Burke, Jackson capture RBC GranFondo wins 

Alternate knocks off Olympians for Giro title

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - Abbotsford's Alison Jackson holds off Joelle Numainville to win the RBC GranFondo Whistler Giro on Sept. 10.
  • Photo by Dan Falloon
  • Abbotsford's Alison Jackson holds off Joelle Numainville to win the RBC GranFondo Whistler Giro on Sept. 10.

She's an alternate no more.

Abbotsford's Alison Jackson, who was an alternate for the Canadian Olympic team at the recent Summer Games in Rio, knocked off a strong field of women's riders at the RBC GranFondo Whistler Giro on Saturday morning. Jackson emerged over a tight pack of racers like Jasmin Glaesser, an Olympian who helped Canada to bronze in the team pursuit, and Joelle Numainville, the 2015 champion who was the closest competitor to Jackson, less than a second behind.

"You never know when it comes down to the finish and Joelle won it last year. I knew I had to be on form, the most rested that I could be during the day, and just sprint as hard as I possibly could," Jackson said after the race. "Any time you get a win, it's a fantastic feeling. We race a lot, bike racers, and if you get 15 per cent of your races as wins, that's a really good season. To be able to top the season off with this win is a great feeling."

Mikayla Maier took third among the women.

As for the men, Squamish's Jack Burke had a little less company for his coronation, crossing the finish line two minutes and 24 seconds (2:24) ahead of all comers. Jesse Anthony took second and Nigel Kinney third.

Though Burke broke off from the pack around Squamish, he still never felt home and cooled until he crossed the line.

"I was a little nervous if I had enough to get through. I was running out of water, actually, so I stopped at two of the aid stations to pick up some more water," he said. "I was pretty nervous in the past 10K.

"I looked back a little bit because they told me the gap was 15 minutes at one point and I didn't really believe that. I'm not going that fast. I was looking back once in awhile to make sure there was nobody coming, but I never saw anyone."

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