Toronto Hustle take on first the UCI race of the Spring campaign at JMSR

APR 12-15, 2018 // The team comes together for the first time in full force with riders arriving from training camps and races in various parts of the globe to compete in the first professional race of the season. ANTON VARABEI and NOAH SIMMS score top 20 on stages, and 26th and 42nd on GC respectively.


STAGE 1 // 180km - VARABEI endures the hard opening stage to 23rd

   
  
   
  
    
  
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   MURPHY and VARABEI work together. © Dean Warren Photography

MURPHY and VARABEI work together. © Dean Warren Photography

Joe Martin Stage Race always provides a great test of spring fitness against the field stacked with professional teams. Changes to Stage order, and the addition of a brand new hilly course in this years edition created a completely new dynamic to the race. Having moved the Uphill TT to Stage 3, and a new course on Stage One made for very tough and aggressive racing the boys were looking for.

The wind behind the peloton for the first half of the course set an extremely fast pace on a rolling terrain and open crosswind sections; it was single file action for nearly 2 hours until a large breakaway formed.

The rest was very short, and the futile pace resumed as there was number of teams that were not happy of letting this breakaway gain time. By the time the group arrived for the final 3 km in the hill top finish, only half of the peloton remained, and most of the breakaway were caught - aside for a handful that hung to the finish with small time gap.

EVAN MURPHY, ANTON VARABEI and NOAH SIMMS worked well together positioning for the final climb, but the fast pace and distance has took a toll on young SIMMS to come through with hard punch on the steep grade required to stay with the leaders that typically would be his ideal finish profile.


STAGE 2 // 175km - SIMMS redeems himself with top 20

   
  
   
  
    
  
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   SIMMS Refocused on Stage 2. ©Robert Brunton

SIMMS Refocused on Stage 2. ©Robert Brunton

Now that the GC has been sorted, this stage was relatively calm until the final kilometers where it historically was known to get a little hairy in a fast approach into technical uphill urban finale. With the fight of the trains on a wide highway at 60km/h, racing for the critical sequence of turns can be chaotic and frightening, but the boys fought their way into a reasonable position for the turns, and up the hill where SIMMS and VARABEI sprinted into 19th and 20th respectively, mere seconds behind the winner, Alex Cowan of Silber Pro Cycling. 


Stage 3 // 5km Uphill Time Trail – PALAMAREK and SIMMS show their climbing potential

  PALAMAREK on the TT course. © Dean Warren Photography

PALAMAREK on the TT course. © Dean Warren Photography

This short, but tough Time Trial course typically favours the climbers with gradient of 6-8% for most of the switchback climb. Toronto Hustle’s young climbing guns proved no less with ETHAN PALAMAREK placing 40th and Noah Simms 44th.


SATGE 4 // Criterium. VARABEI, MURPHY Set their Eyes on Personal Goals

   
  
   
  
    
  
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     VARABEI celebrates 13th in Stage 4 and a successful completion of JMSR with teammates.   © Robert Brunton

VARABEI celebrates 13th in Stage 4 and a successful completion of JMSR with teammates. © Robert Brunton

Known as one of the toughest criterium courses in North America, Stage 4 often proves to be a very difficult stage with GC shakedowns, where most rider have difficulty even finishing on the same lap. The 7-corner course with a nasty short climb 40 times through the start/finish is tough on the legs after three hard days of racing! Both ANTON VARABEI and EVAN MURPHY had personal goals in this Stage, having been pulled in previous editions. Staying near the front of the race on such a course is, but the task isn’t always easy as it sounds. Toronto Hustle’s four remaining riders put up great performances and toughed it out for personal bests - ANTON just outside the respectable top 10 and EVAN behind him in 21st, while #youngblood NOAH and ETHAN completed their first professional UCI Stage Race!

Chapeau to all races!

ANTON VARABEI