Posted by Editoress on 05/25/05
Canada Cup DH #1: Changing of the Guard?
Kitzanuk takes first Canada Cup win
By: Fred Belanger
(Montreal) - Fridays sunny skies turned to clouds on Saturday, and, sitting in the car after riding all day, it was hard to imagine how the course would end up if the skies opened up overnight. The temperature indeed took a turn for the worse, as racers from across Canada awoke to rain on Sunday morning.
The winding course started at the very top of the 565 metre mountain and brought racers through every type of terrain imaginable: tight, technical sections interspersed with flatter, sprinting sections, culminating in a steep chute of off-camber roots channeling the rider through a final rock-garden. Almost every rider loved the Louis-Phillip Leonard (Norco Factory) designed course which tested all of the riders abilities, and only the truly talented riders would stand a chance at the podium.
World Cup racer Fionn Griffiths of England (Norco Factory) is one such talented racer, and brought some serious caliber to the womens field. A good run resulted in her finishing four seconds in front of Danika Schroeter of BC (Giant Canada). Adrienne Miller, a newcomer to the Canada Cup, rounded out the top-3 aboard her Foes, 10 seconds back from the winner.
Giant team management must have spent some nervous moments after their star rider, Eric Goss, took a tumble in the gnarly rock-garden on Friday, and ended up with a broken C-1 vertebra. It was to be a weekend of mixed-emotions for the Giant crew, with only the uninjured Luke Kitzanuk left in the roster.
Tyler Morland (Cove Bikes) of Whistler, held the hot-seat with what seemed like an insurmountable time of 4:41:430, despite a final straight-away slide that brought him to a skidding halt 50 yards from the finish line. He had taken the seat away from the young Jamie Biluk (Cove Bikes), whom had been keeping it warm from an early start in the field. But it wasnt to be for the Whistlerite on this day, as Luke stepped up to the plate to deliver a winning performance of 4:40:120 that netted him his first Canada Cup victory cheque! It is interesting to note that none of the top-3 finishers were racing pro as early as two years ago.
Stay tuned for next weeks report coming to you following the Mont. Tremblant Canada Cup. With the festive atmosphere of this race, youd better bet that there will be plenty of non-racing stories to print!
Hey Freddy B, how lost do I look now, eh? An excited Jamie Biluk when he saw me after his race, in reference to a statement made in my previous article
Tyler Morland was riding 2006 prototype Rockshox Boxxer forks which are air-sprung, versus the traditional coil spring of DH forks
Twas the weekend of comebacks: Jimmy Coll (7th), Antoine Natalie (60th), and Eric Cseff (25th) all made Canada Cup comebacks now if only someone could find Ronnie Drouin?
A timing glitch may have robbed Mathieu Laurin of precious seconds: the FQSC commissaries relied on hand timing for his run when the electronic system did not record his run.
Speaking of the FQSC: the line-up for registration peaked at 1:15 on Friday when someone going through the line would have an expected wait of 90 minutes to 2 hours. Why open registration at the same time as practice? We cant practice without having registered, so why not open registration one hour earlier.
Special thanks to all the sponsors who made their support known this weekend: Shimano, Devinci, Rocky Mountain, E13, Cycles Lambert. Cycles Lambert even set up a guy in the parking lot to clean and lubricate your chain using FinishLine product props!
Eric Goss, as mentioned above, broke his C1-vertebra in practice on Friday. He is, as far as I was told, expected to make a full recovery. Good luck buddy!
Mad Props to Peter McLean (Primary) out of Ontario for his very respectable finish in 13th. The 5 minute course was three times longer than anything he could have trained on at home!
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