Regina’s Waskimo Winter Festival returns for 2019 with a rare opportunity – Regina

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Despite the sub-zero temperatures, thousands in Regina braved the cold for the third annual Waskimo Winter Festival.

“You can embrace winter in this province, you really can. It’s easy to hide inside, but we build Waskimo to encourage people to embrace winter,” said festival organizer Jim Aho.


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For the first time in 16 years, several people took advantage of a rare opportunity — the chance to skate on Wascana Lake.

“There’s something very magical about being able to skate on our lake, especially when you consider a whole generation of kids have grown up in Regina, never knowing the joys of skating,” Aho said.

From activities on the ice to events off the ice, there was no shortage of things to do to help shake off the frosty temperatures. Events included a bird-watching field trip, cross-country skiing and the “hole-ympics” outhouse races.

Another highlight of the winter festival was the polar plunge, making a comeback for the first time in many years to raise money for the Special Olympics.


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Thousands come out for return of Waskimo in Regina

“In Waskimos of years ago, we used to dig a hole in the ice and actually plunge into the lake water, but we can’t do that anymore,” Aho said. “So we have the big plunge tanks and the hot tubs beside them.”

The Snobears were also new to the festival this year. Described as a motorhome on wheels, the outdoor vehicles provided a refuge for those looking to escape the chilly weather. There was also an indoor carnival at the Conexus Arts Centre including a magic show, an escape room and axe-thowing.

Organizers say the event continues to grow each year and has become a family tradition, no matter how cold it gets.

WATCH: Edmonton’s Silver Skate Festival forges ahead amid cold snap






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Edmonton collector selling rare Star Wars figurine for $30K

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An Edmonton collector is selling a rare Canadian release of a Star Wars figurine that could take in tens of thousands of dollars thanks to growing interest in the memorabilia.

Shane Turgeon acquired the unopened, decades-old caped Jawa toy in December after learning about it through a friend who owns a toy store in Victoria.

“He contacted me right away because he knew the significance of it and he knew that we’d be able to work out a deal and afford it, because it is a very expensive piece to buy from the original owner,” said Turgeon, who owns Shades of Grey Tattoo and Collectibles in Edmonton.

The figurine is modelled after the hooded Jawa creatures featured in the Star Wars film franchise and features a vinyl cape, which was discontinued in favour of a more realistic cloth cape version shortly after production began in 1978.


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An unpackaged cloth cape Jawa retails for about $30 to $40, according to Turgeon, while a mint condition vinyl edition could fetch $3,000.

As for Turgeon’s latest find, which remains inside its unique Canadian packaging by manufacturer Kenner, it’s one of only five or six known to exist, he said. It’s currently listed at $30,000.

A U.S. grading company rated the item 30 out of 100, largely because of wear and tear on its packaging, Turgeon said.

Courtesy: Shane Turgeon

“A lot of people will look at a story like this and they’ll say, ‘A Star Wars toy is worth $30,000,’ and they think all of their Star Wars toys are worth $30,000, and that’s not the case,” Turgeon said. “Star Wars toys that are worth that much money are because they’re very specialized pieces and they’re that way because there are very few of them remaining.”


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The figurine is currently with a grading company in the United States, which ranked it 30 out of 100. It docked some points because of the packaging, Turgeon told Global News.

He said there is a growing market for collectibles like his, thanks to people getting older and moving up in their careers.

“That disposable income is driving up the prices on pop culture collectibles across the board, especially the best of the best of pop culture collectibles,” Turgeon said.

The long-time collector hopes to find a buyer who appreciates Star Wars and understands what makes it special, but admits with a chuckle that “money talks.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Rare direct indictment for paramedics charged in death of ‘Good Samaritan’ Al-Hasnawi

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Two former Hamilton paramedics charged in connection with the death of Yosif Al-Hasnawi will head straight to trial after a rare direct indictment one of their lawyers describes as « extremely unfair. »

Steven Snively and Christopher Marchant were charged in August with failing to provide the necessaries of life when Al-Hasnawi, 19, was shot in the abdomen and killed on Dec. 2, 2017 — not long after he tried to help an older man who was accosted by two men outside a mosque. Witnesses, including his father and brothers, claimed the paramedics told Al-Hasnawi he was faking his injuries, and that he’d been shot by a pellet gun. Both paramedics have been fired by the city.

