Pier-André Coté emerged victorious in the elite men’s race at the 2023 Panamerican Championships on Sunday, April 23. The Canadian, racing for his national team, was able to take the win in a reduced bunch sprint that came from a breakaway he and his teammate Charles-Étienne Chrétien helped to instigate.
While Coté was the fastest across the line, Chrétien got to join him on the podium after securing the bronze medal spot.
The heat of the Panamanian sun played a big role in the early race dynamics, Coté explained.
“The race was super warm and I think it played a big role in the end. People really paid a high price for their efforts from the first half of the race.”
With teams from across the continents of North and South America, competition was fierce, with Colombia among the strongest and most aggressive units.
“Colombia came with a strong all-around team of six. They wanted a hard race they were either being in every move or chasing everything down. It made for a very open and relentless race. We did a good job covering them and even catching them on the back foot on some occasions.
The race plan changed out on the road, with Coté and Chrétien calling an audible.
“We started out with the plan of going for a sprint, but Charles and I felt the race was going to come apart so we decided to break it ourselves.
“I attacked with 20km to go, and Charles bridged to my group moments later.”
The pair rode together in a group of eight, and established a gap of just 30 seconds. A small margin, but ultimately enough.
“I made sure no one went clear in the last two kilometers and then launched my sprint at the bottom of the last drag and held it.”
All photographs graciously supplied by Anderson Bonilla.