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July 9/12 11:00 am - Ontario Cup #5: Naughton (Sudbury) report

Posted by Editoress on 07/9/12

There is a new mountain bike course in Ontario, and it is rough and rocky. Plenty of pained expressions and sore backs were to be found at the finish of the fifth stop of the Plastiglas Ontario Cup mountain bike race series, held just west of Sudbury in the village of Naughton. Hosted by the Walden Mountain Bike Club, the event was a test run for what will be a Canada Cup race in 2013.

With two world cups and a national championship held over the past three weeks, the top riders had good reason not to make the trip to Ontario’s near north, but Mikaela Kofman (Scott – 3 Rox Racing) and Mitchell Bailey (Trek Canada) picked up right where they left off at the last O-Cup, winning their respective senior elite/U23 races.

Elite/U23 Women
Kofman went out hard from the start and didn’t look back, easily taking the win. Heather Gray (Cycle Solutions/Angry Johnny’s Cycling Club) finished second after overtaking Cayley Brooks (Trek Canada), who rounded out the podium in third place.



Heather Gray, Mikaela Kofman, Cayley Brooks


Although she made it look easy, Kofman was quick to deny that was the case. “No race is easy. I’m coming off a pretty big block of racing in the World Cup. It was fast racing so I only know one speed right now.” The Toronto resident gave the course rave reviews: “It was awesome. It’s nice to have an O-Cup that’s not perfectly groomed and kind of rugged. It will be nice to see the Canada Cup come here next year. I just had a really great time out there. It’s really fun. It’s real mountain biking.”

Despite having ridden a full-suspension bike at the national championships and the Mt. Ste. Anne world cup, Kofman felt a 29er hardtail was the best setup for her. “I went back to my hardtail last weekend at Windham and I realized how much I love it. Even though this course is rough, I’m comfortable on it. I feel fast on it, and I think that’s really all that matters.”

Second place marked the first podium finish of the season for Gray. “I am happy I finally came out and was able to put down an effort that had some success to it.” The 32-year old Kanata resident complained of a sore back post-race, a sentiment echoed by third-place finisher Brooks, who tried to follow Kofman in the early going.

“I stayed with Mikaela on the first half-lap, and then she kept on the gas and I couldn’t stay with her”, explained Brooks. “I kept up the pace, got caught by Heather Gray, she was riding really strong, and I managed to hold on to third for my last three laps. It was a really, really hard race and I’m pretty happy with my result”.

With an eye toward the 2013 Canada Cup on the Naughton course, Brooks felt she had room for improvement. “I think I need to practice pushing harder on the flats. There’s quite a few flats here, and flat singletrack, so you really need to be on the gas the whole time, and there’s really not much rest.”



Junior Expert Women


Elite/U23 Men
A minor crash marred the start of the elite/U23 men’s race, with Andrew Watson the worst off. The Norco Evolution rider bounced up quickly, only to find his chain derailed and stem out of whack. Once those problems were solved he set about trying to return to the head of the race, where Tyson Wagler (Scott – 3 Rox Racing) was leading the charge, hoping to benefit from Bailey’s lack of course knowledge.



Senior Elite/u23 Men Podium


“Mitch didn’t pre-ride the course” explained Wagler, “So I figured I’d try to get a gap right away on the course ‘cause I felt pretty comfortable with it. He seemed to catch on. I could gap him in the singletrack and then on the doubletrack he could come back up. I don’t know if it’s the big wheels or not.”

Wagler was on a 26-inch full suspension which he felt gave him an edge on the rough course. “I could catch anybody that was in front of me in the singletrack.” Two punctures put an end to hjs hopes of victory, which was particularly frustrating given that the same misfortune occurred at nationals. “I’ve been going pretty good. I’d like to get a good race in some time.”

With Wagler out of contention, Bailey pushed on to the win. Rounding out the podium were Steven Noble (Opus/OGC), who rode a steady race to finish second, and Jacob McClelland (Team Hardwood/Trek) who ended up third.

“I was going in blind,” commented Bailey, “But luckily I had Tyson Wagler in front of me on the first lap, somewhat showing me the lines, but he was going pretty fast. I was picking lines on the first lap, got a little better on the second lap, and by the third lap I had the lines down. I was trying to ride smooth and once I knew I had a gap I was trying to ride conservatively on the descents because I noticed a lot of people were getting flats.”

Despite watching Wagler and Bailey jump off the front, Noble stuck to his game plan of riding a steady pace. “I thought it was a pretty rough course and that anything could happen: crashes or mechanical issues or just running out of energy in this heat. I just tried to stay positive and enjoy the race.”

