Canadian Cyclist

 

May 11/21 17:15 pm - MTB Olympic Selections End This Weekend - Who Will Canada Select?


Posted by Editoress on 05/11/21
 

This coming weekend, the World Cup at Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, will be the final event in the Canadian mountain bike Olympic selection process. While the nation rankings will not be completely determined until after Sunday's elite races, it is almost certain that Canada will receive an Olympic quota of two spots for women and one for men.

The Canadian selection criteria was established before the start of the 2019 season, and originally consisted of the World Cups and world championships from that season, plus the first two World Cups of 2020. However, the cancellation of most of the 2020 season and the postponement of the Games to this year led to some revisions being made.

First, the standings were frozen as of March 3, 2020, so the final truncated 2020 season last Fall is not included. Added to the 2019 standings is the first two World Cups of this year - last week's Albstadt races and this coming weekend's Nove Mesto event.

The selection criteria are:

Women
• Priority 1: Athlete finishing top 5 in the Elite XCO at the 2019 MTB XCO World Championship. If more than one rider meets this criterion, only the highest placed rider shall be selected.
• Priority 2: Athletes finishing top 12 in an Elite World Cup XCO in Europe or Elite XCO World Championship*.
• Priority 3: Athletes finishing top 3 in a U23 World Cup XCO in Europe or U23 XCO World Championship*.
• Priority 4: Nomination by the Head Coach based on Other Factors mentioned in Clause 6 of this policy.

Men
• Priority 1: Athlete finishing Top 5 in the Elite XCO at the 2019 MTB XCO World Championship. If more than one rider meets this criterion, only the highest placed rider shall be selected.
• Priority 2: Athletes finishing top 16 in a World Cup XCO in Europe or Elite XCO World Championship*.
• Priority 3: Athletes finishing top 3 in a U23 World Cup XCO in Europe or U23 XCO World Championship*.
• Priority 4: Nomination by the Head Coach based on Other Factors mentioned in Clause 6 of this policy.

* Tie breaker: best single result; if still tied, Head Coach breaks tie based on Other Factors mentioned in Clause 6 of this policy.

The full criteria can be downloaded Here.

So, based on these criteria, who has a chance of being selected going into this coming weekend's final event?

Women

Three women have met the Priority 2 criteria:

• Haley Smith with a third place at the Nove Mesto World Cup in 2019
• Catharine Pendrel with a fifth place at the Lenzerheide World Cup in 2019
• Emily Batty with a ninth place at the world championships in 2019

Men

Two men have met the Priority 2 (P2) criteria and two have met Priority 3 (P3):

• Peter Disera met P2 with a sixth place at the Les Gets World Cup in 2019
• Leandre Bourchard met P2 with a 14th place at the Lenzerheide World Cup in 2019
• Carter Woods met P3 with a win (1st) at the Albstadt U23 World Cup last weekend
• Sean Fincham met P3 with a third place at the Les Gets World Cup in 2019

 

Photo
Haley Smith, 3rd, Nove Mesto World Cup in 2019



Photo
Catharine Pendrel, 5th, Lenzerheide World Cup in 2019



Photo
Emily Batty, 9th, World Championships in 2019


Photo
Peter Disera, 6th, Les Gets World Cup in 2019



Photo
Leandre Bourchard, 14th, Lenzerheide World Cup in 2019



Photo
Carter Woods, 2021 Albstadt U23 World Cup win



Photo
Sean Fincham, 3rd U23 Les Gets World Cup in 2019

 

Who Will Be Selected?

In theory, it is pretty straightforward. Haley Smith and Catharine Pendrel will be awarded the women's spots unless Emily Batty can match or beat Pendrel's fifth place this coming weekend. Peter Disera will be awarded the men's position, unless Leandre Bouchard can match or beat Disera's sixth place this coming weekend - the two U23 riders won't be a factor since they are a lower level priority.

However, this is in theory, because the final decision must be approved by the High Performance Committee and then endorsed by the Canadian Olympic Committee. The selection has a number of other criteria that can be 'taken into consideration', including their potential for future Olympics, which favours younger riders still on the upward trajectory of their career, and something called 'Performance Readiness', which refers to the ability of the athlete to achieve equal or superior performance(s) onsite at the scheduled event, as compared to the performance(s) the athlete achieved in qualifying.

Bottom line: there is a lot more than World Cup points on the line in Nove Mesto. The final selection will likely be announced some time in June.

 

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