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CANADIAN DOWNHILLERS FINISH TOP-10 AT MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Mont-Ste-Anne, QC (September 2, 2019) – Canada had a strong finish to the Mountain Bike World Championships on Sunday at Mont-Ste-Anne, Quebec, with top-10 finishes in the Downhill for Junior Men, Elite Women and Elite Men. In the Junior Men category, Lucas Cruz was fourth, Elliot Jamieson sixth, Patrick Laffey eighth and Seth Sherlock ninth. Vaea Verbeeck was eight in Elite Women, while in Elite Men, Finn Iles was seventh and Mark Wallace ninth.  Canada finished the world championships tenth in the medal standings with a silver medal.

“Last year was my first [Elite] Worlds and I was 14th and this I am seventh, so it is a good step up,” said Iles. “I’m quite happy with that. It was definitely special to race here at Mont-Ste-Anne; when I came down and was first, the feeling of that whole crowd is something I will never forget. I wish I could have stayed on the Hot Seat longer, but I’m happy overall with my performance.”

Lucas Cruz, a second year Junior, missed the bronze medal by a mere hundredth of a second. “I felt super solid all week in training and most of my run was good; I had a few little mistakes and lost a little time at the bottom because it turned out my tire was low, but overall it was good.”

FIVE CANADIANS IN TOP-20 AT MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Mont-Ste-Anne, QC (September 1, 2019) – Canadian Elite women’s cross-country champion Emily Batty had her best race of the year on Saturday at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Mont-Ste-Anne, Quebec, finishing ninth. She was joined in the top-20 by three other Canadians – Haley Smith (12th), Catharine Pendrel (14th) and Sandra Walter (18th). In the Elite men’s category, Leandre Bouchard was the top Canadian in 27th place, while Laurie Arseneault was ninth in Under-23 women.

“I would say this is more of what I expect,” said Batty, who has struggled on the World Cup circuit this season. “I was going for top-5, but I will take this. I was excited to race in front of all the people who have come from all across Canada, and grateful for them cheering me on. I started fifth row, and I don’t remember being back that far before. That was such a chore; I think I was two minutes down by Lap 2, with all the traffic. But I was able to focus on my own race, and I made no mistakes. I think with the season I have had, this was my top-3.”

CANADIAN JUNIORS FINISH TOP-10 AT MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLDS

Mont-Ste-Anne, QC (August 30, 2019) – Canada’s Carter Woods, of Cumberland, BC, came within 17 seconds of finishing on the podium at the Mountain Bike World Championships on Thursday, ending up fourth. The Junior [17-18 years] rider was part of a group of five riders that broke away from the rest of the field early in the race at Mont-Ste-Anne, Quebec, but fell off the pace of the front three in the final lap. In the Junior women’s race, earlier in the day, Emilly Johnston of Comox, BC, finished ninth.

“It was a super tough race,” said Woods,” but all I can think about is going up the last climb and there were so many people chanting my name. Everyone at the top is so good; looking back there may have been a few spots where I could have gone harder, but in the moment, you are suffering so much. I’m super happy with fourth; it was a fair battle out there.”

“It was so amazing,” said Johnston, who is attending her first world championships. “I’m super proud to be representing Canada, especially here in Canada. On the second lap I made a silly mistake and took a bit of a tumble, but I was back up in 10-15 seconds. In general, this was a learning experience for me, and I was happy with my result.”

SILVER MEDAL FOR CANADA AT FIRST E-MTB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Mont-Ste-Anne, QC (August 29, 2019) – Canada’s Maghalie Rochette won a silver medal on Wednesday at the first ever edition of the women’s electric pedal-assist mountain bike (E-MTB) competition at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Mont-Ste-Anne, Quebec. Rochette led for much of the race before being overtaken by Switzerland’s Nathalie Schneitter on the final lap. In other competition, Canada was fifth in the Team Relay event.

“I am super disappointed,” admitted Rochette. “I really wanted to win; it is the very first one in history and it would have been really cool to win it here in Canada. I gave it my all but, in the end, Nathalie was better. I’m a bit mad at myself because I made a mistake on the last lap that cost me. On a technical climb I put my foot down, and when I tried to get going again I crashed, and that’s when Nathalie caught me.”

Peter Disera rode anchor for Canada in the Team Relay, and brought the team up to fifth from eighth. “I’m pretty proud of my ride, because I haven’t been riding too well [since earlier World Cups], but today I came out very focussed. On a whole, it’s been really impressive to watch the growth in Team Canada.”

CANADA CUP SERIES TITLES AWARDED IN KENTVILLE

Kentville, NS (August 20, 2019) – After starting in Victoria back in March, the Canada Cup national mountain bike series concluded on Sunday at the other end of the country, in Kentville, Nova Scotia, with Round 8, where the final Canada Cup series titles were awarded.

