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July 18/08 7:11 am - MTB Nationals Peview

Posted by Editoress on 07/18/08

Canadian XC Nationals Preview

The Canadian National Cross-country Championships take place tomorrow in Mont Ste Anne, Quebec, and we will be on-site to bring you full live coverage of all events, starting with the Junior Men and Women at 9:00 am EDT.

The 5.1 kilometre course uses much of the World Cup course from previous years. It is a shortened version of the circuit which will be used next weekend for the World Cup race. From the start, down by the Chateau Mont Ste Anne, the riders do a gravel road climb and then cut into the woods for a technical and rocky chute descent. After a traverse of the ski hill they drop down for a few hundred metres before swinging around to make their second climb of the lap - the most sustained climb of the lap at over 500 metres long.

From here it is another descent and then a third climb to the highest point of the course. After a long, fairly open descent, the20riders head out to the far end of the course, which is new trail (but in the same place as the previous circuit). This portion is technical, with lots of tight, twisty turns, roots, mud and rocks.

Given the rain the region has been receiving, it is very greasy in the wooded sections, and even though the weather is supposed to be improved for tomorrow, those wooded sections will still be slick and treacherous.

The Junior Women do three laps and the Junior Men four, both racing at 9:00 am EDT (along with the Cadets). The U23 and Elite Women race at 11:45 am EDT, with four and five laps respectively, followed by the U23 and Elite Men at 2:30 pm EDT for five and six laps respectively.

All of the top riders are here, with the exception of Seamus McGrath (Fuji), who previously stated that he would skip Nationals, and Alison Sydor (Rocky Mountain), who is in France for the TransAlps.


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