June 16, 2012 (Saint-Félicien, QC) – The Elite/U23 Women’s XC Championship race is soon underway in sunny Saint-Félicien with Catharine Pendrel (BC, Luna) ready to defend her Elite title, three years running, against many eager contenders including Emily Batty (ON, Subaru-Trek), Marie-Helene Premont (QC, Rocky Mountain), Amanda Sin (ON, Scott-3RoxRacing), recent Canada Cup Series winner Sandra Walter (BC, Xprezo-Borsao) teammate Jean Ann Berkenpas, and more – read Pendrel’s interview with Walter here. The battle for the U23 title features Andreanne Pichette (QC, Opus/OGC), Laura Bietola (ON, Scott-3RoxRacing), Cayley Brooks (ON, Trek Canada), Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau (QC, Rocky Mountain) and others… the U23 women will complete a start loop + 4 laps and the Elite women 5 laps…
Prémont takes the lead in the Elite women’s race and is followed by Batty and Pendrel… Sin is further back in 4th
In the U23 women’s race it’s Bietola and Quebec’s Lanthier-Nadeau leading into the first lap of 4.
Prémont is still leading over the half way point on Lap 1 with Pendrel taking over second – Batty is third – Sin is 4th and Walter sits in 5th – it’s a small field of only 12 Elite riders…. with 16 U23 women also racing.
Prémont has a 7-second lead over Pendrel as the Elite women begin lap 2 with Batty in 3rd…
Bietola has a strong 19s-lead over Lanthier-Nadeau in 2nd, with Valerie Meunier in 3rd and Cayley Brooks in 4th. Running in 5th is Haley Smith (Norco) followed by Pichette in 6th.
Pendrel is gaining on Premont will soon overtake her… she does and now she’s really attacking.
Pichette is moving up as the lap begins to end for the U23s… she suffered a mechanical and is scrambling to make up time.
The reigning world champ, Pendrel, is out front alone starting lap 3 with a substantial 21.3-second lead over Premont… we estimate Batty is another 15s behind the 2004 Olympic silver medalist.
Fans are also eagerly anticipating the announcement of the MTB Olympic nominations which will be made on Wednesday, June 20, 2pm Eastern, at the UCI World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, QC.
Bietola continues to lead the U23 race but Pichette is in striking distance at 15s… Lanthier-Nadeau is further back in 3rd.
Pendrel is STORMING the course here at Saint-Félicien and is now 46s ahead of Prémont and over 1:30 on Batty.
U23 rider Pichette had a broken chain and has now passed Bietola to take over the lead…
Lap 4 – U23 FINAL
Pendrel is destined to make it four in row as MTB Champ as she starts the penultimate lap with two to go and a big lead over Premont and Batty…
Check out this early race photo of Pendrel leading Batty HERE.
The U23s are on their final lap as Pichette is in control… Bietola is over 30s behind and in danger of being caught by Lanthier-Nadeau.
Results U23 – 2okm
1. Andreanne Pichette (QC, Opus/OGC) 1:22:39
2. Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau (QC, Rocky Mountain) 1:24:00
3. Laura Bietola (ON, Scott-3RoxRacing) 1:24:53
4. Valerie Meunier (Cyclone d’Alma) 1:25:34
5. Haley Smith (Norco/Evolution) 1:27:22
Lap 5 FINAL
Pendrel is unstoppable on the final lap with over a minute on Premont and 1:45 on Batty…
Pendrel wins in Saint-Félicien again – she won her first title right here in 2009.
Elite Results – 25km
1. Pendrel (Team Luna Pro) 1:30:21
2. Prémont (Rocky Mountain/ProCycle) 1:31:35
3. Batty (Subaru-Trek) 1:32:58
4. Amanda Sin (ON, Scott-3RoxRacing) 1:34:40
5. Sandra Walter (BC, Xprezo-Borsao) 1:37:03
6. Mikaela Kofman (ON, Scott-3RoxRacing) 1:38:20