McClelland too had a conservative race strategy, but quickly threw it out the window. “I planned on starting a little slower than I did, but with the fast, flat first half I just got caught up in the moment and was just giving ‘er. The rocky stuff really suits me and my riding style, so I just figured I’d see how long I could hang on and see what I could do.”



Junior Expert Men


Race Notes:
A wealth of volunteers and strong community support bode well for the success of next year’s Canada Cup. Organizer Glen Meeuwisse was at the O-Cup to check out the course and gather input for 2013. Course length for the elites and junior experts will be reduced to approximately five kilometers, while other categories will see laps in the eight kilometer range.

Although Sudbury was once referred to as a “moonscape” that could be seen from outer space, a regreening process has been underway since the 1990s. Soil amendments and the planting of millions of trees have made a noticeable improvement in the look of the area.

Report by Emil van Dijk


Elite U23 Women, 33.83Km
1 Mikaela Kofman (SCOTT 3Rox Racing) 1:48:07
2 Heather Gray (Cycle Solutions/Angry Johnny's CC) at 6:16
3 Cayley Brooks (Trek Canada) 8:23
4 Katlyn Dundas (Trek Store Cycling Club) 9:56
5 Emily Flynn (Tommy and Lefebvre Cycling) 10:16
6 Elyse Nieuwold (Team CHCH) 10:51
7 Tricia K. Spooner (The Cyclery) 13:09
8 Samantha Wagler (Two Wheel Racing) 16:48
9 Mandy Dreyer (Lapierre POC) 20:42
10 Haley Smith (Norco Evolution) 24:08
DNF Annie Foreman-Mackey (Team CHCH)
DNS Jennifer Wilson (Two Wheel Racing)
Senior Elite/U23 Men, 42.35Km
1 Mitchell Bailey (Trek Canada) 1:58:48
2 Steven Noble (Opus / OGC) at 1:12
3 Jacob McClelland (Team Hardwood/Trek) 2:37
4 Davis Ross (Mountainview Cycling Club) 3:01
5 Andrew Watson (Norco Factory Team) 3:21
6 Tyson Wagler (SCOTT 3Rox Racing) 4:25
7 Preston Wagler (Two Wheel Racing) 4:34
8 Scott Lynch (Two Wheel Racing) 8:34
9 Bretton Matthews (Norco Evolution) 8:39
10 Tim Carleton (Tall Tree Cycles / Steelwool Bicycles) 8:40
11 Jarrod Forrest (Kunstadt Sports Cycling) 10:28
12 Danny Souter (KHS Bicycles) 11:53
13 Trent Meyers (Cyclepath Oakville Race Team) 11:53
14 Corey Brioschi (Ind) 12:43
15 Jon Winfield (Norco Evolution) 12:47
16 Andrew De Cal (Liberty! Bicycles) 13:23
17 Jerome Samson (Primary Sweet Pete's) 13:55
18 Marc-Antoine Nadon (SCOTT 3Rox Racing) 14:23
19 Ben Dawson (Cycle Solutions/Angry Johnny's CC) 14:29
20 Alex Schmidt (Liberty! Bicycles) 17:10
21 Simon Wagler (Two Wheel Racing) 24:56
22 Stu Alp (KHS Bicycles) 27:18
23 Jamie Wagler (Two Wheel Racing) 32:56
DNF John Cauchi (Lapdogs Cycling Club)
DNF Tom Guiot (Total Sports the Bike Shop)
DNF Jon Slaughter (Cycle Solutions/Angry Johnny's CC)
DNF Alex Lefebvre (Ciclo Werks Ride Blue)
DNF Josh Froehlich (Ind)
DNF Mark Winfield (Team Hardwood/Trek)
Junior Expert Women, 25.16Km
1 Megan Fleury (Liberty!Bicycles) 1:30:44
2 Haley Golding (TrekStoreCyclingClub) at 11:18
Junior Expert Men, 33.83Km
1 Peter Disera (Cycle Solutions/Angry Johnny's CC) 1:38:06
2 William Elliott (Team BTG : Barrie Cycling Club) at 3:46
3 Daniel Hill (Ind) 7:14
4 Kyle MacIsaac (HB Cycling Club) 9:15
5 Greg Van Moorsel (Reynold Cycle) 9:42
6 William Clarke (Ind) 11:39
7 Dominic Girard (Walden Mountain Bike Club) 12:18
8 Aaron Thomas ( Velikonja) 16:22
9 Michael Girolametto-Prosen (Norco Evolution) 22:58
DNF Martin Rupes (Team BTG : Barrie Cycling Club)
DNF Eric Johnston (Team BTG : Barrie Cycling Club)
DNF Colin Pendziwol (Black Sheep Cycling Club)
DNS Jack Burke (Sporting Life)  
DNS Kurt Vendrig (Impala Bicycles)

Full results


OCUP XC standings after 5 races


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