Posted by Editoress on 04/29/14
The 2014 Canada Cup - Canada's premier Mountain Bike series - will see Canada's best cross-country and downhill riders competing for the prestigious title of Canada Cup Champion.
The series has been the foundation of Canada's mountain bike development system throughout its twenty-year history. Countless Olympic and World Championship team members have advanced through its ranks - competing on rugged and challenging courses throughout Canada. This year's series consists of four cross-country and three downhill events.
In Cross-country, Antoine Caron (Stoneham, QC/Specialized Racing) will look to defend his Canada Cup title from 2013. Caron came out on top after an intense battle with Evan Guthrie (Peachland, BC/Norco Factory Team) and Evan McNeely (Kingston, ON/Norco Factory Team) that was decided in the very last race of the season. Sandra Walter (Coquitlam, BC/Liv/Giant Canada), who showed consistency and power in racing to a comfortable lead and capturing her first Canada Cup title last year, will once again be looking to finish the season on top of the standings.
In Downhill, Kyle Sangers (Kingston, ON) was the 2013 series winner in the Elite Men's category, while Miranda Miller (Garibaldi Highlands, BC) came out on top in the Elite Women's field. Both riders will be looking to defend their Canada Cup series titles in 2014.
New in 2014 is the introduction of the UCI Junior Series for Cross-country. Canada will host two events as part of the international series, the Junior races at the Canada Cup in Mont-Tremblant and Whistler.
"The Canada Cup showcases Canada's top mountain bikers. Every race counts and is critical to the final standings. The riders really have to be on at every event if they hope to win. It's a fun and exciting series for everyone. It definitely highlights Canada's emerging talent and strength in the off-road disciplines," said Nicholas Vipond, the series coordinator at Cycling Canada. "We have incredible organizing committees and sponsors who deliver world class events at each venue. Each organizer is professional and committed to creating a high quality experience for the riders. They continue to improve the series each year - refining and progressing the courses and ramping up the atmosphere so that everyone has an incredible time at these races."
The series will start with both cross-country and downhill races at the very popular Mont-Tremblant event on May 17-18. The event in Mont-Tremblant is celebrating its 20th edition this season, and welcomes over 1000 cyclists of all ages to its races. American mountain biker Stephen Ettinger (BMC MTB Racing) was the 2013 winner of the Elite Men cross-country race. Sandra Walter opened the season with the victory in Mont-Tremblant last year.
The cross-country riders will then make their way to Baie-Saint-Paul, near Québec City, to compete at the second cross-country race of the season on May 24th. Baie-Saint-Paul is also a classic event of the Canada Cup Calendar, having hosted races for the last 16 years. In 2013, Both Ettigner and Walter were the winners of the race, sweeping the Quebec leg of the Canada Cup series.
The downhillers will travel out west to Panorama, British Columbia for the second race of the downhill series on July 6th. Panorama has hosted the Canadian Mountain Bike Downhill Championships numerous times and continues to attract the top riders in the country, who look forward to intense racing in one of Canada's most scenic venues.
The cross-country series will continue in Eastern Canada with another heart-pounding race on July 13th in Sudbury, ON - the week before the 2014 Canadian MTB XCO Championships. The race is organized by Pulse Racing, who has organized top-level mountain bike races since 1996. Derek Zandstra (Kingston, ON/Scott-3Rox Racing) came out victorious in his first Canada Cup race of 2013 at the Sudbury event, while Sandra Walter secured the Elite Women's category title with a third consecutive victory last year.
The Canada Cup series will come to a close for both cross-country and downhill racers at the Crankworx Whistler mountain bike festival in August. In 2013, Crankworx Whistler added both the downhill and cross-country Canada Cup Finals to its renowned event. The races drew big crowds and all the big names of the Canadian Mountain Bike scene made the trek to British Columbia. 2014 is expected to attract even more top riders - all attempting to lock in points for the overall series title and to come home with a win in front of the wildly supportive MTB fans in Whistler. Whistler will also be host of the UCI Junior Series for the cross-country junior race.
May 17th - MTB Canada Cup XCO/DH #1 - Mont-Tremblant, QC
May 24th - MTB Canada Cup XCO/XCC #2 - Baie-Saint-Paul, QC
July 6th - MTB Canada Cup DH #2 - Panorama, BC
July 13th - MTB Canada Cup XCO #3 - Sudbury, ON
August 15th - MTB Canada Cup FINALS XCO #4/DH #3 - Whistler, BC
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