Police say when paramedics arrived, they didn’t take Al-Hasnawi to hospital for 38 minutes. When they did, they took him to St. Joseph’s Hospital, rather than Hamilton General Hospital, which is not only the region’s trauma centre, but closer to where he was shot. 

The direct indictment, which was filed by the Crown, is a « rarely used » provision typically seen in high-profile murder cases, according to Michael DelGobbo, who is representing Snively. It means there will be no preliminary hearing.

The lawyer pointed out that Dale King, the man charged with second murder for Al-Hasnawi’s death, was allowed a preliminary hearing, but noted the two paramedics have had that « right removed by the actions of the Crown. »

He said in this case the direct indictment also prevents the paramedics from having their case tried in the Ontario Court of Justice, meaning it must go to Superior Court.

« The Crown has taken away my client’s ability to elect the level of court to be tried in which is extremely unfair, » said DelGobbo, adding the Crown hasn’t given him any explanation for the unusual move.

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3 people involved in naked kidnapping have rare, psychotic disorder: court

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Court has heard that three people involved in a bizarre naked kidnapping case south of Edmonton last year suffered from a rare, shared psychotic disorder.

A courtroom in Leduc was packed with supporters as a judge heard a joint recommendation from lawyers for a conditional sentence.

Court has heard the group was not affected by alcohol or drugs but believed it was the end of the world and wanted to save their neighbours when they forced them from their home last November.

Two women and one man, who cannot be identified under a publication ban, earlier pleaded guilty to unlawful confinement.

One of the women, the only one dressed at the time of the kidnapping, also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

Her teenage daughters were also arrested but not charged.

Strange things happened

An agreed statement of facts says the group, who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, had gathered at a home near Leduc on Nov. 2, 1017.

The mother, who was then 35, had taken her daughters there to visit her 27-year old nephew and his 30-year old wife.

Strange things happened over the next three days.

The group didn’t leave the house and barely ate any food. One of the teens heard screaming and banging and saw ashes in the air.

Some of the people hid in a bedroom or bathroom because they believed they were in danger from wicked people or demons.

They also believed that the Great Tribulation had happened and Nov. 6 would be Armageddon. So they rushed off to find safety and save a neighbouring family.

But four who were naked didn’t have time to put clothes on.

« They had to leave right away because it was unsafe, » said the court document.

They were in such a hurry that after piling into a BMW SUV, they drove through the garage door. 

Chant « Jehovah » 10 times

They then forced the neighbours — a man, his adult daughter and her six-week-old son — out of their house and into the snow without shoes.

The woman and her baby were put in the back seat of the SUV and the man was put in the trunk.

He was ordered to chant « Jehovah » 10 times and the group also chanted « Jehovah » as the vehicle sped down roads and through a red light on the way to nearby Nisku.

The man in the trunk was able to jump out when the vehicle slowed, because the trunk’s latch hadn’t shut properly.

His daughter was also able to get out with her child, although her hand was slammed in the door as she made the attempt.

 A passing truck stopped to help the family and they climbed inside. But the SUV then rammed the truck from behind.

The woman and her baby were thrown into the truck’s dash but not injured. The SUV then went into a ditch.

When RCMP arrived, the group were chanting and refusing to get out of the vehicle. They clung to each other and the SUV.

One of the teens believed the police « were monsters who would kill them, » said the document.

Officers said the group displayed extreme strength. Two were pepper sprayed but seemed unaffected. The three adults were also shot with Tasers several times.

One also slid under the SUV and had to be dragged out with a strap. 

The neighbours later told Mounties the group seems « demonized » and « obviously not in their right minds. »

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Rare polio-like illness affecting kids may have reached Alberta

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One case of an unusual polio-like illness that targets children may have shown up in Alberta, but health officials say they can’t provide a definitive answer because the specific condition is not tracked.

