July 22, 2006 (Whistler, B.C.) — The Canada Cup Series is underway again today as the cross country riders battle it out in the heat of the summer. A heat wave is hitting B.C. and Saturday will be a scorcher with temperatures in the high 30s.
The Elite and Junior Expert categories start at 1:00 p.m. — the hottest part of the day — and will navigate a sinuous and relentlessly difficult course. Rocks, roots, switchbacks, long ladder bridges and exposed climbs will challenge racers. Riders are concerned that things might get crowded on the course, which includes lots of narrow singletrack with few passing opportunities. The Elite Women will be completing four laps of the course and the Elite Men are scheduled to do five.
The Canada Cup is the final selection race for the MTB Worlds, which means there is a very deep field in attendance. On the women’s side, Canada Cup Leader Mical Dyck (AB, Terrascape), National Champion Marie-HÃ©lÃ¨ne PrÃ©mont (QC, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects), Kiara Bisaro (BC, Team R.A.C.E.), Alison Sydor (BC, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects), Catharine Pendrel (BC, Norco), Trish Sinclair (BC, Scott USA-Kenda) and Espoir National Champion Jean Ann McKirdy (BC, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects) are all in attendance.
The Elite Men’s field contains series leader Raphael Gagne (QC, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects), Ricky Federau (BC, Team R.A.C.E.), Max Plaxton (BC, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects), Neal Kindree (BC, Kona-Les Gets) and Kris Sneddon (BC, Kona-Les Gets), among some other heavy hitters.
Emily Batty (ON, Team R.A.C.E.) and Francis Morin (Equipe du Quebec-Devinci) are leading the Junior Women’s and Men’s series, respectively.