COURTNEY & LANGEVIN WIN FIRST DH CANADA CUP JERSEYS

Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, May 29, 2018 – The 2018 Canada Cup national series for Downhill opened on Sunday at Mont Tremblant, Quebec, with over 100 athletes in attendance.  This is the first of four events in the Downhill Canada Cup for 2018.

In the combined Senior Elite/Junior Expert division, Hugo Langevin (Devinci Development) was the winner, and the first to don the leader’s jersey for this season.  Langevin finished fifth overall in 2017, with one victory.  He finished 1.055 seconds in front of defending Canada Cup champion Jonathan Lefrancois (Devinci), with Philippe Ricard (Cycles Devinci/GIR) taking third.

In the Elite women, it was Kristen Courtney (Liv Cycling Canada) who finished in the top spot, with a time of four minutes and 1.598 seconds.  Courtney was an impressive 8.572 seconds in front of second place Audree Vaillancourt (Independent-VM), last year’s Canada Cup overall runner up.  Third went to Maxine Bergeron (Independent-VM).

The Downhill Canada Cup continues on July 14-15, with Round 2 in Silverstar, BC.

EMILY BATTY FINISHES 4TH FOR FIRST WORLD CUP PODIUM OF 2018

Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, May 28, 2018 – Canada took its first podium of the 2018 World Cup season on Sunday, with Emily Batty (Trek Factory) finishing fourth in the Elite women’s race at Round 3 in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.

The women’s race quickly became a battle between two riders – Round 1 winner Denmark’s Annika Langvad and World Cup leader Jolanda Neff of Switzerland.  The two went to the front on the first lap and pulled away on the climbs.  France’s Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Batty had their own battle behind for third place.  Langvad would outsprint Neff for the victory, while Batty could not quite close the gap to Ferrand Prevot, finishing 17 seconds back.

“Top five is pretty spectacular when you’ve had some downer months,” said Batty.  “It just feels good to be able to showcase my potential.  I’ve had a good result here before [bronze medal at the 2016 world championships], so I knew it was possible.  This track is ‘full gas’ then full technical; it is physically so demanding … it rides a lot like Ontario!  You need to be a strong rider to get a decent result here.”

Haley Smith (Norco Factory) had another strong race, finishing 14th, while Catharine Pendrel (Clif Pro Team) fought back from a semi-flat tire that dropped her to 50th after the first lap to finish 22nd, one spot in front of Sandra Walter (Team Canada), who had her second strong weekend of racing.  Other Canadian results were:  Cindy Montambault in 33rd and Catherine Fleury (Team Canada) in 67th.

Langvad takes the Series lead with 798 points.  Batty moves up to 10th from 13th, while Pendrel drops to 15th from 12th.  Smith jumps to 22nd from 34th and Walter from 37th to 33rd.  Montambault drops one spot to 40th.

In the Elite men’s race, world champion Nino Schurter of Switzerland won his second consecutive World Cup, and took over the lead in the Series.

The top Canadian for the day was, for the second week in a row, Canadian national champion Peter Disera (Norco Factory) in 45th, finishing just two spots ahead of Raphael Gagne (Silverback OMX).  Disera rode consistently in the mid-40s, while Gagne moved up steadily from the mid-70s.  Other Canadian results include:  Leandre Bouchard (KMC-Ekoi-SR Suntour) in 68th and Andrew L’Esperance (Team Canada) in 70th.

“It was pretty nasty out there,” commented Disera.  “The course is so bombed out and super powdery.  It was hard on the bikes and the body; I was cramping pretty bad in the last lap.  I’m definitely disappointed; last week un Albstadt was a very good performance, and this week it just didn’t come together mentally and physically.”

Schurter moves into a commanding lead in the standings with 780 points.  Disera drops from 38th to 42nd and Bouchard from 39th to 52nd.  Gagne moves up from 7th to 67th, and L’Esperance down to 84th from 75th.

In Under-23 races, Canadian men’s Under-23 national champion Sean Fincham (Team Canada) had a strong performance on the World Cup stage, finishing 17th on Saturday.