World Cup pro Haley Smith (Norco Factory) bookended the Elite women’s series – winning the first race and the last one; the only two Canada Cups she was able to attend this year. Roxanne Vermette (Club Cycliste Mont-Ste-Anne) won the overall title, despite not attending the final race, with 995 points. Marianne Theberge (Equipe du Quebec) finished second to Smith on the day and second overall in the Series, with 895 points, followed by Mireille Larose-Gingras (Velo Cartel x BL Coaching) at 770 points.

“Today was really, really fun,” said Smith. “I maintain that this is the best course in Canada! I have so much fun every time I ride it. It was very muddy, starting ten minutes before the race, which made things exciting; I had a few close calls in the first lap. I felt rejuvenated to be around the local mountain bike community.”

In the Elite men’s race, it was a battle between Nova Scotia local and World Cup pro Andrew L’Esperance (Norco Factory) and Holden Jones (Pendrel Racing). L’Esperance and Jones rode together for the first half of the race but Jones surged in the second half to take the win. Tyler Orschel (Durham Shredders), who led the Canada Cup going into the final round, finished third. Jones’ win jumped him into the Canada Cup title, finishing with total of 984 points, just 19 ahead of Orschel. William Cote (Equipe du Quebec) took third overall.

In the Junior categories, Juliette Larose-Gingras (Velo Cartel x BL Coaching) won the women’s race and the overall title. Samuelle Baillargeon (CVM Sigma Assurance) was second and Julianne Sarrazin (Equipe du Quebec/Velo Pays-d’en-ha) finished third. Sarrazin took second in the overall standings, tied on points with Magdeleine Vallieres-Mill (Quebecor Stingray), who did not attend Kentville.

The Junior men’s win and overall title went to Carter Woods (Rocky Mountain Factory), who took his fourth win in the Series. Vincent Thiboutot (Pivot Cycles-OTE) finished second and third overall, while Hamish Graham (Simon Cycles) was third, finishing second in the overall standings.

The Under-17 women’s win and title went to Nicole Bradbury (NCCH Elite p/b MGCC), who had five wins in five races – the only race Bradbury entered that she didn’t win, was Round 4, where she suffered a mechanical and did not finish. Catryana Marcotte (Dalbix Siboire) was second in the final round, with Emilie Chloe McIntyre (Fitworks) finishing third. Ava Holmgren (Hardwood Next wave) finished second in the overall standings, and Elli Clark (Homestead Racing) was third.

In the Under-17 Men’s category, Mederic Carrier (Equipe du Quebec) won, followed by Matteo Oppizzi (Equipe du Quebec/EC Performance) and Zorak Paille (Equipe du Quebec/EC Performance). The overall title was won by Owen Clark (Homestead Racing), who won four rounds but did not attend the final. Ian Ackert (Hardwood Next Wave) finished second overall and Erik Ashton (Trail Bicycles) was third.

CANADA ANNOUNCES TEAM FOR MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Mont-Ste-Anne, QC (August 19, 2019) – Cycling Canada has announced the team of 71 riders who will represent Canada at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, between August 28th and September 1st. Mont-Sainte-Anne has a long history of hosting world-class mountain bike events, and this will mark the first time that this event is awarded three times to the same organizers.

Both Cross-Country (XCO) and Downhill (DH) athletes will be competing in the biggest event on the calendar, in addition to E-MTB, which will be making its debut at a World Championship. This year’s event holds an added level of excitement as the members of Team Canada will be riding on home turf, in front of an anticipated 50,000 spectators.

“Racing at a home at the World Championships is always a special honour,” said Head Coach Dan Proulx. “We’re excited to race on a track that we know well – one of the most technical and demanding tracks in the world.”

“Obviously we hope to see Canadians on the podium here, but more importantly we’re looking for athletes to improve on their personal best and come away with even greater ambition to compete with the best riders in the world. This competition will provide an incredible incentive for our development riders, providing dividends to our system for many years to come.”

