Posted by Editoress on 08/18/19
After starting on Vancouver 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.
The Elite and Junior categories both faced wet and muddy conditions, when it began to rain shortly before the start of their races. 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."
This is Smith's final competition before the world championships, to be held in Mont-Ste-Anne, Quebec in two weeks. "I know the fitness is there and all the work has been done. Now it is just about freshening up, and I'm excited about letting that fitness out."
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.
"It was super great to be here, with lots of fans," said Jones, who is in his first year out of the Junior ranks. "It was a pretty technical course and it started raining just before the race, so it was pretty slippery, but a really good course."
"The first couple of races this season were a little bit slower and I just rode my way into the year. But I've had so much fun attending every event and seeing all the different venues, and riding my bike all over Canada. It's really great to take home the overall title at the end of the year."
In the Junior categories, Juliette Larose Gingras (Velo Cartel x BL Coaching) won the women's race and the overall title. Samuelle Belliargeon (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.
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