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Canada MTB Cup XC #3 Preview

by Sandra Walter

May 30, 2009 (Oro-Medonte, Ontario) – Round three of the Canada Cup XC Series takes place on Sunday on the dependable 9km course at Hardwood Ski and Bike in Oro-Medonte, just north of Barrie, ON. The lap consists of an outer and an inner loop, and contains a few variations on previous years. It’s been a damp past few days, which has given the course just a touch of tackiness. There’s a chance of showers for this evening and overnight, followed by clouds, sun and a high of 9 Celsius for race day tomorrow. The Elite Men and Elite Women, Junior Expert Men and Junior Women take off at 11:30 a.m. There are 370 riders pre-registered to race.

Twenty-six Elite women are slated to contest four laps, starring series leader Emily Batty (ON, Trek Store Toronto) on her home course. Also up to bat are second-ranked Karine Travaillaud (QC, Cycles des Monts/Specialized), and third-ranked Catherine Vipond (ON, Norco Factory). Amanda Sin (ON, 3 Rox Racing), Caroline Villeneuve (QC, Norco Factory), and Jean Ann McKirdy (BC, Local Ride Women’s MTB) are also on the start list, along with multiple Canada Cup Series winner Mical Dyck (AB, Trek Store Toronto), who has made the trip out from Alberta to vie for the win on this power course.

As for the Elite Men, 44 will start the five-lap race, led out by series leader following two events Derek Zandstra (ON, 3 Rox Racing). He will be marked by the entire field, including second-ranked Andrew Watson (ON, Norco Factory), and third-placed Matt Hadley (NB, Xprezo). Raphaël Gagne (QC, Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) leads the U23 field. Stefan Widmer (BC, Rocky Mountain Factory) is hoping to have a clean, crash- and mechanical-free race tomorrow. Other contenders: Canada Cup #1 third-place finisher Julien Fillion (QC, Devinci) and Craig Richey (BC, Blue Competition Cycles).

The Junior Expert Men will race four laps, with the BC Team riders on the hunt for redemption after a less-than-stellar weekend at Mont Tremblant. Last year’s Junior National Champion, Evan Guthrie (BC, Team BC), along with Tyler Allison (BC, Team BC), and Sebastian Sleep (BC, Team BC) will be hungry for the podium, but home province boy, Mitch Bailey (ON, Team Ontario) will give his all to make it a hat trick after two back-to-back wins. Quebec juniors Antoine Caron (QC, CVM Subway-Génétik), Nicolas Tremblay (QC), and Nova Scotia’s Andrew L’Esperance (NS, Cyclesmith/BNS) have all been on the podium this season as well.

Junior Women’s leader’s jersey holder, Cayley Brooks (ON, Team Ontario), is also back on home soil, and she’ll be aiming for another win, while Kristina Laforge (QC, Cyclone D’Alma) will try to turn her two silvers into gold this weekend in the three-lap contest.

Stay tuned for results, coverage, photos and videos at pedalmag.com.

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