Singletrack 6 – Stages 5&6

As the final two days closed in the body was still hanging in strong and better than I thought it would. Doing a multi-day race for the first time had a lot of question marks, but I was having so much fun that those questions were never worried about. That week of racing, hanging out, and sharing the experience with others will be remembered forever. It was the other racers the event, and the volunteers that made it a highlight race of my year. 

Lining up with my Pivot Cycles crew before the final stage. Photo: Russ Baker

I will 100% be back for more stage races and to ST6 in the future. This event brought me back to my roots of racing and I think the most special part was the types of people who came together because of their passion for riding. It was contagious and I caught the bug!

Day 5 start in Kaslo. Photo: John Gibson

Day 5 we visited the Kaslo for what was, in my opinion, the best course of the week. We left with a Police escort and headed for the mountains. After a long firewood climb to split the field up we began the real climb on an exposed sidehill. It was so steep that if you fell down it, well, you would probably would never be heard of again. The uphill switchbacks were so tight that we had to run around then. Then came my favourite pat: the descent. It was exceptional and crafted in a such a way that the speed was kept up but the flow of trail maintained that speed to the absolute perfect amount. The trail weaved all types of terrain from the peak down to the valley bottom. It was the one unfortunate day I took a wrong turn and had to backtrack. I was pushing it on the descent and trying to get a gap and once I did I pretty much tossed it away. 

Bridging back up to Justin after he attacked the final days climb in Kaslo. Photo: John Gibson

Justin caught back up to be me and we rode the rest of the stage together and I took the win but wasn’t able to get anyway GC time on him. After we snacked on Party Mix, drank water and coke, it was time for a swim in Kootenay Lake. We then cruised back to basecamp in Nelson before the sixth and final stage. 

Day 6 Started in downtown Nelson with a police escort and we were led out with our Captain who was honouring Pilsner and Kokanee. Photo: John Gibson

Day 6 began and ended in downtown Nelson. The town welcomed us with open arms and shut down the main streets. We rolled out behind our “Beer Captain” and a Police escort. This start was the most mellow of them all and you could see riders feeling the previous five days. Eventually the fireworks went off. I went into the timed descent leading the GC for it and needed to be smart and not risk too much, but also not slack because Alex is quick! I also tailed 3 riders after the 1 hour climb to the top. I pushed hard in the descent and ended up catching all the riders and getting a gap on Justin. I had 3.5 minutes to make up if I wanted any chance for the overall. It was now or never. I climbed with everything I had and he closed it down after the next 45 min climb on the flat/downhill fire road. I burnt all the matches beforehand. Hats off to Justine. It was a pleasure to race against him all week and it sure was exciting. We each won 3 stages, and I was able to take 4 descent stages and the overall. So its not a bad week with 7 first places finishes and 5 second place finishes. I’ll take it. 

As much as Justine and I battled for the overall, we also raced like gentleman. Here he let me pass just before the timed descent so I could go for the seconds, and in return I waited for him at the bottom before we got back to racing. Photo: John Gibson

For my first stage race I was very satisfied. I kept wondering if a bad day or meltdown day would happen, as it’s a part of stage races I hear about. There was never a bad just day, just a little off day 4 but Justine I think was just that much stronger. Big thank you to Transrockies and the ST6 crew for having me and putting on a top-notch event. 

ST6 was a major accomplishment for every rider, volunteer and staff. It was a big week on all levels. Congrats to everyone who took part. Photo: John Gibson 

Spent the week going back and forth for the timed descent with Alex “Krunk Shox” McGuinnes. Photo: John Gibson

First stage race is now in the books. Photo: John Gibson

Day 6 in Nelson before the fireworks began. Photo: John Gibson

Fellow Pivot Cycles rider Taylor Lideen finished 3rd overall. Photo: John Gibson

On The Edge-Pivot rider Mathieu Belanger-Barrette finished in 5th overall and was the defending ST6 champion. Photo: John Gibson

 

Photo: John Gibson

Photos from here down by Russ Baker

 

Stage 2 podium at Red Mountain in Rossland. 

Stage 6’s final berm in the timed descent.

Opted for the “cooler” jersey in Stage 5’s 30 C heat. 

