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Martin and Rochette Headline 11 Titles Awarded at 2016 Cyclo-cross Nationals in Sherbrooke + PHOTOS

by Audrey Lemieux
CX Nats 2016 winners  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
November 06, 2016 (Sherbrooke, Que.) – In cold and wet conditions 11 titles were awarded at the 2016 Canadian Cyclo-cross Championships held on Nov. 5 at a new venue in Jacques Cartier Park at Sherbrooke, Que. hosted by Club Cycliste de Sherbrooke. True cross conditions, including several crashes and a technical course that received rave reviews, were the order of the day as arecord 332 riders were on hand for a memorable and emotional day of racing.

Maghalie Rochette wins  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Maghalie Rochette (QC, Luna Pro Team) claimed her first Elite Women’s national cyclo-cross jersey with a stellar performance that none could match. Taking charge early on she built a lead over her closest rival Sandra Walter (Liv Cycling Canada) in second with defending champ Mical Dyck (Naked Factory Racing) in third.

Mical Dyck gets the holeshot  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Dyck looked strong off the start but was not able to sustain her pace and soon Rochette who was just behind in the chase group advanced to take the lead on the first lap of four, which she would never relinquish taking a decisive win.

Sandra Walter  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Walter was steady in second as Dyck was challenged by Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (QC, SAS-Macogep-P/B Mazda), caught behind in an early crash, for the final podium spot but held on with Ferrier-Bruneau 4th and Natasha Elliott (QC) Garneau – Easton Cycling in 5th.

Maghalie Rochette celebrates...  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Elite Women's podium  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
“This is a long-time coming,” said Rochette at the finish as she celebrated with her family. “This year the CX Nationals are in my backyard so it’s great to share this victory with family and friends. I get to wear the maple leaf jersey but there are so many people to thank who have helped me get here,” she told Pedal.

Jeremy Martin wins  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
A new champion was also crowned in the Elite men’s battle as Jeremy Martin (QC, Focus Cx Team Canada) emerged as the strongest rider to take a well-deserved victory for his first national cyclo-cross title. His teammate Aaron Schooler from Alberta finished second with veteran crosser and multi-decorated Geoff Kabush (BC, Scott-3Rox Racing) in third.

Raphael Gagne gets the holeshot  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Defending champ Raphael Gagne (QC, Cannondale 360Fly P/B Sugoi) took an early lead but he was quickly surpassed by Mark McConnell (Hot Sauce Cycling X Garneau) who was on fire and forced everyone to chase. McConnell’s lead was up to 16s but the chasers were slowly gaining and by the halfway mark Kabush and Schooler had moved into second and third with Martin 4th and more chasers including Gagne just behind.

Mark McConnell  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
As McConnell faded it was Martin who surged to the front. Kabush faltered with an untimely crash but was quickly up yet this allowed Schooler to take over second which is how they finished.

Aaron Schooler 2nd  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Geoff Kabush  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Elite Men's podium  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
The two Focus CX riders were now in charge as Martin claimed a strong win and was all smiles with his first national jersey and Schooler on the podium in second with Kabush 3rd. McConnell held on for a solid 4th as Michael Van Den Ham (AB) Garneau – Easton Cycling took 5th and Gagné finished 6th.

“Geoff Kabush and I were able to bridge to McConnell who had a strong start and my teammate Aaron Schooler was there as well. We took the lead when McConnell crashed and then Kabush crashed with about 2 laps to go so I just made sure to keep safe until the finish. Great that Aaron was second… I’m super happy to wear the maple leaf jersey for the year to come,” said Martin. “It’s hard to believe. I’ve been training for this for the last year and a half.”

Peter Disera wins  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Quinton Disera  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Peter Disera and bro Quinton at the finish  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

In the U23 Men’s competition Peter Disera (Norco Factory Team) dominated the race from the get-go for an unchallenged victory with his brother Quinton Disera now also with Norco in second at 2:10 behind.

U23 Men's podium  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Disera took the holeshot and never looked back with Trevor O’Donnell (Realdeal/D’Ornellas p/b Garneau) claiming the final podium spot. “I was mentally prepared for today’s race and some strong battles with O’Donnell and Auclair. With a strong start and good gap with my brother in second we just kept the pressure on,” commented Disera. “It was a course that suited me and I’m happy with how I rode today.”

Sidney McGill wins  ©  Pasquale Stalterimcgill_pas4652
Sidney McGill delivered another Focus CX Team Canada victory as she also took home her first national jersey in the 12km U23 Women’s race as she out-dueled defending champ Ruby West (Cannondale Cyclocrossworld.com).

McGill passes West  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
U23 W podium  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
West, who was leading, suffered an untimely crash on the slippery course which opened the door for McGill. Erica Leonard (Angry Johnny’s P/B Norco & Garneau) was third. “It was a tough course ,” said McGill. “I took a short break after my MTB season and then raced some cross events in preparation for Nationals – I’m really happy to win the title.”

Gunnar Holmgren wins  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
Ontario’s Gunnard Holmgren (Garneau-Easton Cycling) battled back to claim the Junior Men’s national champion title with Martin Conor (TaG Cycling/Norco) only 2s behind in second with Tyler Clark (KMS Cycling) at 52s back in third.

Junior Men's podium  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
The three formed a lead group early on with Holmgren and Conor taking turns at the front as early leader Clark began to fade. In the end Holmgren prevailed to take the win. “I was second last year so nationals was a big goal for me and everything came together so I’m really happy,” Holmgren told Pedal. “The course was tough and technical and I made a couple of slip-ups but in the end I was able to recover and take the win.”

The morning session saw the Masters and U17, U15 and U13 races start off the day as cyclo-cross fever hit Sherbrooke for a successful day of racing and celebrations. The organization was amazing with expo including Siboire Brewery to keep spectators and fans in a cheering mood for the courageous athletes who braved the day. Congrats to all.

Full results here.

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