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It's a hat trick for Gunnar Holmgren

Local cyclist surprised seasoned pros two years ago when he won as a 16-year-old ... and keeps on winning
Gunnar Holmgren (centre) of Hardwood-Next Wave Cycling Team received the gold medal for his third consecutive win at the 25th Paris-Ancaster cycling race this past Sunday. He is flanked by second place finisher Anthony Clark, left, and third place finisher Jeremy Powers. Supplied photo

Team Hardwood Next Wave cyclists once again made a strong showing this past Sunday at the 25th edition of the popular spring classic Paris Ancaster Cycling Race with Gunnar Holmgren making it three wins in a row.

Weather was perfect with sunny skies and a slight tailwind as nearly 1,600 cyclists set off from Paris along 73 km of rail trails, farm paths and gravel roads towards Ancaster.

Holmgren set off in an elite pack of cyclists and the group would ride together to the end with a final separation taking place as they wound their way up the final steep climb towards Ancaster Community Center.

“It was a tough race,” said Holmgren, “but conditions were perfect, classic P2A”.

The course is infamous for its mud and with winter barely giving way to spring a week before the race, conditions were indeed wet and slick. The win makes it three in a row for Holmgren, who surprised seasoned pros two years ago when he won as a 16-year-old. He now heads off to Europe and various Canadian destinations on the World Cup and Canada Cup Mountain Bike racing circuit.

Several other members of the team had impressive showings also, with David Staples winning the Men’s 60-69 age category, coach Kevin Simms placing 2nd in the Men’s 50-59 age category, Ava Holmgren placing 2nd in the Women’s 11-15 category, and Lisa Holmgren placing 3rd in the Women’s 40-49 category.

The team was also well-represented in the 40km edition from Saint George to Ancaster. This course is shorter but takes in some of the same key elements as the 73km edition.

Just over 700 athletes took part in this race. Ian Ackert put in an impressive ride taking 5th overall and winning the Men’s 11-15 age category. HIs teammates Luke Valenti and Troy Von Svoboda took 4th and 5th in the same category.

The cycling season is now well underway with races now taking place almost every weekend in the various cycling disciplines. Races such as the Paris Ancaster race this year has been great motivation and should provide the basis for more great performances this season.



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