Mountain Bike Archives | Cycling Canada Cyclisme

MARK WALLACE FINISHES JUST OFF THE PODIUM AT MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLDS

Leogang, Austria (October 12, 2020) – The 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships concluded in Leogang, Austria, on Sunday with world cup medalist Mark Wallace placing fourth in the Elite men’s downhill final, only 0.712 seconds short of the podium.

Wallace, who qualified 22nd on Friday, did not let the slippery conditions slow him down, setting the third fastest time in his final run before being dislodged by Austrian David Trummer. Finn Iles, who had initially set the third fastest qualifying time, slid out and finished 34th.

Overall, Canada had solid showings in E-MTB, XCO and DH over the five days of competition, with three riders finishing in the top-5. Maghalie Rochette, who was the first Canadian to compete, took fifth in the women’s E-MTB competition on Wednesday, followed by Sean Fincham on Friday who also placed fifth in the men’s U23 XCO competition. Wallace tops off the championships with the best Canadian result of the week.

While this marks the end of the cross-country season, the downhill season is just getting started with upcoming world cups scheduled to take place in Slovenia and Portugal.

For full results, click here.

SEAN FINCHAM FINISHES TOP-5 AT MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLDS

Leogang, Austria (October 10, 2020) – After finishing 11th at last year’s UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, Sean Fincham came closer to the podium on Friday in Leogang, Austria, where he placed fifth in the U23 XCO category. The 22-year-old from Squamish, BC, had posted two top-10 placings in Round 1 and Round 2 of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Nove Mesto Na Morave.

“It was a hectic day out there for my last U23 Worlds,” said Fincham. “I am stoked to finish with my best ever Worlds result. It was exciting fighting for third place for most of the race. The conditions were super sloppy, there was nowhere to hide and it was always full-on.”

With a field of over 70 riders, all five Canadian riders managed to finish in the top-25, with Carter Woods finishing 15th, Gunnar Holmgren 20th, Quinton Disera 22nd and Tyler Orschel 23rd.

On Saturday, Canadian riders tackled the U23 women’s and Elite men’s and women’s cross-country races, finishing just outside of the top-25. Léandre Bouchard and Marianne Théberge finished 26th in the Elite men’s and U23 women’s race respectively. In the Elite women’s field, Emily Batty finished 27th, Jenn Jackson 28th and Haley Smith 29th.

“It was pretty neat to finish the world championships with my best result of the year,” said Bouchard. “The conditions were super rough and muddy, but I was feeling great on the course. I rode pretty consistently and gained a few positions every lap. I knew by the last lap I was below 30th and I was able to see the top-25 group in front of me. I’m very grateful to have a racing season this year; it could have been nothing, but we had five races in two weeks.”

Tomorrow, Canadians will be in action in the Downhill finals, where Finn Iles is expected to be a top contender after qualifying third in the Elite field, only just 4.783 off the leader.

CYCLING CANADA SELECTS 27 ATHLETES FOR 2020 MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN AUSTRIA

Ottawa, ON (September 15, 2020) –– Cycling Canada has selected 27 athletes to compete at the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships which are scheduled to take place in Leogang, Austria from October 5 to 11, 2020. Athletes will be competing in Cross-Country (XCO), Downhill (DH) and E-MTB events over the course of seven days.

The Nove Mesto UCI MTB World Cup, which takes place the week before Worlds, will be the only gauge of form for the XCO athletes who have had little to no competitions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2019 Canadian Champions Peter Disera and Emily Batty have been selected to compete, as well as 2019 world cup medalist Haley Smith.

“I didn’t expect that I would get the chance to race at all this year, so to be back is a little overwhelming,” said Smith. “I know that, on paper, I am fitter than ever before and have done more and better training than ever as well but I don’t yet know how this training will translate to race speed. I am mentally fresher and sharper, having not had an entire summer of travel and race fatigue built up. I’m truly excited which is a really positive mental space to find myself in. I’m grateful for the chance to dig deep and see what I’ve got in me, and to hopefully do the maple leaf proud in the process.”

In the E-MTB category, Maghalie Rochette will look to go one better than last year when she took silver in the inaugural edition of the event on home soil in Mont-Sainte-Anne. Rochette will also be competing in the XCO event in preparation for the cyclo-cross world cup season.

The World Championships will kick off the DH season, which will be preceded by the Maribor and Lousa UCI World Cups. Former Junior World Cup Champion Finn Iles will be looking to improve on last year’s seventh place, while former Elite World Champion Miranda Miller will be the only woman to represent Canada in the downhill events.

Due to travel advisories during the pandemic, athletes were only eligible for selection if they were already in Europe as part of their competition program with UCI-registered trade teams. The Canadian team will be supported by their UCI-registered trade teams and Europe-based Cycling Canada staff.

Elite Women (XCO)

Emily Batty – Brooklin, ON
Jennifer Jackson – Oro Medonte, ON
Maghalie Rochette – Ste-Adèle, QC [XCO & E-MTB]
Haley Smith – Uxbridge, ON
Sandra Walter* – Coquitlam, BC

Elite Men (XCO)

Raphaël Auclair – Haut-Saint-Charles, QC
Félix Belhumeur* – Quebec City, QC
Léandre Bouchard – Alma, QC
Peter Disera – Horseshoe Valley, ON
Andrew L’Esperance – Halifax, NS
Marc-André Fortier – Victoriaville, QC

U23 Women (XCO)

Marianne Théberge – Lévis, QC

U23 Men (XCO)

Quinton Disera – Horseshoe Valley, ON
Sean Fincham – Squamish, BC
Gunnar Holmgren – Orillia, ON
Carter Woods -– Cumberland, BC

Elite Women (DH)

Miranda Miller* – Squamish, BC

Elite Men (DH)

Lucas Cruz – Pemberton, BC
Henry Fitzgerald – West Vancouver, BC
Finn Iles – Whistler, BC
Elliot Jamieson – White Rock, BC
Magnus Manson* -– Sechelt, BC
Mark Wallace – Duncan, BC

Junior Men (DH)

Patrick Laffey* – Nanaimo, BC
Drew Mozell* – North Vancouver, BC
Ethan Shandro – North Vancouver, BC
Seth Sherlock – Squamish, BC

*selected but won’t be attending

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.”