July 17, 2014 (Barrie, ON) – Léandre Bouchard (Alma, QC/Equipe du Québec/Devinci) is the reigning Canadian Champion of the cross-country eliminator race, and the espoir cyclist hopes to repeat the feat this week as he races to defend his title on Thursday.
Bouchard has had a breakthrough season on the UCI World Cup this year with a Top 5 result in a cross-country event, and a Top 4 result in the eliminator race.
“This is where I won my first title, and I certainly hope to defend it. My podium in the eliminator at the World Cup has given me great confidence in my riding,” said Bouchard, who won back-to-back Canadian cross-country espoir titles in 2011 and 2012.
Since 2012, the eliminator is a full medal event at UCI World Championships. Raphael Gagné (2012) and Bouchard (2013) are the only other Canadians who advanced to the medal race on the World Cup circuit.
In addition to racing the trails around the world, Bouchard competed this year in his first set of road races in June, jumping in the saddle and joining the pelotons at the inaugural Grand Prix de Saguenay, where he impressed with a Top 20 finish in the overall classification, as well as at the 2014 Global Relay Canadian Road Championships, where he placed 14th of the very difficult race.
The eliminator race will be presented on Thursday evening at Hardwood Ski and Bike, with the finals starting at 6pm Eastern time.