Fincham had a strong start and was up to 16th by the end of the first lap, in a small chase group of five going for a top-10 spot.  He was up to 13th a lap later, but faded with two laps to go to drop back slightly at the finish.  He moved up to 25th from 30th in the overall standings.

Other Canadian results include Marc Andre Fortier (Pivot-OTE) in 31st, Quinton Disera (Norco Factory) in 35th, Gunnar Holmgren (Team Canada) in 55th, Brody Sanderson (Team Canada) in 73rd, Felix Belhumeur (Pivot-OTE) in 86th and Raphael Auclair (Pivot-OTE) in 95th.

“We looked at my lap times from last week and I had a couple of top-10s,” explained Fincham, “so Jeff [Ain, NextGen coach] was trying to convince me this was possible and that I could do better.  I suffered a bit at the end, but little bit better than last week.  This is a great course for me; I had a really good race here as a Junior and I love it here, this is one of my favourite courses.”

In the Under-23 women’s race, the top Canadian was Juliette Tetreault in 29th, followed by Mackenzie Myatt (Team Canada) in 34th.  Myatt had a stronger start, moving into the top-30 by the end of the first lap, but faded in the second half of the race while Tetreault was steadily moving up.  Two other Canadians were in the race, with Anne Julie Tremblay (Team Canada) finishing 36th and Laurie Arseneault 38th.

Dan Proulx, national mountain bike coach, summarized the two event project:  “This was a successful race campaign – Albstadt and Nova Mesto. As a program, it shows that we’re continuing to strengthen and improve in a number of different areas. Obviously, a podium from Emily Batty is a good confirmation that we’re heading in the right direction and that’s supported by the massive progression demonstrated by emerging athletes like Sean Fincham [17th at Nove Mesto], Haley Smith, and Peter Disera [22nd at Albstadt]. It was also nice to see a first year U23, Gunnar Holmgren, come here and perform strongly – setting a new team passing record at Nove Mesto. Sandra Walter also rode well and achieved a life time best [15th Albstadt].  We still have a lot of work to do but we have a good system in place and a great team that makes the learning process more efficient. I’m excited about our athletes and the potential they have.”

ROCHETTE & BURKE REPEAT AT MONT TREMBLANT CANADA CUP

Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, May 28, 2018 – The Canada Cup national cross-country series returned to Mont Tremblant, Quebec, on Saturday for the Round 3 of competition, with many familiar faces on the podiums.

Many of Canada’s top professionals in the Elite and Under-23 categories are in Europe for the World Cup series, and their absence provides an opportunity for Canada’s up-and-coming athletes to gain valuable UCI ranking points in this UCI C2 and UCI Junior sanctioned event.

Both the Elite races saw the same riders on the top step of the podium as last weekend at Round 2 in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec.  Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team) took her second straight win in the women’s race, while Felix Burke (Rocky Mountain) did the same for the men.

The women’s race saw an identical podium to the previous weekend, with Rochette beating Jenn Jackson (AWI Racing) by 1:35 and Elyse Nieuwold (Pendrel Racing) taking third at 5:55.  Jackson continues to lead the Series standings with 465 points, followed by Nieuwold at 405 and Rochette – who missed the first round – moving up to third with 400 points.

Under-23 rider Burke won the men’s race ahead of two American riders; Stephen Hyde (Cannondale-CXWorld) at 1:15 and Daniel Johnson (Bear Pro Team) at 3:04.  Burke also continues to hold onto the lead in the men’s Series with 500 points, followed by Evan Guthrie (RaceFace/Fox/On the Edge/Kal Tire) in second at 375 points and Alexandre Vialle (Equipe du Quebec/Toyota St-Eustache) at 360.

The Junior Expert men’s Series remains a neck-and-neck competition, with Holden Jones (Pendrel Racing) and Carter Woods (Dodge City Cycles/RMB/CBC) swapping first and second for the third time.  Jones won the first round, Woods the second and now Jones has won again, in a sprint finish.  Tyler Clark (Team Ontario/Homestead Racing) took third.  Jones has retaken the Series lead with 285 points, followed by Woods at 270.  Clark moves up to third from fourth, with 177 points.

