October 27, 2005 – Six athletes will represent Canada in the cross-country events this Sunday, October 30, at the Mountain Bike Pan American Championships in Mexico City.
Ricky Federau of Abbotsford, British Columbia will compete in the elite men’s race and will face a field which includes Hector Leonardo Paez of Colombia, a surprise seventh place finisher at the recent world championships. Federau beat Paez to claim the Pan American under-23 title two years ago.
Also riding for Canada are: Trish Sinclair of Victoria, BC and Catherine Pendrel of Kamloops, BC, both competing in the women’s elite race; Max Plaxton of Tofino, BC in the men’s under-23 event; and Neal Kindree of Garibaldi Highlands, BC and Raphael Gagne of Lac Beauport, Quebec, in the junior men’s event.
National team coach Michel Leblanc believes that the Canadians – particularly the men – have good chances at winning medals at this event, but cautions that the conditions and the competition will be challenging.
For many of the South American athletes, the Pan American championships is “almost their world championship. They will have been preparing for this race a long time and will be motivated,” said Leblanc.
“Racing at that altitude with the heat and pollution won’t be that easy,” remarked Leblanc. “The races will be tough and we’ll need to be ready to face the music.”
Rickey Federau – Elite Men XC – Abbotsford, BC
Max Plaxton – U23 XC – Tofino, BC
Trish Sinclair – Elite Women XC – Victoria, BC
Catherine Pendrel – Elite Women XC – Kamloops, BC
Neal Kindree – Junior Men XC – Garibaldi Highlands, BC
Raphael GagnÃ© – Junior Men XC – Lac Beauport, QuÃ©bec
Michel Leblanc – National Team Coach
Chad Grochowina – Mechanic