Singletrack 6 – Stages 3&4

Making it past day two of this race was an accomplishment itself after taking myself out on day two of the last stage race I attempted. This week has been incredible so far. I can’t explain the vibe, camaraderie, volunteer support, the faces of true grit and accomplishment. It’s been taxing on the whole body. Long, steep climbs and rugged sections of trail, where arm pump and numb hands are a given, seem to be the flavour of each day and the other parts of each stage vary with surprises. 

Day 1 neutral start with a police escort through the streets of Rossland.

After coming alive halfway through day 1 and making up a big amount of time it still meant chasing Justin Lindine in GC time. Day 2 I hardly squeaked out any time, but he did take a crash in the final descent with the time that I did gain. It was the first stage win of the race for me. I also came into this race looking to chase the the mini race within the big race, known as the “timed descent”. It’s just one downhill trail per day that we’re timed on and then like the overall race winner, a timed descent winner gets the downhill glory. On day 2 I was able to take the descent and move into the overall lead. 

Day 3 was the one I looked forward to most this race. 7 Summits is an iconic trail and we were the first group to ever race it by bike. It truly was an honour. This was also a stage I targeted for overall time, because it was a very hard climb to start, rolling ridges, then a long 15 km descent to finish. Again, Justin was too strong in every aspect he stayed glued to my wheel all day. I also won this stage and came 2nd in the descent, where Alex McGuinnis took the descent lead back over.

7 Summits. If you’re a mountain biker then this is a need-to-ride-ASAP trail.

Day 4 we transferred over to Nelson after spending first three in Rossland. This week is all new trails for me and Nelson has been on the bucket list for a while. Stage 4 may have been the hardest because it took 24+ km of climbing to finally reach the alpine summit before we descended (mostly) to the finish. I pushed hard in the timed descent after Justin had ridden away on the climb and was out of sight. Maybe too much effort on the descent as the cramps came on during the final firewood section. This day ended with the best descent of the week, so far. I finished 2nd on the stage and won the descent to take the lead back over. 

Valleluja trail summit in the alpine. 

Day 5 just finished but I’ll wait for more photos and do a recap with the sixth and final day. Photo report below.

If you’re interested in daily profiles you can check out my Strava profile and see each day: https://www.strava.com/pros/183904

 

All photos below by John Gibson

It’s been a pleasure watching fellow racers accomplish some bloody hard days.

 

Cheer squad was exceptional. 

 

Day 2 descended Red Mountain with stunning views of Rossland.

Swiss XC mafia friend, Nathalie Schneitter and her brother Michael. She is leading the timed descent category with me!

These volunteers are keeping us alive! I’ve never liked watermelon as much as I have this week!

 

Unique trails that we are all racing blind. Not knowing what the next corner holds is a large part of the excitement.

All photos by John Gibson

Singletrack 6 – Stage 1&2

The opportunity to race Singletrack 6, a TransRockies event, arose while in Canmore at the Canadian MTB championships last week thanks to John Gibson.  After struggling to find my top XC form after a flu bug in early July I was pretty disappointed with how Nationals turned out. A 6th place with feeling so off was tough and I set the bar really high for that race. So with this opportunity to race six days of single track in areas close to me, that I’ve never ridden, was something I couldn’t say no to. 

riders: Evan Guthrie leads Justin Lindine to the top of the final climb. Guthrie would go on to win the stage with Lindine finishing second in the ST6 Open Mens Category. Photo: John Gibson

After a quick three nights at home to wash laundry, unpack and repack the car, set up the bike to “BC cross-country standards”, it was time to head over to Rossland where the first three stages take place from. It’s crazy that I live about 4-5 hours from every stage of this race and have never ridden any! Time to explore to backyard and try my hand at a stage race for the first time. I won’t count the last time I tried a 3-day race and crashed out 15 minutes into stage 2..

