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Cycling BC’s XC Team BC/Canada Cup Race Report

This past Saturday Cycling Canada and Cycling BC kicked off the XCO race season with their Canada Cup and BC Cup race series at Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria, BC. Every rider leaving the track had nothing but positive things to say about it, from the incredible views to the fast flowy single track.

It was such a great all-around track, the first descent of the race was definitely a favourite because it was so smooth and fast. It’s not often that a flow trail is one of the main sections in an XC race so I was really glad that it was incorporated into the course. The flow trail is a nice rest after a steep climb at the beginning of the course and has lots of tight berms and jumps to keep things interesting.

-Shane Patterson

The first rider out on the track for Cycling BC was Holden Jones, who also captured our first gold of the season. Holden had a terrific start giving him a 2-minute lead going into his 1st lap and finishing the race 5 minutes over 2nd place. The junior women’s race saw Emily Handford taking the lead in the first lap and maintaining her lead into the finish. She had a very strong race, using the slick and slippery conditions to her advantage. Cycling BC’s newest junior female rider, Julia Long, had a terrific first race of the season.

Winning this race gave me tons of motivation to race well throughout the season, and continue to post similar results. It’s a completely different type of racing when you’re alone the whole time, but finishing with a big lead should help me carry momentum to my next races.

– Holden Jones

Sean Fincham had a rough start in the mud, but managed to make his way back to the front early in the first lap, maintaining his lead position into the 3rd lap before Ontario’s Quinten Disera, launched an attack that would carry him across the line to gold, with Sean taking the silver. Nick Kleban had a terrific first race of the season in his first year as a junior, finishing 11th, with Hunter and Shane finishing 14th and 16th respectively.

Coming into this race, I knew the competition would be tough with all of the fast riders in the junior category. Junior is a big step up from cadet, but I found, more than anything, that the race was much longer than I was used to at previous Canada Cups. This race was almost took double the time that last years races did. Although the course was longer, I think I did well at adjusting to the longer races of the junior catergorey. For the next Canada Cup, I plan to work on being more explosive off the start line so I don’t need to pick my way through the riders later on in the race. Overall, I am excited for more racing in my first year as a junior rider and expect to improve as the year goes on.

– Nick Kleban

Having this early season race close to home really allows us to see the effectiveness of winter training, to put some new routines or strategies to the test, and alleviates some of the pressures and stress that comes with racing away from home. Needless to say, we are happy with the start of the season and the training that has taken place this winter. With over 6 weeks until the next Canada Cup, and plenty of local BC races in between, there’s plenty of opportunities for us to tweak training plans to ensure our athletes are at their peak for Nationals.

Thanks to Jay Wallace – Island Images for photos of the team racing the Canada/BC Cup.

Emily Handford on the course. Photo by Jay Wallace - Island Images.
Sean Fincham, riding to silver in the Junior Men's race. Photo by Jay Wallace - Island Images.
Jr. Men's Podium, Sean Fincham with silver. Photo by Cycling BC.
Jr. Women's podium, Emily Handford with gold. Photo by Cycling BC.
Elite Womens podium, Catharine Pendrel Gold, Sandra Walter 5th. Photo by Cycling BC.
BC boys off the line. Photo by Cycling BC.
Sean leading the pack. Photo by Cycling BC.