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If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that I’m a huge Olympics junkie and have a great respect for athletic talent. So when the first Canada Cup XC Race of 2016 was hosted in my backyard in partnership between Cycling Canada, Cycling BC and Bear Mountain Resort (an Ecoasis Development property), you can bet that I was front and center with my press pass and camera in hand to shoot photos of the athletes as they raced their first race of the season. And WOW, what a ride!
Things began with the Norco factory team managers Airbnb-ing it at our house and tuning up their team members’ bikes in our driveway the day before the race. It was super fun to have the Norco truck and trailer parked in our driveway surrounded by Norco and Canadian national team riders. (I can thank my Norco Brand Ambassador boyfriend for this awesomeness!)
Canada Cup XC Race Day began with amateur races in the morning followed by the Expert Junior categories and the action packed Elite races in the afternoon. Riders of all ages participated in the race from youths aged 11 and under to the 50+ Master’s Amateur category. It amazes my how these guys and gals fly around that course and don’t injure themselves! They are far braver than I am to throw themselves off hills and mountains on two wheels!
Canada Cup Elite Women’s Race
It was a real treat to watch Olympians Catherine Pendrel and Emily Batty ride their first race of the season to take first and second place in the Elite Women’s race, followed by Erin Huck in third place.
Elite Women’s Canada Cup XC Results
- Catharine Pendrel (BC) Luna Pro
- Emily Batty (ON) Trek Factory Racing
- Erin Huck (CO) Scott 3Rox Racing
- Haley Smith (ON) Norco Factory Team
- Sandra Walter (BC) Liv Cycling Canada
Canada Cup Elite Men’s Race
The Men’s Elite race was dominated by Raphael Gagné taking first, Derek Zandstra in second, and Léandre Bouchard taking third place.
Elite Men’s Canada Cup XC Results
- Raphael Gagné (QC) Cannondale 360Fly p/b Sugoi
- Derek Zandstra (ON) Scott 3Rox Racing
- Léandre Bouchard (QC) Cyclone d’Alma
- Evan McNeely (ON) Norco Factory Team
- Andrew L’Esperance (NS) Norco Factory Team
Shoutout to Max McCulloch
I also want to send a special shoutout to local 17-year-old Victorian, Max McCulloch, for his incredible performance at the race. Max is a Bear Mountain and Ecoasis sponsored rider and he did them proud on home turf taking 4th place in the junior expert men category. He is the young prodigy to watch this season and beyond. Follow his riding on Strava and Instagram.
It was an incredible day of mountain biking on Bear Mountain, the first of hopefully many more. For more photos from the event, visit the album on Flickr.