Day 1: It started really fast, like XCO race fast. I thought it would slow down but it didn’t. Legs took 1.5 hours to warm up and come around after a couple too many easy days leading in. Slowly rode back from 7th to 2nd in the end. Sitting ~50 sec behind Justine Lindine in the overall. Tried to go for it on the timed descent but caught a rider and couldn’t get by. Finished a close 2nd. Body is tired and we’ve only done day 1/6!

rider: Evan Guthrie/1st place Stage 2/ST6 Solo Open Men – Photo: John Gibson

Day 2: I thought it would start easier today, but like yesterday it didn’t. Cory Wallace blew the group apart on the first climb and it was survival to the end. I got away with Justine Lindine and we cruised a while until Rotem Ishay caught up to us because he was climbing like a mountain goat. We yo-yoed with him for a while until he had an unfortunate wheel issue and had to stop. The final climb was a hard one at 25 minutes long and then the final descent, and the timed descent, took us to the finish. Having a clear run in these dusty conditions helped today and I was able to snag the stage win and win timed DH for today. Justine now leads me by 7 sec on GC and I’m leading the timed descent GC.

rider: Evan Guthrie/1st place Stage 2/ST6 Solo Open Men. Photo: John Gibson

Stage 2 results: https://zone4.ca/race/2017-07-30/2e917a10/singletrack-6-fsa-stage-2/results/

Stage 2 timed descent: https://zone4.ca/race/2017-07-30/718c11f8/singletrack-6-fsa-stage-2/results/

GC after Stage 2 (overall): https://zone4.ca/race/2017-07-30/99bffb42/singletrack-6-fsa-stage-2/results/

Timed descent GC after stage 2: https://zone4.ca/race/2017-07-30/89dc6de0/singletrack-6-fsa-stage-2/results/

National Championships

This past weekend was that time of year where the Canadians race for the coveted maple leaf jersey. The National Champions get to represent the title in their respective categories. This was the 12th year in a row I’ve raced Nationals and it dates back to my Under-17 days. This year we returned to Canmore, Alberta for the third time in my 12 years of this event, which makes it the most raced Nationals course for myself. Canmore is a place we all look forward to being in. The town exuberates sport and outdoor activities, and made us racers feel extremely special. 

The team running the event hit every detail and produced a world-class event. Hands down this was the best Nationals I’ve attended and am excited to be back next year! Thank you to everyone who spent the last year working, planning, digging, putting out fires (not literally), and jumping through hoops to make this event one to remember. We racers can’t do it without the volunteers and I hope every single one of them knows how much they’re appreciated. 

Photo: Caroline Gautier

After spending a nice little chunk of time at home preparing for this year, as my biggest goal of the year, I can’t help but be disappointed with how it played out. This year I’ve been overwhelmed with the support and help from others and really wished I could have repaid those efforts with a better race. It’s one thing if you have a race where everything is firing, no mistakes made and you finish knowing it was the best you gave, then that’s a win on the process side. The objective result is always hard because we place numbers on what we want to achieve but some days our competitors are just on another level, which I highly respect. So if I had finished 6th and had the race of my season then no disappointment is there. But this weekend I felt tapped out and unable to race at my capability and past races this year. It was a snail-like pace up the climbs and I only had the descents to help me out. Luckily there was enough trail and descending that I could salvage a 6th place is the always stacked Elite Men’s field. 

The “Eye Dropper” Photo: Caroline Gautier

Photo: Caroline Gautier

This race was one I put a star beside last October and have woken up every morning since that day and thought about it, planned for it, and trained for it. But it’s one day out of 365 and that can’t define the year if it doesn’t unfold how you visioned it. Unfortunately two weeks out I got hit with a body flu and spent 5 days on the couch, and missed about 10 days of ‘quality’ training. Not optimal but I was rested to a point. For some reason in the past my best races were after an injury, sickness, or even while on antibiotics for infection, so there was no doubt after this flu. I still believe that great day at Nationals is in the cards but another year will need to be waited for.

Photo: Nicola Wenn

The “Organ Grinder” Photo: Nicola Wenn

Though the race didn’t go the way I dreamed it would, I was riding well enough on the downhill to get win the “downhill” timed race within the cross-country race. It very unique and exciting that the event put on a prize for the fastest male and female of the day for both the uphill and the downhill sections on the course. I won a growler from Canmore Brewing and will accept that with a thirsty smile!

Photo: Aidan Brown

This year I was fortunate to stay with the Brown family in Canmore. A host family is always 100 times better than staying in a little hotel and this family is a special one!. As always, the cycling community is filled with wonderful people like this and as an athlete it is tough to explain how much of a difference this makes. 

