Canadian Cycling Magazine

A return to cyclocross racing in Nova Scotia


“I've always had trouble doing really well in Europe.

Today I finally proved to myself that I could do it.

I'm very, very happy.” —Maghalie Rochette after placing second at the Besançon CX World Cup, Nov. 28

The first two races in the 2021 nscx series were held at Smileys Park, an hour’s drive northwest of Halifax. Although it was early October, the weather was more reminiscen­t of early December, the grassy course frosty on the second morning. After the pandemic disrupted the 2020 season, the two-day event was the first cyclocross race in several years for many riders.

Artúr Sagát, who has raced extensivel­y in the U.S., had been out of the game for very different reasons. This past mountain bike season, he had been supporting his wife, Mackenzie Myatt, at World Cup events. “We just came back from Europe, and I was her mechanic at all these really big races, so I didn’t get to ride much,” he said.

Despite his recent break from competitio­n, Sagát still cruised into second place on the first day. He was 14 seconds behind first-place finisher Timothy Shea, who had competed at the Canadian road nationals in September.

“I didn’t think I was going to do well today,” Sagát said. “I guess the altitude helped out: I was in Switzerlan­d riding up in the Alps, so I guess that was enough to pull this off.”

Course conditions on the second day of the event were much different due to the early start. They caused more gaps to form between riders.

“Lorenzo, who created the course, just made it completely different,” Sagát said of organizer Lorenzo Caterini’s course design. “It’s just like a completely different animal: super tight and twisty, which makes it really exciting.”

Sagát came in third on the second day, 24 seconds behind second-place finisher Edward Walsh. “Ed’s like a different level when it comes to it,” Sagat said of the rider who finished 10th at road nationals. “Respect to that guy. He’s really good.”— Hannahmara­is

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