2018 MTB XCO Na­tion­als

Emily Batty and Peter Dis­era Head­line –13 Ti­tles Awarded

Pedal Magazine - - Contents - by Jack Cracker

Su­perb con­di­tions greeted rid­ers, with 13 ti­tles awarded at the 2018 Cana­dian XCO Cham­pi­onships on July 21, head­lined by Emily Batty (ON, Trek Fac­tory) and Peter Dis­era (ON, Norco Fac­tory), de­fend­ers of their Elite women’s and men’s ti­tles re­spec­tively at the Can­more Nordic Cen­tre in Al­berta.

Elite Women’s Race

BBatty was the clear favourite in the Elite women’s six-lap 22.5km race, with peren­nial ri­val Catharine Pen­drel (Clif Pro Team) still re­cov­er­ing from an in­jury. Com­ing off three back-to-back podi­ums in Europe on the UCI MTB World Cup cir­cuit, Batty gunned it from the start and took no pris­on­ers with a 3:40 gap at the fin­ish for her third con­sec­u­tive ti­tle.

“It’s great to win the ti­tle again,” said Batty at the fin­ish. “With lots of travel re­cently and hav­ing just re­turned from Europe, you never know, but I felt good. I was un­der pres­sure by the other girls for the first cou­ple of laps, but I raced the course like a World Cup, as any­thing can go wrong.”

San­dra Wal­ter (BC, Liv Canada) took the sil­ver after she bat­tled with Ha­ley Smith (ON, Norco Fac­tory), who was ahead dur­ing the open­ing laps, but flat­ted, open­ing the door for Wal­ter, who passed Smith and ham­mered on to ex­tend her lead to 2:20 over her ri­val. At the fin­ish, Smith set­tled for the bronze.

“It’s great to have the op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue my strong re­sults from Europe at home,” said Wal­ter. “I was re­ally mo­ti­vated when I got by Ha­ley fol­low­ing her flat, and re­ally started push­ing it un­til the fin­ish.”

Elite Men’s Race

The Elite men’s seven-lap 22.5km race saw early ac­tion with de­fend­ing cham­pion Dis­era tak­ing an early lead, but Raphael Gagné (QC, Sil­ver­back OMX), the win­ner in 2016, took over, gain­ing a strong gap of 52 sec­onds by the fi­nal lap.

Fate was not on Gagné’s side, as a flat forced him into the pits for a wheel change, with Dis­era pass­ing him and solo’ing to vic­tory to de­fend his Na­tional ti­tle. Gagné re­cov­ered to take the sil­ver, while Léan­dre Bouchard (QC, KMCEkoi-SR Sun­tour) took the bronze.

“I wasn’t on to­day, and didn’t feel fan­tas­tic. I spent all my matches at the be­gin­ning try­ing to get a gap, but Raph counter-at­tacked and then the gap grew,” said Dis­era. “I wasn’t rid­ing clean and was up­set with my­self the en­tire race. It was tough and it hurt, but it al­ways does. Then when I fi­nally ac­cepted that I’d be sec­ond, I saw Raph in the pits on the last lap and gave it my all to the fin­ish. Hats off to Raph – he rode amaz­ing. I’m re­ally happy with this vic­tory, but that’s rac­ing some­times.”

“I have a lot of rea­sons to be happy, but one rea­son [a sil­ver medal] that is tough to swal­low,” said Gagné. “It’s go­ing to take a while to get over this one. But I’d rather have good legs and not de­liver than the op­po­site, so I’m happy with my fit­ness. To­day, I was strong­est. I think I proved it, but some­times you need a bit of luck. That’s rac­ing.”

U-23/Ju­nior Women’s Race

Lau­rie Arse­neault (QC, ACQ) took an early lead and never looked back to win the U-23 women’s ti­tle over Emily Un­ter­berger (BC, Pen­drel Rac­ing), who moved up well dur­ing the race to claim sec­ond. Sophi­anne Samson (QC, CVM Sigma As­sur­ance) was third. Rox­anne Ver­mette (QC, Équipe du Québec) de­fended her ti­tle as the ju­nior women’s cham­pion.

U-23/Ju­nior Men’s Race

In the U-23 men’s race, Sean Fin­cham (BC, For­ward Rac­ing Norco) was un­stop­pable as he quickly es­tab­lished a gap and moved up well through the Elite men’s field – with a two-minute gap – to fin­ish fourth over­all. Marc-An­dré Fortier and Raphael Au­clair, both with Team Pivot-OTE, were sec­ond and third re­spec­tively. In the ju­nior men’s race, it was Carter Woods (Cy­cling BC) who claimed the ti­tle.

Masters Races

Amy Wood­ward-Kennedy (AB, Cy­clemeis­ters) won the Master Ex­pert 30-39 women’s ti­tle, while Denise Hill (AB, Bow­cy­cle/Cy­clemeis­ters) took home the Master Ex­pert 40+ women’s jersey.

The Master Ex­pert 30-39 men’s Na­tional ti­tle went to Drum­mond Law­son (BC, Steed Cy­cles), while Travis Hauck (BC) claimed the Master Ex­pert 50+ men’s crown, with Don Larsen (BC) win­ning the Master Ex­pert 50+ men’s jersey. – JC

Jersey win­ners at the 2018 Cana­dian MTB XCO Cham­pi­onships at Can­more, Alta.

De­fend­ing Elite men’s cham­pion Peter Dis­era took home his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive Na­tional jersey.

Lau­rie Arse­nault took an early lead in the U-23 women’s raceand never looked back.

World Cup star Emily Batty hand­ilyde­fended her Elite women’s ti­tle.

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