Emily Batty © Michal Cerveny
May 29, 2017 (Albstadt, GER) – Canadian riders had multiple top-20 performances on the second day of Round 2 of the Mountain Bike World Cup in Albstadt, Germany, with Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing) the best in tenth place, despite a flat on the final lap. Yana Belomoina of Ukraine won the race.
Catharine Pendrel © Michal Cerveny
In the Elite women’s race, both Rio Olympians Batty and Catharine Pendrel (Clif Pro Team) started further back on the grid than they usually do, after having problems in the first Round that lowered their ranking in the series. However, both moved up strongly through the field, with Pendrel reaching fifth before crashing and sliding back to finish 14th.
Sandra Walter © Michal Cerveny
Batty had moved up to seventh on the final lap before a flat tire dropped her down a few placings. After two rounds, Batty is 12th in the overall standings and Pendrel is 17th.
Cindy Montambault © Michal Cerveny
“Even though I was in the third row it worked out fine for me and I had a good start,” said Batty, “but I lost a lot of time on the first climb because it was so loose. I got up as far as seventh on the last lap, I think, and then I rear flatted on the second last descent. So I’m happy with tenth, it’s better than last week and I felt like I was racing more like myself.”
Haley Smith © Christopher Keiser
Other Canadian results include Sandra Walter (Team Canada) in 24th, Cindy Montambault (Team Canada) in 39th, Haley Smith (Norco Factory) in 47th and Catherine Fleury (Team Canada) in 48th.
Catherine Fleury © Michal Cerveny
In the Elite men’s competition, Rio Olympian Leandre Bouchard, riding for the French professional BH-SR Suntour-KMC team finished a career-high 16th in a World Cup. World and Olympic champion Nino Schurter of Switzerland won the race. Bouchard started well back but worked his way forward.
Leandre Bouchard © Michal Cerveny
“I’m pretty proud, this is my best result ever at the World Cup,” said Bouchard. “The course is one of the most physical we have on the World Cup, with pretty long and steep climbs. This wasn’t the best course for me because I am so tall, but when you have the legs, you have the legs. I started back, but I just kept looking for places to pass and slowly move up. There was an opportunity with the heat also as people got tired, so the strategy was to just keep moving up when I could.”
Derek Zandstra © Michal Cerveny
Raphael Gagne © Christopher Keiser
In other Canadian results, Derek Zandstra (Cannondale-3Rox) was 24th, Raphael Gagne (Cannondale-3Rox) was 41st, Andrew L’Esperance (Team Canada) was 68th and Evan (Team Canada) was 113th.
Andrew L’Esperance © Michal Cerveny
Evan McNeely © Pasquale Stalteri
In the Under-23 women’s race held earlier in the day, Anne-Julie Tremblay (Equipe du Quebec / Cyclone d’Alma) finished 16th and is 20th overall in the standings.
Anne-Julie Tremblay © Peter Kraiker
Canadian head coach Dan Proulx summarized the project by saying: “The first two World Cups of the year are always challenging – especially after an Olympic Games. New riders emerge and established riders are still rebuilding fitness.”
“The rides that Peter [Disera – 3rd in Under-23 Men] and Leandre did were exceptional. They’ve invested a lot of time and energy into gaining European experience since they were Juniors. They’ve climbed each and every rung of the ladder over here. You can only gain their level of experience by being here – and working your way through the ranks. We aim to give as many riders as possible this experience in the hopes of finding other riders who can rise to the challenge like they did.”
“Catharine and Emily are still very much on track with where we feel they should be in a post-Olympic year. The higher the level of performer, the more important the periodization of rest and recovery across the entire quadrennial becomes. They’re where we need them to be right now. I have total confidence in them.”