Posted by Editoress on 08/27/16
The 2016 BMX Canadian Championships concluded on Saturday in Calgary, Alberta, with national titles awarded in the Elite and Junior categories. Over 600 athletes competed, with the top riders in each category racing for the maple leaf jerseys.
The event held additional significance as a primary qualifier for the 2017 world championships, to be held in Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA.
Fresh from finishing fifth at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tory Nyhaug won the Elite Men's national title. James Palmer took the silver medal and Gaby Malenfant finished third.
"The event was awesome and I loved the support from the local fans," said Nyhaug. "I came into the weekend pretty tired, and it was hard emotionally to come back from the Olympics and get right back into it. But I'm happy I was able to come out with the win."
"The sport is growing and it's fantastic to see. Every year the race gets more difficult to win because everyone is going faster."
Drew Mechielsen won the Elite Women's title in the combined Elite/Junior Women's final. Megane Belanger finished second to win the Junior title, followed by Emily MacPherson. Erin Kinnie was fourth in the final Main to take silver in the Elite category. Cayleigh van Staalduinen won bronze in Junior women and Cassidy Monaghan was third for Elite women. Daina Tuchscherer, one of the favourites for Elite Women, crashed in the final.
"I'm pretty happy, but it's not exactly the way I wanted to win," commented Mechielsen, referring to rival Daina Tuchscherer's crash. "But other than that, I'm happy with how the day went, and of course I'm happy about the title. It's my first Elite title and I'm really excited about that. It's really awesome and it was a big goal of mine, so I'm very happy."
In the Junior Men, Alex Tougas took the title, followed by Josh Samells and Ben Leslie.
"I'm really happy with how it went," said Tougas. "I felt good coming into the race but there is always tough competition, so it was a good day overall. I just took it like any other race; the guys you are racing are fast and you never know what's going to happen."
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