According to Alberta’s deputy medical officer of health, Dr. Kristin Klein, a child was hospitalized in January with a possible case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM). 

When CBC News asked for further clarification, a spokesperson for Alberta Health said the child had been diagnosed with a condition of which AFM may or may not be a sub-type. 

AFM is characterized by spinal cord swelling and symptoms include sudden weakness in the arms and legs and sometimes facial paralysis. In the most severe cases, children can have problems breathing and require the support of a ventilator.

Craig Jenne, a microbiologist at the University of Calgary, says isn’t surprised accessing information about AFM is difficult right now, given that it’s so rare. (University of Calgary)

While the condition is not new, cases are on the rise in the United States and doctors in other parts of Canada say they’re starting to see cases, too.

« There isn’t any cause for alarm at this point. This is a very, very rare condition, » said Klein. 

« If any person in Alberta is worried that their child has symptoms that are concerning, like muscle weakness…they need to contact their physician to be assessed, » she said.

According to Alberta Health the child (hospitalized in January) has been released from hospital but the department won’t say where the case occurred, citing patient confidentiality. Officials say a diagnosis can’t be confirmed because AFM is not a reportable disease within Alberta and as a result data is not collected.

« Based on the information we have, we cannot tell if this meets the definition of AFM, » a spokesperson said in an email to CBC News.

Tracking more difficult in Canada

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 AFM cases have been confirmed in the U.S. so far this year and the number has been growing since 2014.

Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, emergency physician and professor of public health at the University of Alberta, questions why AFM isn’t being tracked here, when it’s being done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. (Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti)

Canada doesn’t track the illness the same way. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) monitors a larger group of conditions called Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP).

The polio-like illness which is sparking concern, AFM, is one of many illnesses included in the broader category.

There are 24 confirmed cases of AFP so far this year in Canadian children under the age of 15. Four cases of AFP have been reported in Alberta and in three of those patients, AFM has been ruled out. 

The national and provincial numbers are considered by officials to be within the range that is normally expected.

Calls for better surveillance

Some experts are questioning why this kind of public health information isn’t more accessible.

« In 2018 you would think that with all the technology that’s before us, most of this information would be more readily available, » said Dr. Louis Francescutti, emergency physician and professor of public health at the University of Alberta.

He questions why AFM isn’t being tracked here, when it’s being done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

« They usually have very rigorous methodology in place to decide what needs to be reported. So I think the question is very valid that if it’s good enough for the CDC in Atlanta why isn’t it good enough for us in Alberta? »

 Dr. Craig Jenne, associate professor of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases at the University of  Calgary, isn’t surprised accessing information about AFM is difficult right now.

« This is a very rare condition, so there’s just not a lot of cases to work with, » said Jenne. « But also the diagnosis itself is pretty difficult. You need MRI imaging, you need other advanced techniques and not every hospital or every health centre has access to these facilities. » 

Cause unknown

Scientists do not yet know what causes the mysterious illness and why more cases are popping up. Experts are investigating whether the condition is triggered by viral infections such as enterovirus, which causes gastro-intestinal problems.

While the polio virus has been ruled out, one specific virus has not yet been linked to all cases.

The long-term impact on children is also unclear. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, while some patients recover quickly others require on-going care.

All this can be a scary prospect for parents. But Craig Jenne cautions against panic, saying the risk to children is extremely low.

« If parents think there is something up with their children … they have some symptoms … don’t hesitate to see a doctor. But at this point there is no need for panic or excessive worry, » he said.

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Rare, polio-like illness has now reached Children’s Hospital, LHSC says

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CBC News has learned that three cases of a rare, polio-like disease have presented at the London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) Children’s Hospital since early September. 

The disease, acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a sub-type of another rare but serious neurological illness called acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), according to Dr. Adam Kassam, a senior resident physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Western University.

Over time, AFM can cause muscle weakness, trouble swallowing and, in severe cases, respiratory failure, he said.

