May 24, 2010 (Offenburg, Germany) – A strong group of Canadian mountain bikers made their way to Europe for the third stop on the UCI World Cup circuit. Catharine Pendrel (Luna) took the win in the women’s elite race. Marie Hélène Prémont (Rocky Mountain – Maxxis) was also on the podium with a strong fourth place finish. Geoff Kabush (Rocky Mountain –Maxxis) finished 15th in the Men’s Elite race.
The victory was Pendrel’s first European World Cup win. It also put her into the leader’s jersey on the UCI World Cup ranking. Pendrel said, “In this race everything came together for me. This was a very meaningful win.” She battled back from a rough start and moved into the top two with teammate Georgia Gould (Luna) by the end of lap one. As the race continued, Pendrel was able to increase her advantage by staying focused and using every possible opportunity to put time into the chasers. On the final lap she put the hammer down with the fastest final lap split – winning by 28 seconds over Gould.
“This was a great day for Canada,” said National Team Head Coach, Dan Proulx. “Catharine worked really hard for this win. She kept the pressure on throughout the race. She did a lot of specific work to prepare for this type of battle. It really paid off in the final lap.”
Prémont was pleased with her fourth place finish and a coveted spot on the World Cup podium. She was close to reeling in third place but simply ran out of time on the closing lap. “I’m happy with the race. I felt really good on the bike,” said Prémont.
Geoff Kabush, who spent the last three weeks in Europe was very positive about his race. After starting the first lap in 30th, Kabush steadily paced his way through the field commenting, “We were passing a lot of guys who were just riding one speed [due to fatigue]. We just kept attacking and using acceleration through the technical sections.” In the closing laps of the race Kabush quickly moved from 23rd to 17thth. In the final lap he jumped up to 15th.
Amanda Sin (3-Rox) had a very strong race to finish in 29th. She set a goal of being top 30 going into the first single-track and was able to just make it into that spot before the forest narrowed to one lane. She rode aggressively and fought for position until the end.
Derek Zandstra (3-Rox) and Emily Batty (Trek World Racing) both showed character and finished the race under tough circumstances. Batty suffered an incredibly hard fall on the first lap (resulting from a puncture as she launched into the North Shore drop). Zandstra was simply melting out there. With temperatures nearing 30 degrees near the end of the race he struggled with hydration all day. Both riders displayed a lot of heart and determination in finishing the race despite the challenges.
The next stop for Canadians on the World Cup circuit is Champery, Swtizerland in late July.