October 11, 2005 – Among the medievalists and multi-coloured foliage of early October in Quebec City, there was cyclocross racing! Mont Ste-Anne was a happening spot this past Saturday, October 8 – the site, famous for its mountain biking, didn’t disappoint as a premiere location for cyclocross racing. Team Xcluziv put together a course that resembled European pro-courses, requiring skill, stamina, and speed. Short power-climbs, speedy descents, a faith-requiring ditch jump, and the hallmark ‘Van Den Driesche sand section’, were all present on the course, as well as a leg-burning uphill climb followed by fast single track and triple barriers.
The Senior Men charged off under the mid-day sun and the field stayed somewhat bunched together until Benoit Simard (Perigny), Mathieu Toulouse (Maxxis), David Gagnon (Sportif Bromont), and Pascal Bussieres (Biogen-Idec) decided to put the hurt on the rest of the pack. Eventually, Simard and Toulouse would separate themselves from Gagnon and Bussieres. Post-race, Toulouse revealed his strategy, “I followed Ben! He’s better at the run-ups than me, so I just shadowed him as much as I could.” It was only when Simard had an unfortunate trip on the uphill barriers that Toulouse took the lead, coming in for a shiny gold medal. Simard charged in after Toulouse, for step number two on the podium. In the dual for third, Gagnon and Bussieres duked it out until the bitter end. On the very last lap, Gagnon was able to gain some precious seconds and come in ahead of a tired but pleased Bussieres.
In the women’s race, Marie-Pier Bedard (Espoirs Laval) put a gap between herself and Elicycle/Louis Garneau’s Joanie Caron within the first few laps. The dual was not over then, however, as the two women would stay roughly within 20 seconds of each other throughout the race. Amanda Leigh Cox (Espoirs Laval) battled Stephanie Gervais (Xprezo) on lap one and Cox was able to push herself ahead on the steep uphill climb and kept away for the rest of the race for a solid third place finish.
Gervais put in a great race on the challenging course, only her second ‘cross of the season due to a late-summer broken collar-bone.
* l’Auteur aimerais bien remerciÃ© Xcluziv’s Jurgen, Marie-HÃ©lÃ¨ne et Francis, ainsi tout les gens qui ont ‘fait de la bruit!’ pour elle Ã son dernier tour – merci beaucoup – je t’aime ben fort ma gang de ‘cross!
1. Mathieu Toulouse – Maxxis
2. Benoit Simard – Perigny
3. David Gagnon – Sportif Bromont
1. Marie-Pier Bedard – Espoirs de Laval
2. Joanie Caron – Elicycle / Louis Garneau
3. Amanda Leigh Cox – Espoirs de Laval