August 31, 2013 (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) – Friday was a solid day for Canada at the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in South Africa, with two Canadian downhillers posting top-10 results and Maghalie Rochette having an excellent race in the U23 women’s cross-country also cracking the top 10.
The U23 cross-country races continued on Friday following the junior events the previous day where young Canadian rider Peter Disera delivered a hair-raising silver medal performance – interview with Disera here. Canada’s momentum carried into the next day as Rochette stormed her way to 9th place in the U23 women’s 23.5km race (5 laps) race, posting the best Canadian result of the day.
Despite a slower start for Rochette crossing the first time split in 16th position, her determination and endurance abilities kicked in, and she progressively made her way up among the leaders, gaining positions at every split on every lap.
Frédérique Trudel, the reigning Espoirs Canadian Champ, finished 26th immediately followed by her teammates Laura Bietola from Ontario and Quebec’s Andréane Lanthier-Nadeau in 27th and 28th place respectively.
In the 28.2km U23 Men’s 6-lap men’s race six Canadians were in the mix with Antoine Caron posting the best result in 23rd place. Current Canada Games champion Léandre Bouchard followed in 24th place with Jeremy Martin in 33rd and Mitch Bailey in 41st. Evan Guthrie and Evan McNeely were pulled after being lapped by the leader, and finished 48th and 56th respectively.
Vezina Turns Heads in Junior Men’s DH Race
Canadian downhiller McKay Vezina arrived in South Africa in fine form, and his results proved it on Friday. Posting the best Canadian time in Thursday’s timed session with the sixth best time of the day, Vezina continued to demonstrate today his ability and strength, finishing seventh in the finals, his career-best international result.
Mark Wallace, who has been consistently at the top of standings all year long in his first complete international season, also posted a great run finishing in ninth place.