March 11/07 6:30 am - 2 Gold & 1 Silver for Canada at Pan Am MTB Championship
Posted by Editor on 03/11/07
Pan Am Continental Mountain Bike Championships - Villa la Angostura, Argentina
All three of the athletes who represented Canada at the 2007 Pan American mountain bike Championships this weekend are bringing a medal home: two gold and one silver.
National coach Michel LeBlanc can state "Mission accomplished!" following the mountain bike cross-country event held Sunday March 11 in Villa la Angostura, Argentina, with two victories and a silver medal for Canada:
Max Plaxton, U23, 1st
Geoff Kabush, Elite, 1st
Seamus McGrath, Elite, 2nd
"Itâ€šs one of the best courses I have ever raced. I did the job I had to do. I am satisfied. I cannot wait to race with the elite," said Canadaâ€šs Max Plaxton (Victoria, BC), who has been dominating the under 23 event for two years in a row. Plaxton was very confident and had foreseen a very challenging but exciting race after riding the 6-km race course in Argentina.
Geoff Kabush of Courtenay, BC, also took the first place finish in the elite category: "I am very pleased with the whole team's effort today. I was unsure if I would be recovered after finishing the 13th day Tour of Cuba in February; but obviously the racing paid off. It was a very close race and luckily I timed things perfectly."
"Iâ€šm happy with the 1st race of the season. Iâ€šm really happy to get the points for Canada. It was an excellent course," added Seamus McGrath (Victoria, BC), who followed team mate Kabush in second position (elite).
The Pan American Championships takes place yearly and represents the International Cycling Federation's designated continental championship. For Canada to earn international points at this competition was essential for Olympic qualification.
"The guys did a great job to score the maximum possible number of UCI points in Argentina, which gives us a lot of peace of mind in the Olympic qualification process. There's a long way to go yet, but this result makes me confident we will secure two men's cross-country spots for the Olympics, as long as our men continue to perform at this level," said CCA High Performance Director Kris Westwood.
U.S. women took the top four spots in the women's elite race (Canada did not send any women), led by Georgia Gould, ahead of silver medalist Mary McConneloug and bronze medalist Willow Koerber. Heather Irmiger finished fourth. In the men's race, Todd Wells was battling with Kabush for the win before a mechanical problem with his rear derailleur dropped him to third and the bronze medal. Americans Adam Craig and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski took 4th and 5th respectively.
1. Geoff Kabush (Can) 2:02:40
2. Seamus McGrath (Can) at 0:49
3. Todd Wells (USA) 0:51
4. Adam Craig (USA) 1:29
5. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (USA) 3:06
10. Michael Broderick (USA) 5:31
11. Jeremiah Bishop (USA) 5:41
1. Georgia Gould (USA) 1:56.46
2. Mary McConneloug (USA) at 2:06
3. Willow Koerber (USA) 4:51
4. Heather Irmiger (USA) 5:26
5. Francisca Campos Salas (Chi) 5:46
DNS Shonny Vanlandingham (USA)
1. Max Plaxton (Can) 1:38:14
2. Sam Schultz (USA) at 0:49
3. Sam Jurekovic (USA) 1:25
4. Daniel Ribeiro (Bra) 3:44
5. Mario Rojas (Col) 4:13
6. Colin Cares (USA) 6:49
1. Chloe Forsman (USA) 1:36.34
2. Alexandra Serrano (Ecu) at 4:24
3. Melanie Meyers (USA) 5:23