The Junior women’s race was won by Czech national team rider Tereza Saskova (Czech National/Specialized), who dominated the competition, defeating Canada Cup leader Marianne Theberge (Mathieu Performance) by nearly five minutes.  Madeline Robbins (USA National) took third.  Theberge continues to lead the standings with 270 points, followed by Mireille Larose-Gingras (Equipe du Quebec/Sigma) at 210 and Robbins in third with 190 points.

The Under-17 competition saw Nicole Bradbury (NCCH p/b Franklin Templeton) take her first win in the women’s Series, with Juliette Larose-Gingras (Velo Cartel X BL Coaching) finishing second to take over the lead in the overall standings, at 255 points to Bradbury’s 240.  The men’s Series also saw a lead change, with the win by Owen Clark (Homestead Racing) propelling him into the leader’s jersey with 255 points, ahead of former leader Jakob Yells (River City CC) at 213 points.

The Canada Cup XCO series continues with Round 4 at Horseshoe Resort, Ontario, on June 10th.

NEW LEADERS FOR XCO CANADA CUP

Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, May 23, 2018 – Round 2 of the XCO Mountain Bike Canada Cup at Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, saw new leaders in the overall standings for both the Elite and Junior categories on May 20-21. Canada’s top Elite and Under-23 riders were in Albstadt, Germany, for Round 2 of the World Cup, providing domestic riders and teams with the opportunity to shine.

Maghalie Rochette (Clif Pro Team) was the winner in Baie-Saint-Paul, finishing nearly two minutes ahead of runner-up Jenn Jackson (AWI Racing), with Elyse Nieuwold (Pendrel racing) taking third. Jackson, who finished seventh at Bear Mountain moves into the leader’s jersey with 290 points, followed by Nieuwold at 250 and Emily Unterberger (Pendrel Racing) at 225. Rochette and Catharine Pendrel (Clif Pro Team), the winner of Round 1, are tied at 200 points.

The Elite men’s field was missing the top four finishers from Round 1, with Under-23 rider Felix Burke (Rocky Mountain) taking the win ahead of American rider Daniel Johnson (Bear Pro team), followed by Felix Longpre (Mont-Ste-Anne) in third. Burke also moves into the leader’s jersey with 300 points after finishing tenth in Round 1. Evan Guthrie (RaceFace/Fox/On the Edge/Kal Tire) is second with 245 points after finishing fifth in Round 1 and seventh in Round 2.  Alexandre Vialle (Equipe du Quebec/Toyota St-Eustache) is third with 220 points.

The Junior Expert men’s field saw first and second place finishers from Round 1 swap places in Baie-Saint-Paul, with Carter Woods (Dodge City Cycles/RMB/CBC) beating Holden Jones (Pendrel Racing). Scott Funston (Team USA) took third.  Woods and Jones are tied at 185 points, however, Woods moves into the leader’s jersey by virtue of the most recent win.

In the Junior Expert women, Marianne Theberge (Equipe du Quebec/Mathieu Performance) was the winner, followed by Magdeleine Vallieres Mill (Quebecor/Stingray) and Mireille Larose-Gingras (Equipe du Quebec/Sigma). Theberge, who finished second in Round 1, takes the overall Series lead with 185 points, followed by Larose-Gingras, the winner of Round 1, with 170 points. Madeline Robbins (Team USA) is third in the standings with 120 points.

The Under-17 competition saw Emily Johnston (Trek BC Devo) take her second straight win in the women’s race, for a perfect 200 points and the overall women’s series lead, while Jakob Yells (River City CC) finished second to Jeremie La Grenade (Skinouk-VDM) in the men. Yells continues to lead the overall standings after winning Round 1, which La Grenade did not attend.

The Canada Cup continues with Round 3 at Mont Tremblant, Quebec, on May 26-27.