Photo: Andy Wilson

Thee may have been whimper noises happening here as the last lap began. Photo: Caroline Gautier

As I write this it now becomes more realistic how the season for cross-country is already coming to a close for me. I was offered an incredible opportunity to race Singletrack 6 through Rossland, Nelson, and Kalso starting this Saturday July 29th. These areas are world-class and within four hours of where I live and never ridden them. Opportunities can be presented sometimes at a unexpected time and in the past I haven’t taken them, so this was a no brainer and I accepted it with a smile!

Staying low through the flow trail. Photo: John Gibson

Congratulations to all the racers this past weekend and the new National Champions of Canada. I think a special shoutout goes to Jenn Jackson who won the U23 women’s race in her first year racing!! Secondly, to Peter Disera – this guy is the future for Canada and I couldn’t be more proud of my buddy and past teammate for stepping up from the U23 race to ride with the Elite men and then putting the boots to us all. Proud of you pal. I’ll put a pretty penny on Petey D being at the next Olympics. 

Sunday after the XC race was the team relay. An event where 4 riders in a mixture of ages/categories each race a lap of the course and tag off to the next. I was on a team with BC Provincial squad and we came in 4th. After the relay a group of us, let’s call is team friendship, met up and went for our post-Nationals Canmore group ride. These are some of the best memories I keep from bike racing and this ride was no different. 

Riders: Kevin Haviland, Jonathan Duncan, Holden Jones, Peter Disera, Rhys Verner, and leader Aidan Brown.

I couldn’t quite get enough of Canmore and decided to stay an extra day and ride the ‘Highline’ trails with more friends on the Monday. I would highly recommend this trail is ever in the area.

Rider: Quinn Moberg

Canadian Cyclist report: http://canadiancyclist.com/dailynews.php?id=32816&title=batty-disera-take-canadian-elite-xc-titles

Cycling News report: http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/canadian-cross-country-national-championships-2017/results/

Pedal Magazine Report: http://pedalmag.com/batty-and-disera-win-elite-titles-at-2017-mtb-xco-nationals-13-champions-crowned/

My “first” gravel ride

Ok, let’s be honest here, this was not my first ride on gravel but it was my first on a newly set up “gravel bike”, which is just my ‘cross bike with some 38c Schwalbe G-One All-Around tires set up tubeless. 

I must say that these bikes are a lot more capable than one would think. Basically I ride my mountain bike when I want to be on dirt, and never even think of exploring the thousands of kilometres of forest service roads (FSR) that start behind my place. For some reason I always felt that why ride gravel when there is sweet single track to be shredded? Well, there is and it adds another element to the already diverse nature of cycling. 

Moo’ving along

Today I had a new excitement rise over me as I rode this rigid bike, over questionable terrain, in the mountains, having only just quickly looked at google maps the day before. A sense of exploration and freedom came over me as I pedalled into the mountaisn and around lakes that I fished at over 20 years ago. 

The route went up Princeton Avenue in Peachland and toward Headwaters Lake. Once reaching the lake the trick was going to be finding the correct and small FSR that led over to Peachland Lake before continuing on to Brenda Mine Rd. After getting onto a questionable “road” that slowly became washed out and turned into a nothing more than a quad trail, I kept exploring on and eventually rounded a corner and was overlooking Peachland lake. 

Mission accomplished. Sometimes I don’t realize  the routine of rides I’ve built until planning a totally different one like this. Within 20 minutes of setting off I almost talked myself out of doing it, but once making that turn and starting this ride, there was no turning back. I foresee more of these happening in the near future to explore the backyard more and keep that sense of freedom alive. This whole ‘gravel bike’ bug might just be worth catching for a while. 

It doesn’t look steep, but was it ever! Need smaller gears.

Brenda Mine Rd

Canada Cup Series overall win in Whistler

Well, it was another weekend of bike racing but on the west coast this weekend. For the second time in my career I was able to clinch the Canada Cup series overall title for Elite men. Over the 6 race series, that covered provinces on either side of the country, it was nice to have consistency and win the series again after first taking it in 2014. 

