellow-Victorians Megan Rathwell and Nik Vogler, with all three coming across in 54:26.

“It’s my one token road race for the year and it’s nice to win, especially in Victoria, in such a great atmosphere in front of so many people,” she said.

In what became the winning theme of the day, solitary was the in thing as Dyck was the lone racer from the Pro City club.

“I focused on keeping pace [with the lead teams] right to the end, because I knew I had a chance,” she said.

Rathwell, who won Saturday’s road race, was the overall women’s champion of the Cameron Cycling Series with Dyck second and Vogler third.

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