« It’s still a vastly rare presentation of illness, but it does provoke some concern based on the frequency, relatively soon over the past couple of months, » said Dr. Kassam.

A spokesperson for LHSC said over email due that to privacy reasons, they cannot disclose the status of those three patients.

Incidents of the disease have increased in the U.S. this year, with more than than 60 cases confirmed and another 65 currently under investigation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since September, the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto has also seen an increase in patients with symptoms typical of AFP, namely muscle weakness and a preceding viral illness, according to associate pediatrician-in-chief Dr. Jeremy Friedman.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit says there have been no reports of AFM in London or Middlesex County, which means the patients would likely have come from other public health jurisdictions.

The health unit considers AFP a disease of public health significance, and confirmed or suspected cases of the illness must be reported as soon as possible.

‘Rare but serious’

Dr. Adam Kassam emphasized that AFM is very uncommon. (Submitted)

Doctors don’t know what causes AFM, but Kassam said it may be related to class of viruses known as enteroviruses, which also causes polio. Although infectious diseases that target the motor nerves and spinal cord can, in theory, affect anyone, Kassam said AFM has a particular « predilection » for children.

« This is something that’s relatively rare, but affects children, and so this is something we should be concerned about as a community, » he said. 

Kassam said parents should watch out for symptoms including sudden weakness and an inability to move a limb. AFM usually presents in just one side of the body, and tends to target the legs more so than the arms, he said. 

There is no specific treatment for the illness, and kids who get AFM are primarily helped through physical therapy and adaptive solutions like wheelchairs or crutches once they’re medically stable, Kassam said.

« If [parents] do have a suspicion about their child suffering from weakness that is unexplained, or it happened suddenly, then they should go to their doctor or go to their emergency room as soon as they can, » he said.

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Le citron noir, nouvelle perle rare de la gastronomie

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Le chef Stéphane Jégo, à la tête de l’Ami Jean dans le VIIe arrondissement, aime secouer les codes, faire bouger les lignes, investir de nouveaux territoires culinaires. Son récent défi ? Réinventer un agrume ordinaire en ingrédient exceptionnel.

Ce Breton natif de Lorient n’est pas du genre sirupeux. Plutôt bouillonnant, hyperactif, grand cœur et grande gueule. Un autodidacte des casseroles qui a tout de même passé douze ans aux côtés d’Yves Camdeborde, chef historique de la très culte Régalade (avenue Jean-Moulin, Paris XIVe), où il a pu intégrer tous les fondamentaux de la bistronomie. En 2002, c’est le grand saut, Stéphane Jégo reprend l’Ami Jean, un bistrot de basquitude extrême créé en 1931, dans le VIIe arrondissement. Il en garde l’âme, les classiques du Sud-Ouest tout en élargissant le répertoire, mixant menus-dégustation gastronomiques et plats de terroir, «cassant les codes» comme il aime à le répéter. Mais c’est en 2012, pour le dixième anniversaire de son établissement qu’il fait le grand ménage. Fini les réservations à deux mois, la folie des services qui s’enchaînent, la cohue. Il supprime 40 couverts, revoit ses prix à la baisse, rentre au Collège culinaire de France dont la vocation est de promouvoir la qualité de la restauration hexagonale et mondiale tout en s’investissant parallèlement dans le Refugee Food Festival.

«Il s’agit d’un produit unique qui n’a pas d’équivalent dans le monde»

Stéphane Jégo

Cet événement annuel a notamment pour objectif de faciliter l’insertion socio-professionnelle de réfugiés à travers la cuisine. Et c’est dans ce contexte très effervescent qu’un soir d’insomnie, il voit à la télévision un reportage sur le citron noir iranien. Le «loumi», de son nom perse, est un citron vert frais, mis à bouillir dans de l’eau salée puis séché au soleil durant plusieurs semaines, que l’on utilise traditionnellement au Moyen-Orient comme condiment pour les ragoûts, les sauces ou les soupes.

