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XCO Mountain Bike Nationals Head to Hardwood Ski & Bike This Weekend

The Canadian XCO Championships will return to Hardwood Ski & Bike, located in the township of Oro-Medonte, ON, on July 20-21. This venue played host to the 2015 Toronto Pan American Games, where Canadian athletes won two gold medals.

“We are thrilled to be back at Hardwood Ski & Bike for what is sure to be one of the most exciting XCO Championship races to-date,” said Josh Peacock, Events Manager at Cycling Canada. “With Canadian riders continuing to climb the ranks on the World Cup circuit, and across all levels of international competition, there is no doubt that the level of competition will be incredibly high as riders fight for the right to wear the maple leaf into the 2020 season. Alongside Championship racing, the event will also play host to challenge racing available to riders of all ages and abilities. The expo area will also be very alive, with multiple vendors on-site providing some great products for fans to check out between races.”

The Cross-country championships for men and women will take place on Saturday, July 20, for categories ranging from Cadet (Under-17) through Junior (Under-19), Under-23, Elite and Masters, with about 450 riders competing in all categories. On Sunday, July 21st, the Team Relay event will conclude the Championships.

The Elite women’s race will see current champion Emily Batty (Trek Factory) go for her fifth title, with a strong field of contenders also registered to race. Former world champion and Olympic bronze medalist Catharine Pendrel (Clif Pro Team) will be back after recovering from an injury last year, alongside World Cup & Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Haley Smith (Norco Factory). Sandra Walter (Liv Cycling), Maghalie Rochette (Specialized) and Jenn Jackson (AWI Racing P/B The Crank and Sprocket) will also be looking to get on the top step of the podium.

The men’s race will have a deep field of contenders, including top World Cup ranked Canadian and current champion Peter Disera (Norco Factory), Rio Olympians Leandre Bouchard (Pivot Cycles – OTE) and Raphael Gagne, as well as Andrew L’Esperance (Norco Factory). Sean Fincham (Norco Factory) might also be a contender for a spot on the podium, finishing 4th last year in the Elite field.   Source: Cycling Canada

A group of riders on a project with Cycling BC will be ready to go up against the best in the country and we wish the team the best in racing at nationals this weekend.

Cycling BC Team: 
Eva Leikermoser [Comox]
Marin Lowe [Garibaldi Highlands]
Cody Scott [North Vancouver]
Kieran Nilsen [Comox]
Lief Rodgers [Port Moody]
Erik Ashton [Comox]