Seaton Lake, Lillooet BC. 

Picnic with mom and gramma.

This marked the seventh time I’ve finished top-3 overall in the last eight years for the Canada Cup Series and I’m happy to continue the consistency even though I’ve only once completed every race of the series in a year and that was in 2014. 

Evening spin around Lost Lake upon arrival.

This past weekend has always been a special race for me because I get to drive to it, my parents and gramma usually make it out to watch, and , well, Whistler is an incredible place. This year was no different, as I road tripped out with mom and gramma on the Thursday – unfortunately my dad was unable to get the time off work. It’s always a fun event when you get to socialize and spend some quality time with racer friends and their families/supporters after the race. Sitting around and telling tales of the day over snacks is a great way to end a bike race. It’s how I remember the beginning of it all when I was 13 years old and travelling the BC Cup Series. 

Photo: Scott Roberts

It was a more low-key event than most with attendance being lower than a usual Canada Cup because most racers don’t make the travel over.. I understand the poor timing of the race date this year and it’s “only one race” as most say. I don’t count the 2, 3, sometimes 4 trips made out east each season.. Having a national series does mean races will be spread across the country, and I know Canada is quite large. It’s tough for high school kids and I fully disagree with the whole series being held before the summer this year when juniors are still in high school or graduating, and the overlap with World Cup races. I just wish there was more planning and a series that everyone was able to attend. We just need better support and communication between racers, venues, and our governing body so we can continue to grow the sport and give the opportunities to our youth. The younger racers need a platform to build from and I believe these Canada Cups are incredibly important in that development (even though we have some people saying they don’t matter). I hope to see this series live long and prosper for our developing riders. 

My cheering squad Photo: Scott Roberts

We did have some world-class racers with multi-time Olympians Geoff Kabush and Catharine Pendrel leading the way and previous American National Champ Stephen Ettinger.  

BC Provincial XC podium. Photo: Scott Roberts

It was smokin’ warm in the valley of Whistler this year and we raced in 30+ degrees while the sun baked us alive. I don’t think anyone started too hard in efforts to not sizzle ourselves right away. Even though I will say I rode “within myself” those first few laps, it was still damn hard and the heat really played games because it was beyond uncomfortable and sick feeling almost. By the time Geoff made his move with 1.5 laps to go it was too much for my diesel pace on the day. Ettinger tried as well and stayed closer to him than I did , but in the end it was Geoff 1st, Ettinger 2nd, myself 3rd. I was eyeing the overall today, of course, but when I come to these races now I want to win. 

Canada Cup Overall win for me, 2nd overall Elite women was Jayne Rossworn, and 2nd overall in junior men was Holden Jones. Photo: Scott Roberts

Sunday I was able to get out for a couple quick laps on Backcomb with my new Pivot Firebird trail bike. Wow, that thing is fun!

My report written for Canadian Cyclist: http://canadiancyclist.com/dailynews.php?id=32675&title=meeuwisse-guthrie-win-canada-cup-xco-titles

XC Results: http://canadiancyclist.com/dailynews.php?id=32671&title=canada-cup-6-whistler-results

Canada Cup overall ranking: http://www.cyclingcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Elite-Men-2017-MTB-XCO-RANKINGS-FINAL.pdf

 

 

These two are pretty great.

Nothing like ending the day for a lake swim.

Blackomb laps on Sunday with this new Pivot Firebird

Hardwood Hills Canada Cup

After initially deciding to skip both the Ontario Canada Cup rounds I started to get withdrawals as they approached. I love the venues, the events themselves, and the thought of just giving away the Canada Cup overall title, after leading at the halfway mark of the series, was not what I wanted. A quick trip and last minute trip was booked for the Hardwood Hills race. Unfortunately it meant missing the Horseshoe Valley round last the prior weekend.

Photo: Adam Morka

I came into the race with a bit of unknown form, though I know the fitness is there, just unknown because these races aren’t “A” races. As the defending winner of Hardwood I was motivated to keep that streak alive. I did the classic Evan-misses-his-pedal in the start and had some ground to make up. It meant quite the effort in the first 3 minutes to get into the lead on that first lap. Luckily I’ve been working my a$$ off and was able to do that. Initially a small group of us got off the front on the first lap that consisted of Andrew L’esperance (Lespy), Derek Zandstra, Evan Mcneely and myself. By lap 2/5 Lespy and I got away and spent the next 2.5 laps together.