Junior Women (XCO):
Samuelle Baillargeon – Quebec City, QC
Emilly Johnston – Comox, BC
Juliette Larose-Gingras – Quebec City, QC
Kelly Lawson – Barrie, ON
Julianne Sarrazin – Prévost, QC
Kaitlyn Shikaze – Oakville, ON
Magdeleine Vallières-Mill – Sherbrooke, QC

Junior Men (XCO):
Hamish Graham – Saskatoon, SK
Dylan Kerr – Horseshoe Valley, ON
Jérémie La Grenade – Gatineau, QC
Xavier Roy – Amos, QC
Charles-Antoine St-Onge – Fleurimont, QC
Vincent Thiboutot – Quebec City, QC
Carter Woods – Cumberland, BC

U23 Women (XCO):
Laurie Arsenault – Terrebonne, QC
Mireille Larose-Gingras – Quebec City, QC
Mackenzie Myatt – Musquodoboit Harbour, NS
Sophianne Samson, Quebec City, QC
Amélie Simard – Beaupré, QC
Marianne Théberge – Lévis, QC
Roxanne Vermette – Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, QC

U23 Men (XCO):
Raphael Auclair – Haut-Saint-Charles, QC
Quinton Disera – Horseshoe Valley, ON
Émile Farrell-Dessureault – Sherbrooke, QC
Sean Fincham – Squamish, BC
Gunnar Holmgren – Orillia, ON
Holden Jones – Squamish, BC
Tyler Orschel – Markham, ON

Elite Women (XCO):
Emily Batty – Brooklin, ON
Jenn Jackson – Oro Medonte, ON
Cindy Montambault – Val-David, QC
Elyse Nieuwold – Newmarket, ON
Catharine Pendrel – Kamloops, BC
Haley Smith – Uxbridge, ON
Sandra Walter – Coquitlam, BC

Elite Men (XCO):
Félix Belhumeur – Quebec City, QC
Leandre Bouchard – Alma, QC
Peter Disera – Horseshoe Valley, ON
Marc-André Fortier – Victoriaville, QC
Raphaël Gagné – Quebec City, QC
Andrew L’Esperance – Halifax, NS
Cory Wallace – Jasper, AB

Junior Women (DH):
Amy Ertel – Whistler, BC
Bailey Goldstone – Squamish, BC
Madison Skrypnek – Squamish, BC

Junior Men (DH):
Justin Clements – Calgary, AB
Lucas Cruz – Pemberton, BC
Emmett Hancock – Kelowna, BC
Elliot Jamieson – White Rock, BC
Patrick Laffey – Nanaimo, BC
Milton McConville – New Westminster, BC
Seth Sherlock – Squamish, BC

Elite Women (DH):
Georgia Astle – Whistler, BC
Miranda Miller – Squamish, BC
Rachel Pageau – Quebec City, QC
Vaea Verbeeck – North Vancouver, BC

Elite Men (DH):
Finn Iles – Whistler, BC
Hugo Langevin – Bromont, QC
Magnus Manson – Sechelt, BC
Kirk McDowall – Vancouver, BC
Samuel Thibault – Chambly, QC
Mark Wallace – Duncan, BC

Women (E-MTB):
Maghalie Rochette – Ste-Adèle, QC
Courtnay Romkey – Calgary, AB

Men (E-MTB):
Mathieu Bélanger-Barrette – Quebec City, QC
Yann Gauvin – Ste-Catherine-De-La-J-Cartier, QC
Andreas Hestler – North Vancouver, BC
Félix Longpré – St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, QC
Thomas Pesce – Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts, QC
Jan Roubal – Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Alexandre Vialle – Prévost, QC
George Visser – Bromont, QC

TWO PODIUMS FOR CANADA AT LENZERHEIDE MTB WORLD CUP

Lenzerheide, Switzerland (August 12, 2019) – After a two year absence, Catharine Pendrel has returned to the World Cup podium, finishing fifth on Sunday at Round 7 of the Mountain Bike World Cup in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Pendrel rode her way up to the leaders on the first lap before crashing and losing contact, eventually working her way back into the top five on the last lap. Pendrel’s fifth place also moved her into the top-10 in the overall standings.

“It felt good to smell the champagne on the podium!” admitted Pendrel. “I felt good, and I’ve been starting to put together some complete races. I knew I had it in me, but it’s still about believing that I belong up there, and that when I get up there to actually be racing for the front of the race. I was super happy to be up there, and it’s perfect timing going into Mont-Ste-Anne.”

Canadian Junior rider Seth Sherlock also scored a podium, becoming the first Canadian since Finn Iles in 2017 to win a Downhill World Cup, with his victory on Saturday.

“It was tough,” said Sherlock. “From training we were used to the dry track and then it got quite slippery for racing. It was hard to judge how fast we were going because the course changed, but it was actually grippier for the final. I was hoping to win one either this year or next year, but I never expected to do it at this race. I came into the year expecting top-15 and to qualify [for the final], so this is insane.”