Dans la tête de Stéphane Jégo se produit un véritable déclic. Il décide alors de produire son propre citron noir en inventant un «process» qui n’a rien à voir avec la recette initiale. Le choix des agrumes d’abord. Pas question d’aller les chercher à l’autre bout de la terre, question d’éthique. Il sélectionnera donc des citrons corses bio «parce que le terroir apporte sa note gustative» et que ceux de l’île de Beauté comptent parmi les plus intéressants. Il les laisse ensuite confire très longuement (dix jours) dans de l’eau additionnée de sucre, au sein d’un four Hold-o-mat à température constante (entre 70 et 80 °C). Ce four suisse qui maintient aussi au chaud les plats avec une régulation très précise de l’humidité est la coqueluche de moult cuisiniers étoilés. Ce qui n’empêche pas notre homme d’avouer que l’empirisme a ses limites et qu’il lui fallut de très nombreux essais avant d’arriver à un résultat satisfaisant. «Le citron noir, c’est zéro additif, juste de l’eau et de la matière», martèle-t-il. Avec peut-être un petit quelque chose en plus, mais nous n’en saurons rien, une procédure de dépôt de brevet étant en cours. «Il s’agit d’un produit unique qui n’a pas d’équivalent dans le monde. Vous ne retrouvez pas les codes visuels de l’agrume que nous connaissons tous et, gustativement, c’est bien plus qu’un citron, avec des notes et des particularités qui lui sont propres.» De plus, ce qui ne gâche rien, ledit process possède toutes les qualités requises puisque le degré de stérilisation est suffisamment élevé pour être efficace sur le plan bactériologique mais suffisamment bas aussi pour ne pas détériorer le produit.

Salé ou sucré

Évidemment, cela donne très envie de savoir si cet ovni culinaire se marie mieux avec le salé ou le sucré. Comme la vie est bien faite, il fait, semble-t-il, merveille avec les deux. «Je travaille avec Emmanuel Ryon (champion du monde de pâtisserie et Meilleur ouvrier de France glacier, NDLR) qui est une bombe dans son domaine. Il m’a sorti un sorbet au citron noir, sarrasin, filet d’huile d’olive qui est exceptionnel. Associé à des fraises et à une pointe de cassonade, c’est totalement addictif!» La meringue citronnée accompagnée d’une petite émulsion vanillée ou encore le riz au lait, dessert emblématique de l’Ami Jean depuis l’ouverture, et désormais twisté «à l’humeur noire», ont trouvé un nouveau public.

Côté salé, le citron noir a le chic de mettre en valeur le produit qu’il accompagne, que ce soit une viande, un poisson ou un légume. Au rang des préparations préférées du chef, figurent la côte de cochon de chez Ospital lardée au citron noir ou, plus sophistiquée, une échine de porc coupée en deux, légèrement tartinée de basilic et de citron noir, roulée dans la crépine, rôtie plusieurs heures puis mise à reposer avant d’être brièvement repassée sur le feu pour la caramélisation.

Partageur, Stéphane Jégo ne réserve pas ses trouvailles aux seuls clients du restaurant. Depuis quelques années déjà, tous ses plats peuvent être dégustés à domicile, dans la vaisselle de l’Ami Jean pour peu qu’on aille les chercher sur place. Il vient d’y adjoindre une ligne de condiments «Jépure» dont le citron noir est le meilleur faire-valoir.

L’Ami Jean. 27, rue Malar (Paris VIIe). Tél.: 01 47 05 86 89. Recettes et vente de produits Jépure sur www.lamijean.fr

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Enchères record pour une très rare bouteille de whisky

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Cette bouteille de whisky millésime 1926 produite par Macallan et dessinée par l’artiste italien Valerio Adami a été vendue 848.750 livres (947.000 euros), battant le record détenu jusqu’alors par une bouteille du même whisky qui s’était vendue 1,01 million de dollars (857.000 euros) en mai à Hong Kong.