EMILY BATTY 13TH AT WORLD CUP #2

Albstadt, Germany, May 21, 2018 – Canadian riders had some strong results at the second round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Albstadt, Germany, on May 19-20. In Elite women, Emily Batty (Trek Factory) finished 13th and Sandra Walter (Canadian National Team) 15th – her best-ever European World Cup result. In the Elite men’s race, national champion Peter Disera (Norco Factory) cracked the top-30, finishing 28th, while Canadian Under-23 champion Sean Fincham was 21st in the Under-23 men’s race.

Rain through the week made the circuit muddy and slick, with almost every rider in the Under-23 and Elite women’s races crashing at least once on the steep and technical descents. By the time the Elite men rode on Sunday afternoon, the track was starting to dry up a bit and they did not face the same conditions.

World champion Jolanda Neff of Switzerland dominated the Elite women’s race, leading from start to finish. Canada’s Catharine Pendrel (Clif Pro Team) had a strong start, and was in seventh place after the start loop, but went down hard on one of the drop offs, falling to the mid-teens before finishing 19th. Batty rode a consistent race in the low-teens, with one crash of her own, while Walter moved up from 46th on the start grid to the top-25 in the start loop. A strong second lap put her into 16th, and she maintained her standing for the remainder of the race.

“That was the definition of thick, heavy mud,” said Batty. “I think my bike is weighing at least 29-30 pounds right now.  It was a solid race; I was in the top spots but I was riding pretty clean with only one mistake. Through the race the mud got more dry and tacky, so the wheels were so heavy and you had to muscle the bike around. All in all, I thought it was a pretty decent race.”

“I ride in the mud all winter,” said Walter, “so when it starts getting crazy I know these are my conditions. I had a lot of fun out there. I definitely didn’t race a super clean race, but I felt confident and didn’t make too many mistakes. I’m really excited [with 15th] and thankful to the Canadian team and the staff for making it such a great project.”

In other Canadian results, Cindy Montambault was 42nd, Haley Smith (Norco Factory), who crashed hard on one of the drops, was 50th, and Catherine Fleury (Canadian National) was 64th.

Batty moves up one spot to 13th in the World Cup standings, while Pendrel drops from seventh to 14th. Smith drops from 23rd to 34th, Walter debuts at 37th and Montambault is 39th.

In the Under-23 women, world champion Sina Frei of Switzerland took the lead from the start and never looked back, setting the fastest lap times on all but one lap. Laurie Arseneault was the top Canadian in 27th, followed by Juliette Tetreault in 32nd, Mackenzie Myatt (Canadian National Team) 40th and Anne Julie Tremblay (Canadian National Team) 48th.

The Elite men’s race saw world champion and defending World Cup champion Nino Schurter of Switzerland win his first World Cup of the year. Disera moved up steadily through the entire race, from 46th after the start loop, to 40th after Lap 1, then 34th, 30th and into 28th with two laps to go. Leandre Bouchard (KMC-Ekoi-SR Suntour) lost places on the start loop, but began to pull back spots in the second half of the race, to finish 34th. Raphael Gagne (Silverback OMX) was 57th and Andrew L’Esperance (Canadian National Team) 66th.

“It was pretty wild,” said Disera, “Haley [Smith] told the traction was pretty good, which made me happy, because here with the steep track, if it gets slippery it can be quite tricky. I rode well, except for an encounter with a tree, which caused me to lose six spots. I just continually fought and moved through groups. I’m happy with today, for sure.”

Schurter leads the standings with 450 points.  Disera moves up from 45th to 38th and Bouchard drops from 36th to 39th. L’Esperance is 75th and Gagne 76th.

In the Under-23 men’s race, Fincham, riding for the national team, rode up through the field to finish 21st after starting on the fifth row of the starting grid. He had two very strong laps to move into the top-20 and continued to advance over the next two laps, moving as high as 16th, before fading slightly in the last lap. Marc Andre Fortier (Pivot-OTE) also had a strong race, finishing 24th, followed by his team mate Raphael Auclair in 30th and Quinton Disera (Norco Factory) in 31st.

In other Canadian results, Gunnar Holmgren (Canadian National) rode up through the field from 120th on the start line to finish 63rd, with Felix Belhumeur (Pivot-OTE) 76th and Brody Sanderson 114th.