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Cycling Canada Announces 28-Strong Team for MTB Worlds in Czech Republic

release by Cycling Canada

June 06, 2016 (Ottawa, ON) – Cycling Canada is pleased to announce the team of 28 athletes who will represent Canada at the Cross-country Mountain Bike World Championships, to take place June 29th to July 3rd, in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic. Normally held at the end of August, the cross-country (Olympic discipline) world championships take place earlier in Olympic years.  The Downhill world championships will take place in late August, in Italy.

Catharine Pendrel  ©  Michal Cerveny

The team includes both experienced and newer athletes; men and women across the age-based categories Junior (17-18), Under-23 (19-22) and Elite (23+).

“With downhill being held at a separate location, it gave us the flexibility to add more XC [Cross-country] riders to the roster,” explained Dan Proulx, National Mountain Bike Coach. “The team is comprised of athletes who’ve represented Canada on many occasions over the years. Everyone is familiar with each other and will gel very easily.”

Emily Batty  ©  Michal Cerveny

Leading the team will be Elite professional women Catharine Pendrel of Kamloops, BC, and Emily Batty of Brooklin, ON.  The duo finished second and third at the third round of the World Cup at the end of May, and Pendrel is a two-time former world champion.

Raphael Gagne  ©  Michal Cerveny

On the Elite men’s side, Canadian champion Raphaël Gagné (Québec, QC), Léandre Bouchard (Alma, QC) and Derek Zandstra (Trenton, ON) have all finished in the top-20 at World Cup races this season.

Leandre Bouchard  ©  Michal Cerveny

While the team will be looking for podium results, Proulx does admit that the focus is later in the season.  “In an Olympic year, the season is compressed and our goals revolve around the Games. At Worlds it would be great to earn a medal but ultimately it’s all about preparation for Rio for our best athletes.”

Catherine Fleury  ©  Andrew Rogers

“We have a very strong National Team program – one of the best in the World. For the vast majority of the riders, Worlds is another opportunity to climb the ladder toward international success. The data we have collected through Own the Podium clearly shows that riders climb each and every rung of the ladder.

Disera  ©  Michal Cerveny
It’s about adapting to the international level of the sport and learning faster than the competition. You simply cannot learn this at home. You have to be here if you hope to compete in the future. As always, Canada brings a strong team full of potential.”

Junior Women
– Emily Handford (West Vancouver, BC)
– Erica Leonard (Barrie, ON)
– Sidney McGill (Edmonton, AB)
– Sophieanne Samson (Quebec City, QC)

Junior Men
– Quinton Disera (Barrie, ON)
– Sean Fincham (Squamish, BC)
– Gunnar Holmgren (Orillia, ON)
– Victor Verreault (St-Félicien, QC)

U23 Women
– Catherine Fleury (Alma, QC)
– Soren Meeuwisse (Orillia, ON)
– Frédérique Trudel (Breakeyville, QC)

U23 Men
– Peter Disera (Barrie, ON)
– Marc-André Fortier (Victoriaville, QC)
– Marc-Antoine Nadon (Timmins, ON)
– Alexandre Vialle (Prévost, QC)

Elite Women
– Emily Batty (Brooklin, ON)
– Rebecca Beaumont (Alma, QC)
– Cindy Montambault (Val-David, QC)
– Catharine Pendrel (Kamloops, BC)
– Haley Smith (Uxbridge, ON)
– Sandra Walter (Coquitlam, BC)

Elite Men
– Léandre Bouchard (Alma, QC)
– Raphaël Gagné (Québec, QC)
– Evan Guthrie (Peachland, BC)
– Geoff Kabush (Courtenay, BC)
– Andrew L’Esperance (Halifax, NS)
– Evan McNeely (Kingston, ON)
– Derek Zandstra (Trenton, ON)

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