June 13, 2017 (Horseshoe Resort, Ontario) – This past weekend Horseshoe Valley hosted the first of two back-to-back rounds of the Canada MTB Cup XCO 2017 series in Ontario amidst sunny and hot conditions that saw new winners and series leaders on the podium.
Series leaders (l-r) Brody Sanderson, Quinton Disera, Soren Meeuwisse, Dana Gilligan © Perry Disera
Haley Smith and Peter Disera from Norco Factory Team took the Elite wins while Roxane Vermette (Mont-Sainte-Anne) and Gunnar Holmgren (Centurion Next Wave) claimed the Junior Expert crowns.
Haley Smith © Christopher Keiser file photo
Smith, who just returned from the UCI World Cup in Europe, dominated the 25.23km Elite Women’s 5-lap racing establishing an early lead to finish with a 43-second margin over Cindy Montambault (Équipe du Québec : Trek GPL) in second followed by Soren Meeuwisse (Trek Canada) who takes over the series lead.
Elite Women's podium (l-r) Beaumont 4th, Montambault 2nd, Smith 1st, Meeuwisse 3rd, Nieuwold 5th © Perry Disera
Her teammate Peter Disera, who recently claimed a career-best 3rd in the U23 Men’s race at the Albstadt World Cup, battled with Derek Zandstra (Cannondale-3Rox Racing) the reigning national champ, in the 27.55km Elite men’s 6-lap competition. The two front runners dropped the other riders in the 5-strong break and kept it close until the end when Disera attacked for the win.
Peter Disera © Perry Disera
Andrew L’Esperance (Forward Racing-Norco) out-paced Quinton Disera (Norco Factory Team XC) for third with Evan McNeely (Forward Racing-Norco) claiming fifth. Quinton Disera is now in the series lead.
Elite Men's podium (l-r) Quinton Disera 4th, Zandstra 2nd, Peter Disera 1st, L’Esperance 3rd, McNeely 5th © Superfly Racing
In the 20.18km Junior Expert women’s 4-lap race Vermette was the clear unstoppable winner by a whopping 2:35.9 over Leya Masson (Équipe du Québec / Mont Sainte-Anne) with Ruby West (Rise Racing) in third. Dana Gilligan (Progressive Sport p/b 3Rox / Maverix Racing) in 4th takes over the leader’s jersey.
Gunnar Holmgren © Cycling Canada
Holmgren dueled with Tyler Clark (KMS Cycling/Killington Mountain School) at the front of the 25.23km Junior Expert men’s 5-lap race as Brody Sanderson (Independant) kept them in check. Clark got dropped along the way as Holmgren won by 13 seconds over Sanderson who is now leading the series.
Stay tuned for more fireworks at the next stop of the 2017 Canada MTB Cup XCO series at Round 5 in Hardwood Ski & Bike near Barrie, Ont. on June 18.