July 17/14 10:58 am - MTB Nationals Open Tonight with Eliminator
Posted by Editoress on 07/17/14
Léandre Bouchard (Alma, QC/Equipe du Québec/Devinci) is the reigning Canadian Champion of the cross-country Eliminator race, and the Under-23 rider hopes to repeat the feat this week as he races to defend his title on Thursday.
Bouchard has had a breakthrough season on the UCI World Cup this year with a Top 5 result in a cross-country event, and a Top 4 result in the Eliminator.
"This is where I won my first title, and I certainly hope to defend it. My podium in the Eliminator at the World Cup has given me great confidence in my riding," said Bouchard, who won back-to-back Canadian cross-country U23 titles in 2011 and 2012.
Since 2012, the Eliminator is a full medal event at UCI World Championships. Raphael Gagné (2012) and Bouchard (2013) are the only Canadians who advanced to the medal race on the World Cup circuit. Gagne will not contest the Eliminator at the Nationals.
In the women's Eliminator, defending champion Jean Ann Berkenpas (Xprezo-Borsao) faces a strong field, including Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing) and Andreanne Pichette (Opus/OGC).
The Eliminator race takes place on Thursday evening at Hardwood Ski and Bike, with the Finals starting at 6pm Eastern time.