September 1/10 13:29 pm - MTB World Championships: Team Relay Report and Photos UPDATED
Posted by Editoress on 09/1/10
Mont Ste Anne World Championships - Team Relay Report
Our coverage of the 2010 World Championships brought to you with the support of Shimano
Photos from today's team relay
What a way to start the Worlds!
Switzerland claimed the first World Championship title of 2010, following an exciting battle which saw four different countries leading after each lap. Germany and Czech Republic completed the top three. Canada finished a respectable eighth, with a solid performance from Antoine Caron and Mical Dyck.
With temperature already soaring in the 30s, the Team Relay got underway with 18 teams lining up at the start line (Brazil did not start). After a quick start lap, Switzerland was in the lead, closely followed by France, Germany, Italy and the Nertherland. Canada's Max Plaxton was 11th following an average start. Italy came in first, with Marco Fontana posting a 15:28 lap just ahead of Germany, with the Czech team completing the top three.
Plaxton posted the ninth fastest time for the full lap, a second behind Todd Wells from the United States. Ondrej Cink (CZE) posted a 15:57 to give his team a 22 second lead over Switzerland and Germany. Italian Maximillian Vieider flatted on that lap, dropping to the team to fourth nearly, 1:25 behind first place. Canadian Francis Morin wasn't able to make up ground, but didn't lose any either, with the Canadian team still sitting in ninth at the end of the second lap.
Frenchman Frederic Ravanel was the fastest rider on the third lap, moving his team in the lead after accepting the relay from his teammate in sixth place. Germany move up one place to sit in second, while Katerina Nash (CZE), who had the lead at the beginning of the lap came in third, after crashing in a corner. She was followed by Switzerland and Canada. Canada's Junior rider Antoine Caron posted the fifth fastest time on the lap to move Canada in the top 5.
The final lap saw Ralph Näf post the third fastest lap of the day (15:31) to provide his team with a World Title. Eighteen second later, Germany came in and the Czech Republic crossed the line in third, 41 seconds later. Canadian Mical Dyck, in her first Team Relay event, was paired against Näf for the last lap, and she hold her own crossing the line in eight place, calling her lap an "above race pace lap".
Max Plaxton was happy with his lap, although he admitted to not having a great start lap. Being caught behind that many people in the singletrack slowed him down, as he couldn't pass, but he was able to work his way up on the climbs in the second part of the course.
Francis Morin was satisfied with his race and he described his experience as "fun but difficult". He is a little concerned about his recovery ability after this all out effort, and how it will impact his main event on Friday.
Antoine Caron had "good legs", although he suffer a small mechanical problem (he couldn't shift to his small chainring). He passed most of the riders ahead of him in the singletrack and caught his final rider (USA) just before entering the "Beatrice" rock garden. He felt that the course was deteriorating and that a little rain would help, at least, keep the dust down. His goal for the Junior race - top 15, but if all stars aligned properly he wishes for a top 5.
Mical Dyck was pretty nervous before the race but excited to be part of it. "I'm extremely honored to do the team relay" she said and her goal for her main event is a top 20 "to redeem myself from last year".