Posted by Editoress on 07/29/18
B.C. riders took all four of the Elite and Junior titles on Sunday at the 2018 Canadian Downhill Championships in Panorama, B.C. Vaea Verbeeck (Rocky Mtn/Deity/Shimano), the 2014 national champion, won the women's title, while Magnus Manson (Canyon) won the men's.
More than 200 riders took part in the Championships, with Canadian red and white maple leaf jerseys awarded for both women and men in Under-17, Junior (17-18), Elite (19+) and Masters age group categories (30-39, 40-49 and 50+ for men).
"A big thanks to everyone involved in making the 2018 Canadian Championships a great success," said Josh Peacock, Competition Coordinator at Cycling Canada. "The organization presented a top-notch event and the staff at Panorama Mountain Resort went the extra mile to create some amazing new trails which challenged Canada's best. We are very excited to return to Panorama for the 2019 edition of the Championships, which will include the Enduro for the first time."
It is the first Elite title for Manson, who qualified fifth on Saturday, but won an extremely tight competition in the final for the men's title. The three medalists were separated by only 36/100ths of a second, with Manson recording 3:04.77, silver medalist Hugo Langevin (Devinci Development Team) only two-hundredths of a second back and bronze medalist Mark Wallace (Canyon Factory) at 36/100ths of a second. Defending champion Kirk McDowall (Dunbar Cycles Devinci) had qualified first, but crashed in the final.
"I'm stoked, this is what you go for," said Manson. "The level in Canada has gone up so much; there are tons of guys qualifying for World Cups and a few years ago that wasn't happening. I love this track; it's far from my house but I don't mind making the drive! It's got everything; there's rocks, there's roots, there's dust, it's a fun track."
In the women's race, Verbeeck qualified first, followed by defending Canadian champion and reigning world champion Miranda Miller (Specialized). The final was the same, with Verbbeck's winning time of 3:34.41, 4.90 seconds faster than Miller. B.C.'s Georgia Astle finished third, a further 6.91 seconds back.
"It feels awesome to win the title," said Verbeeck. "It's been four years since I won, and winning with Miranda competing is super sweet. I have huge respect for her. I loved the new parts of the course; it's closer to what a World Cup course is like."
In the Junior women's competition, B.C.-based Spanish rider Ainhoa Ijurko was the top finisher, but ineligible for the title, with second placed Piper Allman the new champion. In the Junior men's race, World Cup rider Lucas Cruz (Trek BC Devo) won the title ahead of Ian Milley.
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