Van den Ham, a 27-year-old who lives in Chilliwack, British Columbia, had to fight hard to win his third straight Canadian championship. He got out to an early lead, with last year’s bronze medalist Marc-André Fortier right behind, but a crash on the second lap put him behind.
“I just made a silly mistake, got caught in a rut and lost my front wheel,” van den Ham told Cyclingnews.com. “Fortunately we were close to the pits because I had bent my [brake] hoods in a bit.”
Racing on his TCX Advanced Pro bike, van dem Ham chased back on the muddy track. He reclaimed the lead on the fifth lap and went on to win by 24 seconds over Fortier, who took silver. Alexandre Vialle finished third to claim the final podium placing.
“It’s never easy when it’s ‘jersey season,’ everyone wants to win one,” van den Ham said. “Marc had nothing to lose today and he was out there gunning for me.
It was a successful weekend all around for Giant riders, with van den Ham also winning Sunday's PTBO CX UCI C2 race in Peterborough and junior rider Jacob Rubuliak of Tag Racing/Giant Canada scoring back-to-back wins Saturday and Sunday.