May 20, 2017 (Nove Mesto, Czech Republic) – Canadian riders had mixed results on Saturday, the first day of competition at the opening round of the Mountain Bike Cross-country World Cup in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic.
Peter Disera © Michal Cerveny
Peter Disera (Norco Factory Racing) finished a strong eighth in the Under-23 Men’s race, however, Olympic bronze medalist Catharine Pendrel (Clif Bar Pro Team) suffered two mechanical incidents while in second place in the Elite Women’s race, putting her out of contention.
Disera © Michal Cerveny
Disera, the Canadian Under-23 champion, had a strong start to his race, riding among the top-5 riders on the first lap and a half. He dropped back slightly in the second half of the race but managed to retain a top-10 spot at the finish.
Fincham © Michal Cerveny
Petter Fagerhaug of Norway was the winner, followed by Martins Blums of Latvia. Disera finished 1:47 behind the winner. Other Canadian results include Sean Fincham (Team Canada) in 67th place and Marc-Andre Fortier (Team Canada) in 78th.
Fortier © Michal Cerveny
“I came into this race without a number in mind,” said Disera, “but I knew in the back of my mind that there was a chance I could be in the top-5 group fighting for the podium, and in the second lap I was in that group!
Audet © Michal Cerveny
“I held on for as long as I could, but I slipped back a little bit, although I managed to maintain top-10. I’m not too surprised because this year has been going well and I was riding the best I have ever ridden on this course. So I’m really pleased.”
U23 M Start © Michal Cerveny
In the Elite Women’s race, Pendrel moved into second place after the start loop, behind world champion Annika Langvad of Denmark. On the second lap she first had a problem with her chain and then suffered a flat tire. By the time she received assistance at the pits, she was back in the high-30s and nearly four minutes behind the leaders. She managed to fight back to 21st by the finish.
Pendrel © Michal Cerveny
“I felt good, this was probably the best start I’ve ever had on this course,” said Pendrel. “I was feeling good and had good energy, and then coming through the last rock garden before the end of the lap I dropped my chain and it took three minutes to sort it out. Then passing someone on a downhill I got a flat tire and had to ride that into the tech zone. So luck wasn’t on my side today. But my form is good, so that’s the positive takeaway.”
Batty © Michal Cerveny
Canadian champion Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing), third on this course last year, had a poor start, dropping back to the mid-20s. She worked her way back to finish in 17th place.
Langvad Wins © Michal Cerveny
In other Canadian results, Haley Smith (Norco Factory Racing) was 28th, Sandra Walter (Team Canada) was 35th, Cindy Montambault (Team Canada) 38th and Catherine Fleury (Team Canada) 49th.
U23 Men’s results here.
Elite Women’s results here.
Smith © Michal Cerveny
Walter © Michal Cerveny
Montambault © Michal Cerveny
Fleury © Michal Cerveny