Routley seventh in road nationals 

Whistler’s Will and Tony Routley traded their mountain bikes for road bikes on Monday to compete in the 2003 Canadian National Road Championships in Pelham, Ontario.

Will, 20, is racing in the under 23 Espoir category, and had the race of his life, finishing sixth in his category against the top young riders in Canada. His time of four hours, ten minutes and 36 seconds was just over two minutes back of the leader (Martin Gilbert at 4:08:14), and 24 seconds back of fourth.

There were 30 other road racers in the field, making 10 laps of a 16 kilometre track.

"I rode an assertive race and was involved in much of the action," wrote Routley. "I definitely spent a lot of time in the wind!"

Will currently rides for the Rocky Mountain/Crystal Decisions team, as well as Whistler Lodging Co., Flash 5 and Ryders.

Last weekend, Routley finished fourth in the Test of Metal, and seems to be improving with every race. He is focused on the Tim Hortons Canadian Mountain Bike National Championship in Whistler in two weeks, and says he will enter the World Cup cross-country race at Grouse Mountain the weekend before.

At the road nationals, Routley’s goal was to place well enough to qualify for the road world championships in Hamilton, Ontario this October.

"I’m certainly pleased with my race as there was a top calibre showing of competition," he says. "This race kind of puts me on the fence, so I am waiting with bated breath for the selection of the National Team’s European project."

According to Routley, the project is used as a development tool to prepare the team for the upcoming worlds in Hamilton, narrowing down the selection to a core group of riders."

Will’s father Tony also competed in the Road Nationals, finishing 13 th overall in the shorter Master B men’s race with a time of 2:36:52, less than 12 seconds back of the lead – it was a tight race, with the first 31 athletes finishing within a minute of first place.

For more information on the road nationals, visit www.canadiancyclist.com.

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