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« L’acheteur vient d’Extrême-Orient où il y a un énorme intérêt pour le whisky », a dit à l’AFP Richard Harvey, expert en boissons à la maison de ventes Bonhams. « Des bars à whisky ouvrent partout en Extrême-Orient, ce qui suscite un intérêt considérable et ce qui explique probablement qu’entre un tiers et 40% de nos ventes vont à des acheteurs de l’Extrême-Orient« , a-t-il déclaré. Bonhams détient maintenant le record des trois bouteilles de whisky les plus précieuses jamais vendues aux enchères.

« C’est un grand honneur d’avoir établi un nouveau record du monde, et c’est particulièrement réjouissant de l’avoir fait ici, en Écosse, le pays du whisky », s’est félicité Martin Green, spécialiste du whisky chez Bonhams. Le whisky a été distillé en 1926 et conservé dans un fût jusqu’à sa mise en bouteille 60 ans plus tard, en 1986. Seules 24 bouteilles ont été produites avec des étiquettes conçues par deux célèbres artistes pop – 12 du Britannique Peter Blake et 12 de l’Italien Valerio Adami. 

La bouteille vendue mercredi avait été achetée directement à la distillerie Macallan pour un montant non divulgué en 1994 et faisait partie d’une collection plus vaste du même propriétaire proposée lors de la vente.On ignore combien de bouteilles existent encore mais l’une aurait été détruite lors d’un tremblement de terre au Japon en 2011 et une autre aurait été bue. 
Charles MacLean, expert en whisky écossais, a déclaré à l’AFP que « le whisky est le troisième investissement alternatif le plus populaire en période d’incertitude boursière, derrière les voitures de collection et les oeuvres d’art ».

Avec AFP

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Mike Woods achieves rare Canadian cycling feat at road race worlds

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Mike Woods, the second Canadian to win a Spanish Vuelta stage earlier this month, became the country’s first cyclist to reach the podium at the road race world championships in 34 years with a third-place finish on Sunday in Innsbruck, Austria.

In 1984, Canada’s Steve Bauer won a bronze medal at the road world championship in Spain, just a few weeks after he captured the country’s first Olympic medal in road cycling at Los Angeles.

« My ears were ringing because the people were so loud and I could hear their cow bells, » said Woods, an Ottawa native. « Even before the race, I told myself I’d try to get inspiration and energy from what the fans bring to the race. There were so many fans today. »

The 31-year-old led Sunday’s race with less than 10 kilometres remaining before bowing to Spain’s Alejandro Valverde, who sprinted to his first world title after a grueling race of six hours 46 minutes through the Austrian Alps.

Valverde led a group of four in the final kilometre, including Woods, and just remained ahead in the sprint, with Romain Bardet of France taking the silver.

From left, Ottawa native Michael Woods, winner Alejandro Valverde of Spain and Romain Bardet of France battle to the finish in the men’s elite road road race in Austria. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images)

Sunday’s victory came 15 years after Valverde won silver in Hamilton, a feat he repeated in 2005 in Madrid.

« This is the greatest day of my career. It means everything to me to take this victory, » the 38-year-old Valverde said through an interpreter after becoming the first Spanish world champion since Oscar Freire won the title in 2004.

Sunday’s title came a year after he suffered a fractured kneecap in a fall in the Tour de France, forcing him to end his 2017 season prematurely.

Valverde, who served a doping suspension earlier in his career, positioned himself for the win when he went ahead of the pack together with Bardet and Woods for the final five kilometres.

He is planning to retire following the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

2nd at Liè​ge-Bastogne-Liè​ge

Also representing Canada in Sunday’s race were Rob Britton (Rally Cycling), reigning national road race champion Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ) and Hugo Houle (Astana).

Woods, who rides for the EF Education First-Drapac, or Cannondale-Drapac, was second in the prestigious Liè​ge-Bastogne-Liè​ge one-day race in April, the first Canadian to reach the podium at the event.

In May, he was also runner-up on Stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia and ended up 19th after being slowed by illness.

Woods, who makes his home in Spain these days, is a former elite distance runner at the University of Michigan.

He switched to cycling after a recurrent stress fracture in his foot and turned heads early in the 2016 season with a fifth-place finish in his first road race as a World Tour pro at the Tour Down Under in Australia.

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