Cycling Canada Announces Strong Squad For Mountain Bike World Championships

Ottawa, August 17, 2017 – Cycling Canada is pleased to announce the team of 46 riders that will represent Canada at the Mountain Bike World Championships, to be held in Cairns, Australia, on September 5-10.

Team Canada includes an Olympic medalist, former and current world champions, plus some of Canada’s most promising riders for the future.  The Cross-country (XCO) contingent consists of 28 athletes in the Junior, Under-23 and Elite categories for men and women, while the Downhill (DHI) team of 18 athletes includes Elite men and women and Junior men.

Dan Proulx, Mountain Bike Head Coach at Cycling Canada, said, “We’re really excited about this year’s Worlds team. There are so many new faces and so much new energy. We have a lot of clubs, teams, provinces and coaches to thank. They’re building good programs and good athletes. We’re getting better riders at an earlier age and this holds great promise for the future!”

“In a post-Olympic year, we try to keep the pressure low for our established international riders. It’s a year to focus on building long term fitness gains and keeping things light and fun. We have a progression plan aimed at success at Tokyo 2020.  We’ll start the qualification process for those Games next year. It’s an exciting time for our program.”

The XCO team is headed by professional riders Catharine Pendrel and Emily Batty on the women’s side, and Leandre Bouchard and Raphael Gagne on the men’s side.  Pendrel won the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics last year and is a two-time world champion, while Batty is the defending bronze medalist at the world championships and finished fourth in Rio.  Both Bouchard and Gagne represented Canada at the Rio Games last year.  Other names to watch for are the Disera brothers, Peter and Quinton, in the Under-23 men’s category; both have finished in the top-5 on the World Cup circuit this season.

The Downhill team is led by the phenomenal Finnley Iles in the Junior men’s category.  Iles is the defending world champion, and has won five of six World Cups so far this season, making him the 2017 World Cup overall champion with one race still remaining.  In Elite men, Mark Wallace is currently ranked eighth overall in the World Cup, with three-top-10 results this season.  In Elite women, national champion Miranda Miller is currently ninth overall in the World Cup and Vaea Verbeeck is tenth.

“This year’s Worlds will give some up and coming riders an opportunity to show their colours” explains Jacques Landry, Chief Technical Officer – Head Coach at Cycling Canada.  “As we start down the road to Tokyo, we are focussing on working with new talent brought to us by the great work of our provinces. Our Development Coaches, Ian (Hughes) and Jeff (Ain), closely supported by Dan (Proulx), have got some great talent to work with as they all prepare for the great learning opportunity that is the Mountain Bike Worlds.”

“With our focus on development until we hit the Olympic qualification period, our top level mountain bike riders have the opportunity to take some pressure off in order to be rested for future Tokyo-focussed strategies. While podiums are always great, these Worlds are aimed at learning for future podium performances.”

XCO

Elite Women Emily Batty – Brooklin, ON Rebecca Beaumont – Alma, QC Catherine Fleury – Saint-Gedeon, QC Cindy Montambault – Val-David, QC Catharine Pendrel – Kamloops, BC Haley Smith – Uxbridge, ON Sandra Walter – Coquitlam, BC

Elite Men Leandre Bouchard – Alma, QC Raphael Gagne – Quebec City, QC Andrew L’Esperance – Halifax, NS Evan McNeely – Kingston, ON Derek Zandstra – Belleville, ON

U23 Women Jenn Jackson – Oro Medonte, ON Soren Meeuwisse – Oro Medonte, ON Anne-Julie Tremblay – Chicoutimi, QC

U23 Men Raphael Auclair – Haute-Saint-Charles, QC Peter Disera – Horseshoe Valley, ON Quinton Disera – Horseshoe Valley, ON Marc-Andre Fortier – Victoriaville, QC Sean Fincham – Squamish, BC

Junior Women Dana Gilligan – Oro Medonte, ON Leya Masson – St-Ferrol-les-Neiges, QC Sidney McGill – Edmonton, AB Roxanne Vermette – St-Ferrol-les-Neiges, QC

Junior Men Tyler Clark – King City, ON Gunnar Holmgren – Orillia, ON Holden Jones – Squamish, BC Brody Sanderson – Oro Medonte, ON

DH

Elite Women Georgia Astle – Whistler, BC Laurie Citynski – Vancouver, BC Michelle Griffiths – Winlaw, BC Miranda Miller – Garibaldi, BC Vaea Verbeeck – West Vancouver, BC

Elite Men Lee Jackson – Squamish, BC Magnus Manson – Sechelt, BC Kirk McDowall – Anmore, BC Samuel Thibault – Chambly, QC Mark Wallace – Duncan, BC

Junior Men Finn Iles (automatic selection) – Whistler, BC Blake Bunting – Vancouver, BC Joshua Fultz-Veinotte – Canmore, AB Kendall McLean – Victoria, BC Cole Mooney – North Vancouver, BC Anthony Poulson – St-Constant, QC Jacob Stefiuk – North Vancouver, BC Ben Wallace – North Vancouver, BC

About Cycling Canada Cycling Canada is the governing body for competitive cycling in Canada. Founded in 1882, Cycling Canada aims to create and sustain an effective system that develops talented Canadian cyclists to achieve Olympic, Paralympic, and World Championship medal performances. With the vision of being a leading competitive cycling nation by 2020 celebrating enhanced international success, increased national participation and world class event hosting, Cycling Canada manages the High Performance team, hosts national and international events and administers programs to promote and grow cycling across the country. Cycling Canada programs are made possible through the support of its valued corporate partners – Global Relay, Lexus Canada, Mattamy Homes, Louis Garneau and Bear Mountain Resort – along with the Government of Canada, Own The Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

 

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Source: Cycling Canada  Information: Karine Bedard l Cycling Canada l 438-884-8771 l karine.bedard@cyclingcanada.ca