SETH SHERLOCK WINS DOWNHILL WORLD CUP IN LENZERHEIDE

Lenzerheide, Switzerland (August 10, 2019) – Canadian Junior rider Seth Sherlock became the the first Canadian since Finn Iles in 2017 to win a Downhill World Cup, with his victory on Saturday in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

Sherlock, a first year Junior and the latest in a long line of top mountain bikers from Squamish, BC, qualified third on Friday, however, the weather changed overnight from dry and dusty to wet and foggy. Sherlock led at every time split, recording a time of 3:03.899, to finish 0.462 seconds ahead of Janosch Klaus (TeamProject.ch) and 1.250 seconds in front of Tuhoto-Ariki Pene (Subway NZ MTB Hub). Other Canadian results include Elliot Jamieson (Norco Factory) in fourth and Lucas Cruz (SRAM TLD Racing) 13th.

“It was tough,” said Sherlock. “From training we were used to the dry track and then it got quite slippery for racing. It was hard to judge how fast we were going because the course changed, but it was actually grippier for the final. I was hoping to win one either this year or next year, but I never expected to do it at this race. I came into the year expecting top-15 and to qualify [for the final], so this is insane.”

CANADIAN DOWNHILL AND ENDURO TITLES AWARDED

Panorama, BC (July 29, 2019) – Panorama played host to a weekend of national championship Gravity titles, with the first ever Enduro national championships held on Saturday, followed by the Downhill championships on Sunday. British Columbia riders swept all the titles.

In the Enduro, Jennifer McHugh of Fernie, BC, won the Elite women’s title, 2.67 seconds ahead of former Downhill world champion Miranda Miller. The men’s title went to Remi Gauvin out of Squamish, BC, 45.75 seconds ahead of Rhys Verner.

Vaea Verbeeck from Coldstream, BC, successfully defended her Elite women’s title, 5.21 seconds in front of Georgia Astle, with Miller in third. The men’s Elite title went to former Junior world champion Finn Iles of Whistler, BC, in a very tight race with Kirk McDowall and defending champion Magnus Manson, who both finished less than a second behind Iles. The Junior titles went to Seth Sherlock in the men and Madison Skrypnek in the women.

“We are thrilled to be hosted by beautiful Panorama Resort for our first ever combined Enduro and DH Gravity Championships weekend,” said Josh Peacock, Events Manager at Cycling Canada. “This is the first time that we crowned official Canadian Champions in the Enduro discipline, and there were fierce battles in both the Elite Men and Women’s categories for the titles. This was the third consecutive year that the DH Championships have been hosted at Panorama, and the organizers spiced it up with some course tweaks to keep riders on their toes. We saw fast racing for the coveted maple leaf sleeve across all categories.”

For full results, please click here.

BATTY & DISERA REPEAT AS NATIONAL XCO CHAMPIONS

Oro-Medonte, ON (July 21, 2019) – Over 700 athletes came out to the Canadian XCO Championships on Saturday at Hardwood Ski & Bike, 75 minutes north of Toronto. Two familiar faces stood on top of the podium in the Elite races, with Emily Batty (Trek Factory) winning her fourth consecutive women’s title, and Peter Disera (Norco Factory) winning his third consecutive Elite men’s title. In the Under-23 races, Laurie Arsenault (ACQ) and Quinton Disera (Norco Factory) won their first titles in the category.

Both riders won in similar fashion: riding with their top rivals for the first few laps before pulling away in the second half of the race, despite heat and humidity that pushed temperatures to the mid-30s.

“I think it just came down to turning on for an event that I wanted to do well in,” said Batty, who has struggled in the first half of the World Cup season. “I definitely had a slow start to the season and have been overcoming a bunch of obstacles, but I think it is starting to come around.”

“The hat trick is cool, and I’m super excited to race here at home,” said Disera, whose family lives within 15 minutes of the race site. “This is week five [in a row] of racing for me, so I’m pretty tired. All the media attention is cool and I’m happy to talk, but it kept the high a little too high and stacked on pressure for this weekend, so I was a little bit excited and a little bit nervous going into this race.”

Results
U17 Women: 1- Nicole Bradbury 2- Marin Lowe 3- Ella Myers
U17 Men: 1- Owen Clark 2- Hugo Brisebois 3- Médéric Carrier
Junior Women: 1- Emilly Johnston 2- Magdeleine Vallières-Mill 3- Samuelle Baillargeon
Junior Men: 1- Carter Woods 2- Vincent Thiboutot 3- Hamish Graham
U23 Women: 1- Laurie Arsenault 2- Mackenzie Myatt 3- Marianne Théberge
U23 Men: 1- Quinton Disera 2- Raphael Auclair 3- Tyler Orschel
Elite Women: 1- Emily Batty 2- Catharine Pendrel 3- Sandra Walter
Elite Men: 1- Peter Disera 2- Léandre Bouchard 3- Marc-André Fortier

For full results, please visit: http://racetiming.ca/neweventpage.php?EventId=1924.