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MTB Canada Cup XC/DH #2 – Preview

May 26, 2006 (Mont Tremblant, Que.) – The Canada Cup stays in la belle province of Quebec for a second weekend, where some of the country’s fastest cross country and downhill riders are duking it out for top honours in the national series.

The cross-country is first in line, with the gun going off for the junior women at 10:00 a.m. The rest of the championship categories – elite men and women and junior men – sprint for the holeshot at 12:00 p.m.

Junior women’s National Champion Emily Batty (ON, Team R.A.C.E.) will try to make the best of her last year in the junior ranks. Will she sweep the series again? After winning her first race by nearly three minutes, it’s possible.

Last week’s junior men’s winner, Alex Harvey (QC, Devinci), who had a lead of over 6.5 minutes over his next competitor, probably has the same game plan for Tremblant.

Last year’s elite women’s Canada Cup Series Champ, Mical Dyck (AB, Terrascape) took the 2006 series lead from the get-go by winning last weekend in the mud. After taking a year off to have a baby, Karen DeWolfe (NB) is back on the race course and still challenging for the lead. Catharine Pendrel (BC, Norco) also has the legs, lungs and head to win. Jean Ann McKirdy (BC, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects), who is also eyeing the podium, had this to say about the cross country course in Mont Tremblant:

“Right now it is dry and, compared to last year, a relatively easy ride, but definitely still one of the more technical courses on the circuit. There are a lot of tight rocky, rooty sections as well as many bridges and ramps, one of which is rather steep and twisted. It should be lots of fun, and challenging if it rains for sure!”

In the elite men’s field, Max Plaxton (BC, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects) will start with the number one plate, but he’ll have to fight to keep it. Ricky Federau (BC, Team R.A.C.E.) and Raphael Gagne (QC, Rocky Mountain-Business Objects) – among others – are not going to let him get away that easily.

The gravity riders pick up momentum on Sunday as they fight for the top spots. In the elite men’s category, Eric Goss (NB, Giant) will attempt to defend his early series lead after winning event number one in Bromont, Que. last weekend. Geoff Pendrel (NB, Devinci-Daredevil) and Luke Kitzanuk (BC, Giant) are hot on Goss’s heels, however, and will go all out for the win. In the elite women’s downhill, National Champ Adrienne Miller (CAN, Devinci-Daredevil) wants to keep up her winning ways after her victory in Bromont.

Hans Lambert won the junior men’s downhill by over 30 seconds in Bromont. Anything can happen, however, especially on a treacherous course like the one on the Mont Tremblant ski hill.

Only one junior woman, Marie-Pierre Alix (QC, Spin Sport Inc.) braved the Bromont course and she’s likely hoping more will make the trip to Tremblant.

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MTB Canada Cup XC/DH #2 — Preview

May 27, 2005 — Here is a pre-race report for the MTB Canada Cup XC at Tremblant beginning tomorrow. The XC course is quite challenging this year, with a fast technical climb and traverse, and a new challenging decent.

The start begins and heads through Tremblant village. Racers must be aware and pay attention to security guards when racing through the village as stern warnings may result! After a short gravel road section, the course heads immediately into a loamy single track climb. The slippery rocks mean that’s it’s critical that riders keep a good rhythm through this section. After several traverses of the ski hill, there is the main climb of the day, taking less than two minutes to shoot to the top.

The decent is all single track, with some interesting boardwalk sections. It’s going to really punish the arms with lots of braking ruts and challenging high speed corners on loose soil. There is a 60% chance of light rain tonight, which will cause the decent to become very slick and treacherous. Whoever looses concentration could quickly see themselves in the bushes!

A bike path section takes you back to the village for another lap of fun. Tomorrow the right tire choice and tire pressure will be very important; too much and you’ll slide around, too little and there’s the risk of a puncturing.

I spoke to a few downhill racers and the course is very challenging with some monster bumps and ruts to contend with. The high speed decent traverses the ski-hill to the finish. A bridge on the XC course goes over the downhill, and a closer look reveals there are tons of large rocks and roots to contend with. T

With a significant chance for rain on Sunday it means another challenging course for the gravity guys and gals!

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