Ontario Summer Games – Toronto
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August 16-18, 2012
The Ontario Summer Games is one of the largest multi sport games in the world. This year 3,200 athletes took part in Ontario’s largest multi sport event and the MTB events provided some of the most spectacular action among all of the sports.
The games are run every 2 years. This year’s location was Albion Hills in Bolton and the course was a great mix of smooth, fast singletrack, some technical descents, super fun berms and jumps and not to forgotten was the “Green Monster” climb for the Men.
Day 1 was the opening ceremony and athlete’s village move in day. The athlete’s village was located at York University. The athletes were bused to Varsity Stadium in the heart of Toronto for the opening ceremony. The athlete entrance was amazing this year as the stands were full and the vibe was electric. After the speeches were completed and the cauldron lit it was back to York for some sleep as the athletes were up early on Friday for the first day of Competition.
The unique thing about the Ontario Summer Games is the competition format. There are 3 events: Time Trial, XC Race and Team Relay. Day 2 included the ITT. This event is tough! 1 lap as hard as you can go. The course was 4.7 km long with some super fast sections and not a lot of climbing which proved to be exciting as the results were very close. In the Women’s ITT it was Team Trek Stores Soren Meeuwisse who looked in complete control of the event with her smoothness in the singletrack she clocked a 13.08 to take the Gold in the Women’s event. In the Men’s it was Team North Meets South Peter Disera that tore the course apart with a 10.56. This was the fastest lap of the competition.
The Second day of competition was held on Day 3 of the games, and for MTB it was the XC race and Team Relay. The men completed 5 laps and the women 4. The men were also doing the Green Monster Climb that was in itself a leg burner. In the Women’s event it was a close race with 5 riders grouped together after 1 lap with Soren Meeuwisse, Marie-Pierre Nadon, Paige Foxcroft, Meagan Fleury and Erica Leonard all in the mix. On lap 2 it was Soren that established a gap on Marie-Pierre and continued this ride all the way to the line for the win in the U16 category. Paige Foxcroft took the Silver and had a breakthrough event as she took home 3rd in the TT as well.
The Mens race was a similar story with Peter Disera breaking away on the 2nd lap and opening a minute gap on Adam Jamieson who attacked the follow group up the big climb. He was ahead by 20 seconds till Jarred Jonker launched an attack to bring Adam back to the group. This attack helped Will Elliott and Martin Rupes from Team BTG/BCC dramtically. Will was able to capitalize and sneak in for the Silver while Adam took the bronze. In the U16 category it was an impressive ride by Trek Stores Quinton Disera as he took the gold.
The Team Relay has always been a fan favourite and this year was no exception. The crowds flocked out to see the riders compete in the ultimate team event and it did not disappoint. With so many strategies on rider order it would be interesting to see how it shook down at the finish. In the early going it was Team Trek store that was looking good but when the 3rd riders were battling on course it was Team North to South/Central that took a small lead over Team BTG/BCC. The battle was between Peter Disera and Will Elliott who went toe to toe for the whole lap and brought the crowd to their feet. As they entered the stadium it was destiny that we would see a sprint finish. Peter Disera managed to out sprint Will Elliot to give Team North meets South/Central the Gold medal in the end. Team BTG/BCC took second and Team Joyride/GTA came in for the Bronze.
Final Team Standing
The most important medal was ready to be awarded but not without some excitement. There was a tie for 2nd. With BTG/BCC 2nd place in the relay they were tied with Joyride GTA for the Silver. Using the rules tiebreak situations is ultimately the team from Barrie taking home the silver
Team North to South/Central took the Gold from Team BTG/BCC and Team Joyride/GTA in 3rd.
In the very competitive world of MTB it is so refreshing to host such a fun and exciting event that brings together the best young athletes in the province. From the Opening ceremony to the final awards the athletes had the time of their lives. Athletes made friends and in sport that legacy is so often forgotten.
Creating winners on and off the bike is a legacy that the Ontario Summer Games has done for MTB for 20 years. The OCA would like to thank the following people for their support and dedication to youth development: Superfly racing, Trillium foundation, Sport Alliance of Ontario, Porter Airlines, Ontario Summer Games Committee, Albion Hills Conservation and last but not least the athletes, coaches, teams, clubs and volunteers.
A truly inspiring event that will leave everlasting memories for all those involved. Hope to see everyone in 2014 for another instalment of the event that is providing such a great legacy for sport here in Ontario.
For pictures check out http://www.ontariocycling.org/oca-gallery/
Results can be found below