We grew our gap on the rest of the field to a sizeable one while Derek was hunting ~15-20 seconds behind us. Lespy was strong and eventually  attacked a short and steep climb with 1.5 laps to go and distanced me. Hats off, as he was strong. I did my best to limit the damages and keep on it but in that hot and humid weather that I haven’t spent much time in, it hit me. I tried to fake it but the fading was happening and Derek caught me with half a lap to go and it just wasn’t in the cards to stick with him. 

I rolled in 3rd on the day. Happy with how I was able to fight out there but, as always, I wanted to win and not be second or third. It’s a more satisfying to be out front at the pointy end of the race going for it, rather than playing it safer and riding in third all day. I would much rather have tried and fell back than played”safe”. I picked up many valuable points for the overall series as I lay in 2nd to Quinton Disera. still After missing one round that is a nice place to be going into the finals this weekend in Whistler. 

Rolling in solo on the last climb of the day.

I was fortunate to have the Disera family take me in for the weekend and they kept me fed before the race! Love this family. Again, fortunate to have so many helpful and supportive people at these events, like the Norco Factory Team and Trek Canada allowing me to stash bags, spare wheels, feed me, and give me shelter from the rains. Being solo has its difficulties in those regards, but everyone is so open to helping that it’s working out very, very well. So many selfless helpers out there!

Very great event for the Trillium Trailer Blazer’s on Saturday, where the elites come out and do skills with the kids for an hour before the race.

Trillium Trail Blazer’s youth race 

Peter Disera the “grill master”

 

Riding in solo for 3rd after fading in the final lap.

All from here down are by Nicola Wenn

Peter Glassford and I always go for a whip off contest..

Photos from here and down are by Faulds Photography

 

 

 

 

 

Home rides, graduation, and summer fitness

Last night in Quebec before travelling home.

BC is truly incredible. One of my favourite flights is arriving/departing Vancouver on a sunny day. 

This finally happened. 5 years later and I’ve graduated school, phew!

Tree Brewing held a Pre-Fondo training ride for the Granfondo Axel Merckx

Following Axel himself and Tree Brewing owner, Tod Melnyk.

The mountains above home never get old. This is a summer spot I like to enjoy and in the winter it’s traded for an XC ski route on the Telemark Nordic trails.

Some days you just need to casually cruise.

The Naramata Bench in Penticton is something I can’t explain. It NEEDS to be seen in real life to take in. 

Baie-St-Paul Canada Cup

Course description:

Baie-St-Paul is located in the Charlevoix region of Quebec and continues to support Canadian mountain bike racing. In 2016 the event held the cross-country National Championships and for this season Velo Charlevoix was back hosting round three of the Canada Cup series.

The course is known for its raw and natural terrain, littered with roots, rocks and undulating trails that make it one of the most physically demanding courses on the circuit. Without precise line choices and efficient use of energy, the course can deal out mechanicals and leave riders utterly exhausted.

The Canada Cup pre-race meeting is usually the most anticipated of the season for coaches, managers and mechanics, with the local craft beer and cheese selections.

The course was exactly the same as the National Championships last season and the conditions were dry as can be, barring one puddle in the course. The organizers always go the extra mile to add a UCI race on the Sunday, giving athletes more than once chance to snag world ranking points, and for non-UCI racers to chase Quebec Cup points.

The XCT time trial format that took place on Sunday is one discipline we’re not too familiar with outside of the Quebec Cup series, as this event has featured the better-known STXC short track race in the past few editions. The course was a 9 km loop that saw riders start in 30 second intervals based on the previous day’s Canada Cup and Quebec Cup finishes.

Baie-St-Paul is another fantastic event in Quebec that always has first-class organization. At this race I saw my first elite Canada Cup podium in 2011, so it’s always a special one to me and this weekend was my first time toeing the line in the Canada Cup leader’s jersey – I wanted to do that jersey proud.

