July 23, 2011 (Panorama Mountain Village, BC) – This weekend the top downhillers in the country are going head-to-head looking to grab the coveted Canadian titles in the U17, juniors, elite, and masters category at Panorama Mountain Village July 23-24.
Held for the second consecutive season at Panorama Mountain Village, the Canadian DH Championships are the top UCI-sanctioned event in the country. Three-time Canadian Champion Andrew Mitchell (Dunbar/Devinci) of Victoria, BC will be defending his 2010 title, but he will have to face an improved field with strong riders such as Dean Tennant of Sidney, BC and Jamie Biluk of Winnipeg, MB, both on the podium last year.
Andrew Mitchell on the 2011 Canadian Downhill Championships
Steve Smith (Devinci Global), Canada’s top rider in the World Cup rankings and a silver medalist at the 2010 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships at Mont Ste-Anne in downhill, is a notable absentee in the men’s Elite race.
In the women’s competition, Micayla Gatto (Team Young Guns) of Garibaldi Heights, BC, Canada’s top performer on the international scene is the defending champion. Last year on the same course, she won the title with a margin of over seven seconds over second placed Miranda Miller (SRAM/Santa Cruz) of Squamish, BC, who will certainly be attempting to close the gap this year. BC’s Claire Buchar (Kovarik Racing), the 2009 Canadian Champion, will also be in contention, amongst others, to dethrone Gatto.
World Junior Champion Lauren Rosser (Team Young Guns) of Squamish, BC is currently leading the Canada Cup series in the women’s category followed closely by Miller in second place, while Mitchell and Tennant are neck to neck in the men’s Canada Cup standings after two of three races.
Racing at Panorama Mountain Village will be held on the slightly modified course from last year’s Canadian DH Championships and starts on Saturday with the presentation of the seeding runs, where riders will attempt fast times for the championships race on Sunday – more info HERE.
Remi Gauvin on 2011 Canadian DH Championships