May 17/08 10:40 am - Canada Cup XC Bromont Preview
Posted by Editoress on 05/17/08
Canada Cup #1 Bromont QC
The 2008 Canada Cup opens today in Bromont, Quebec, one hour south east of Montreal. Bromont is a longtime centre for mountain biking - hosting the World Championships in 1992, and many World Cups and cCanada Cups since then. This year, in addition to this weekend's Canada Cup, organizer Richard Deslandes will be presenting a World Cup triple (XC/DH/4X) on August 2-3.
Besides the importance of this Canada Cup in its own right, the event will serve as a test run for the World Cup. The organizers have cut new courses for all three events, on an entirely new section of the mountain. The reason is primarily related to the Aqua Park that is located in the main part of the resort.
"Because of the Aqua Park, we can only run events [in the old location] before June or from September," explains Deslandes. "With this area, we can run events at any time of the season."
The course has been described by riders as fast and fun, but short, at 4.3 kilometres. This will mean multiple laps - 8 for the elite men and 6 for the Elite women and Junior Expert Men. The circuit begins with a steep and fairly long climb out in the open under the ski lifts, then and immediate drop back down to the start-finish area. From here the riders head out into the woods for an up and down technical section. At the far end of the course there is a short but steep climb, and then a run back into the finish.
The weather - so far - is superb, with temperatures in the high teens, and expected to reach the low 20s Celcius. However, the blackflies are out in force...
For the men, Derek Zandstra ( Rox Racing) is the top favourite, coming off his recent foray to Europe and the World Cups. He should get some competition from Mat Toulouse (Maxxis), Neal Kindree (Kona) and Raphaël Gagné (Rocky Mountain). On the women's side, the rumoured appearance of Marie-Helene Premont (Rocky Mountain) will not occur. In her absence, the top favourites will be Emily Batty (Trek Store) and Amanda Sin (3 Rox racing).
Missing from the start line are other top Canadians such as Catharine Pendrel (Luna), Mical Dyck, Geoff Kabush (Maxxis), Seamus McGrath (Fuji) and Max Plaxton (Rocky Mountain), all of whom have opted to race the Norba in San Dimas, California.
Our live coverage starts at Noon EDT, so check back.