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Canada Cup #4: XCO Baie St. Paul Recap

This past weekend the Cycling BC Mountain Bike XC Team competed at the 4th XCO Canada Cup in Baie St.Paul in the Charlevoix region of Quebec. It’s a very short track packed with tons of technical riding–some of the most technical riding outside of BC.

It was definitely a proper mountain bike track as it was very technical and required lots of skill to ride it well. I really enjoyed riding and racing the track and I felt that my bike choice also helped me to have a good result – Kona Hei Hei Supreme. The race went well for me, I rode the first climb in 4th and then half way down the first descent I made a move that put me into 3rd. I never looked back after that and tried to close the gap to the top too but I just didn’t have the legs to do it that day. All in all it was a good weekend and I am happy with my result.

– Rhys Verner

This race was used as gauge for athletes to see how their training over the last 4 weeks (since the Ontario Canada Cups) has prepared them, and also for athletes to try a few more strategies out before Nationals in St. Felicien next weekend.

This track was the closest we’ve seen to west coast since the past four Canada Cups out here in Ontario and Quebec – it was full of roots and rocks. At the start of the race I managed to dodge some of start line mayhem getting into the single track in an okay position, which left me to lay down some power sooner than I’d planned, to play catch up for the rest of the race. Unfortunately, I ended up in no-man’s land trying to chase up to the 3rd wheel, finishing in 4th.

– Sean Fincham

The weekend also included an XC Crit (XCC – imagine a dirt crit) which was a ton of fun to race and watch and a great taste of what next weekends XCE (XC Eliminator) will have in store for the team.   The Cadet men had a great race with Holden Jones leading 6 of the 8 laps before a few attacks were launched and he was ultimately passed. Lesson learnt: don’t do all the work. The Junior men had an exciting race with the Elite Men, Luke Di Marzo and Rhys Verner were in the main Junior bunch taking pulls and trying to force some of the other riders to do more than their fair share of work to tire them out for the last lap. Unfortunately, the rest of the pack caught on to their tactics and shortened their pulls, the last lap was an all-out sprint to the line with Luke throwing his bike across and by .1 second to take the bronze, with Rhys Verner not far behind in 5th. Emily Handford spent the race in the main bunch with the Elite Women and dropping many into the last lap where Emily dug deep for a sprint finish to the line narrowly missing out on the gold, but taking the silver!

Racing the XC Crit at Baie St Paul was a great experience, especilly after racing a few road crits, it was fun to do one on the dirt. I started off around the middle of the group but kept working my way up until I was holding first place for the Jr. Women and riding with the main group of pro elites, including Jean-Ann Berkenpas who is one of my mentors. Unfortunately I missed the top step of the podium by 0.1 seconds, but silver felt awesome and was a great redemption for the XCO on Saturday.

– Emily Handford

XCO Cadet Men BC Results

7. Holden Jones

8. Nick Kleban

16. Hunter Verner

17. Shane Patterson

XCO Junior Men BC Results

3. Rhys Verner

4. Sean Fincham

7. Luke Di Marzo

19. Max McCulloch

20. Seth Van Varseveld

XCO Junior Women BC Results

7. Emily Handford

XCC Cadet Men BC Results

10. Holden Jones

13. Nick Kleban

14. Shane Patterson

18. Hunter Verner

XCC Junior Men BC Results

3. Luke Di Marzo

5. Rhys Verner

16. Max McCulloch

18. Seth Van Varseveld

XCC Junior Women BC Results

2. Emily Handford


Reviewing some footage
Rhys Verner taking the bronze medal in the XCO
Emily Handford leading the XCC (XC Crit) pack
Emily taking the silver in the XCC