The first cycling event at the Canada Games in Winnipeg was the Mountain Bike Cross-Country competition at the recently built Bison Butte MTB Course. The temperatures climbed to close to 40 degrees with the humidity, making for challenging conditions and requiring a shortening the men’s event. Despite the weather, large crowds were on-site to cheer on the athletes and provide the motivation they needed to overcome the elements. Credit to coach Sean Kelly and manager Alana Ziobroski who ensured athletes stayed cool and hydrated during the races!
In the women’s race, Jenn Jackson, Soren Meeuwisse, and Quebec rider Anne-Julie Tremblay, established an early lead over the field and never allowed the gap to close. On the forth lap, the Quebec rider was able to break off with Jenn chasing and Soren following in 3rd position. The final lap did not see any changing of positions and Team Ontario was able to capture the silver (Jenn Jackson) and bronze (Soren Meeuwisse) with Dana Gilligan putting in a great effort finishing 8th.
The men’s race started with a group of seven riders leading the way on the first lap before Ontario’s Brody Sanderson and Felix Burke of Quebec created a gap over the rest of the chasing riders which included Team Ontario athletes Liam Mulcahy and Gunnar Holmgren. The heat took its toll on athletes as the race continued, spreading out the field over the course. A great effort by all the Ontario athletes results in Brody Sanderson capturing the silver medal, Liam Mulcahy finishing 5th and Gunnar Holmgren 7th. The great effort by our athletes provided Ontario with its first three medals of the Games.
The athletes will have a light training day Monday before competing in the relay event Tuesday.