Unlike last week, I started harder and tried to get out of the group early and just ride my rhythm. Things were going fantastic and I was coming through with one lap to go and heard that hissing out of the front tire that we all dread. A quick tire plug allowed me to milk it to the pits and get a fast wheel change, but not without loosing the lead. I chased Quinton Disera and just couldn’t get those precious seconds back and ended second. Hats off to Q, he was strong!

It was incredibly frustrating as I came to win both these races but we did have a “second chance” in the UCI race Sunday. I know the fitness is there and I’ve been working harder than ever with my new coach Richard Wooles from Peak & Valley Coaching, so Sunday was just a matter of taking out the frustration in watts, using the fitness and having a little luck, which worked out and I was able to snag the win.

Proud to be a Canadian racer this weekend. We shared success is many disciplines that were highlighted with Peter Disera’s third at the U23 World Cup in Germany and Leandre Bouchard’s career-best 16th in the Elite men, plus Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau’s third in the Ireland EWS and Michael Woods’ thrilling Giro completion.

All photos below by Caroline Gautier

Phil St-Laurent finished 5th in the Junior men. He’s part of the Pivot-On The Edge team.

Elite men start line just before the gun went off

Rubbin’ is racin’ as they say. Started beside Felix Burke.

Maghalie Rochette took the weekend by storm and won both the races.

This week I wanted to get out in the lead early and ride my own rhythm.

One of the longest open climbs to check where the other racers were.

Hats off to this young man. Quinton Disera rode very strong and took his first elite Canada Cup win as a first-year Under-23.

Sidney Mcgill won the junior womens race.

Elite women podium.

Elite mens XC podium

West coast representing for the second week in a row with three BC riders and one Alberta rider leading the Canada Cup series.

Waiting at the start for Sunday’s UCI TT race. Waiting with my fellow Pivot/On The Edge riders Raphael Auclair and Felix Belhumeur.

Back-to-back racing isn’t usual for an MTB’er and it hurts!

Warming the hot seat as the current leader of the TT. Sun was out and it was hot!

Luckily had some friends to join me! L to R: Stephen Hyde, Quinton Disera, and Raph Auclair

Elite Mens XC TT podium 

 

Mont-Tremblant Canada Cup

I first visited Mont-Tremblant in 2008 as a first year junior. It was the second and last selection race for the World Championships in Val Di Sole, Italy that June. I came into the race after winning the previous weekends Canada Cup and wanted the same in Tremblant. It was a savage course and one to this day that was a favourite and one I wish still existed. 

Over the years the course has changed significantly from the iconic technical, single-track climb with a long and unrelenting descent that would eat away at the riders bodies and bikes before, finally, entering  the village and traversing up the cobbles. Now, we race arguably more gravel road and grassy ski slopes than single track. A let down for riders like myself who grew up racing the old Mont-Tremblant course and wish the new generation experienced proper mountain bike trails. 

One thing that had not changed was my desire to win a Canada Cup at this venue. It’s been seven times chasing that elusive top step. This season I pencilled in the two Canada Cup in Mont-Tremblant and Baie-St-Paul as races to win for world ranking points and to showcase my new team. That first win of 2017 finally came and at no other than the venue I’ve tried at seven times. Lucky number eight was the one for me. This race was for everyone supporting me this year that is helping the dreams and goals still be possible. 

I am very fortunate for all the supporters of my program this year and I head into this weekends Canada Cup as the series leader and will wear it with pride for everyone with me. 

Here are some photos below from the trip and race:

Rail trails in Quebec are just as good as BC!

Daily commute to the course

Thumbs up. Race photos below by Caroline Gautier

Surfing in the hurt locker

Hats off to Raphael Auclair – Pivot Cycles/On The Edge teammate – who pushed the pace hard the first half and rode very strong.

The young guys beat the old guy in the champagne opening

Representing the interior of BC with Jayne Rossworn! How cool is that!? Peachland and Kamloops are leading the Canada Cup series. Jayne is coached by Keith Wilson and I used to be. thank you Keith for helping us along!

The team at On The Edge Canada that is supporting me with Pivot Cycles this year. They jumped on board within minutes of chatting about this year and that sealed the deal for me for join teams. On the Edge has gone above and beyond for me this season and I can’t thank them enough for the support. Looking forward to the years ahead!