Canada Cup #1 Recap

It has been months since the last cross-country race report in 2016 ( 7 months to be exact) This winter brought a lot of change and the fire is burning.
 
On Saturday the first race of the year kicked off with a Canada Cup in Victoria, BC. Every top rider in Canada and some of USA’s Olympic long-list riders as well. I’m working with a new coach (Richard Wooles) and we trained harder than I’ve ever experienced this winter, with a plan to be strong, not peaked, at this first event. After 1 lap I was out chasing Canadian Olympian Raphael Gagne by myself. For 5.5/6 laps I was chasing him solidly in second place and everything was seeming and feeling good to finish there, but mountain biking has the side where it’s hard on the bike and mechanicals can happen. Unfortunately, a mechanical had me running downhill for a few minutes in that last lap to the tech zone (no, I won’t be switching to running anytime soon). Falling from 2nd-7th before our National Team mechanic quickly got me rolling. In the end I made one more pass and it was a 6th place finish, outside the the podium, less world-ranking points, and a result that doesn’t tell the story, but the hard work is paying dividends thanks to a winter of the hardest work I’ve ever done with my new coach.

 

HUGE heartfelt and sincere thank you to everyone helping me this year to get this program off the ground. It’s a been a heavy winter and I couldn’t be more excited with how things turned out and it’s because I’m surrounded by so many wonderful and selfless people. I wanted to get that podium finish for everyone supporting me as a thank you, but I might have to wait for the next one now.

Pre-race media:

http://www.timescolonist.com/sports/olympians-ready-to-hit-the-trails-again-at-bear-mountain-1.10933456

Post-race report:

http://canadiancyclist.com/dailynews.php?id=32216&title=pendrel-gagne-win-opening-round-of-canada-cup

 

Photo: http://www.canadiancyclist.com

Thanks to Mike Garrigan – Canada MTB team technical coach. He helped every rider over this two week camp refine and improve skills.

 

Behind the scenes

Here’s a great look from a different perspective as Kevin Light, 2008 Olympic Gold Medallist in Rowing, came out to shoot some amazing pictures of two training sessions at the recent National Team Camp in Victoria, BC. Link below:

Canadian Mountain Bike Training Camp

Canadian Mountain Bike Training Camp

Cycling Canada MTB Camp update

On Sunday Feb 19th I travelled down to Victoria to kick off the MTB race season. Firstly, I caught up with the brother for a day before arriving at Bear Mountain Resort for the Cycling Canada National MTB team camp on the 20th. This group is like a second family and I have many good friends here, so that makes this trip special. 

Training with a group of motivated, inspiring and like-minded riders is special. We’re fortunate to be staying at Bear Moutain and having accommodation and food supplied while we put in work on the bike and “classroom-style” learning and work each day. We were greeted with the snow the last three mornings and today it was actually quite fun to be sliding around in it. 

Saturday is when the season kicks off with a Canada Cup. I’m excited to see how well I did my homework this winter. Until then, we’ll keep on keepin’ on, and make snowmen of course. Photos below from the trip so far:

Love new bike day. New Pivot Mach 429SL showed up the other day and it felt fitting that its friends, NEXT crank and Turbine dropper by Race Face, kept it company. 

Bear Mountain Resort is embracing cycling quite heavily and making us feel at home

Those Schwalbe Tires are loving the Victoria trails, I mean mud, I mean hero dirt.

Photo: Kevin Light 

Photo: Kevin Light

Surprise snowstorm on Day 6 couldn’t keep us inside.

We’ve been given the “Player’s Lounge”

Our team room is in good company with Gretzky jersey on the wall.

Front door view at Bear Mountain

Team rock climbing evening. Booked in for 2 hours and all the weak upper bodied cyclists were tired in about 15 minutes. We pushed on and made the most of it watching the chameleon Evan Mcneely in the picture above. 

 

Northwave Shoes

Proud to be supported by Northwave this season. Over the past two years I was indirectly supported by Northwave (Cycling Lambert – Canadian Distributor) and was fortunate to wear their stylish and comfortable, slipper-like shoes. It’s an honour to officially be with Northwave from the Italian headquarters.  For this season I will be wearing the Extreme XC, Enduro Mid, and Extreme RR models for cross-country, enduro and road. Thank you for the support, Northwave. 

 

Race Face

It’s with great pleasure to announce that RACE FACE and I will be teaming up for 2017. 

 

XC bikes will have RF:

-Next SL bars

-Turbine dropper post

-Turbine stem

-Love handle grips

-Aeffect SL wheels

-NEXT SL G4 cranks and chain rings

 

Trail/Enduro bike with have RF:

-SIXC cranks and rings

-SIXC bar

-Turbine stem

-Turbine Rally wheelset

-Half Nelson grips

 

Clothing and Protection:

-Podium jersey for XC

-Indy shorts for XC

-Ruxton shorts and jersey for Enduro

-Stash Bibs and vest for XC and Enduro

-Chute jacket for all weather conditions

-All types of gloves

-Charge and Indy knee/elbow pads for Enduro racing

Stark Onesie for sitting in front of my wood stove at home and eating cookies

Check out the Race Face website HERE.

I will be aboard the Aeffect SL wheels

Honoured to be running the worlds most versatile cranks on my XC bikes: Next SL G4

I will running the NEXT xc bar and Turbine stem, love handle grips, and Turbine dropper post on my xc bikes.

Schwalbe Tires

It’s with great pleasure that I announce a relationship with Schwalbe Tires for 2017. A huge part of the bike, and the only part of the bike touching the ground, is tires. I’m confident in Schwalbe and excited to be part of their team for this season. Reliability and performance are key when racing a mountain bike and Schwalbe will have me covered. 

Thank you to everyone involved at Schwalbe for the support. 

 

Frame Sponsor – Pivot Cycles

It is with great pleasure to announce I will be riding Pivot bicycles in 2017 for my race program. Through On the Edge Canada and Pivot, I will be aboard the Mach 429 SL xc full suspension, LES xc hardtail and Firebird trail bike. The interest and enthusiasm with On the Edge was incredible from the first two minutes we began to talk and now we’ll be working together for the next two years. 

There’s a lot of changes happening from my previous years’ programs and, as they say, change is good. I’m excited for these changes and can’t say thank-you enough to everyone who will be supporting me this year. 

More announcements to come soon!

 

chris vezina_2017_01_19_4185

Photo: Chris Vezina

Team announcement in the coming weeks

Stay tuned for more info on my plans for this coming season. All I can say is there has been a lot of change so far, and I’m incredibly excited for what’s shaping up  

PS: No I will not be making the switch to golf quite yet..

Winter Training and Winter Days

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Winter time skeet shooting with the friends is always a weekend highlight. Bonfire, food, skeets, and sometimes sleds and quads. LOVE where I live

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My own little pain cave for the fitness gains

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Ending the afternoon on a quick hike behind the cabin

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Annual Guthrie/Harrison family Christmas tree cutting. Not quite Griswold style on the car roof but my new quad sure does the trick

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Always exciting when your previous days’ hike was followed by some larger animals

Off-Season Recap – Pinkbike

We’re already well into training again for 2017 and this past fall was one of the best off-seasons to date. With the season going late, school not starting until November and friends travelling out to Peachland from the east coast, it was a fall to remember. Full recap in a Rider Perspective piece on Pinkbike: http://www.pinkbike.com/news/rider-perspective-off-season-camp-guthrie-2016.html

 

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