June 13, 2009 (Edmonton, AB) – The western assault on the Canada Cup MTB XC Series begins today in Edmonton, AB, with the Canada Cup’s first ever “urban” venue. The 7.25km dry, rooty course is located in Edmonton’s river valley and organizers expect 250 riders to compete.
In the elite competition, men’s series leader Derek Zandstra (ON) 3 Rox Racing is not in attendance, but women’s leader Emily Batty (ON) Trek Store Toronto, along with her Trek Store Toronto Team, [Adam Morka (ON), Eric Batty (ON), minus Peter Glassford (ON)] will race. Other men’s heavy hitters include Matt Hadley (NB) Xprezo.
On the women’s side, series second place Jean Ann McKirdy (BC) Local Ride Women’s MTB, will attempt to do damage on the power course with its short climbs and many changes in terrain. “The course is fun, dry, and there are lots of line choices,” said McKirdy. Catherine Vipond (ON) Norco Factory, who has been having a stellar season so far, cannot be discounted for the podium, along with Alberta native Mical Dyck (AB) Trek Store Toronto.
The elite and junior expert races begin at 2:00 pm MST / 4:00 pm EST this afternoon. Elite men will do six laps, elite women and junior men five, and junior women four. The race will be another long one, with finishing times expected to be over two hours. The weather forecast calls for sunny skies and temps in the mid-20s.