The Canada Cup XCO Mountain Bike Series concluded on Sunday in Whistler, BC, with the sixth round of competition. Canadian pros Catharine Pendrel (Clif Pro) and Geoff Kabush (Scott-Maxxis) won the final rounds for Elite women and men, however, it was Soren Meeuwisse (Trek Canada) and Evan Guthrie (Pivot/RaceFace/Kal Tire) who won the overall titles.
Whistler played host to the Canada Cup final for the fifth consecutive year. This year, the race took place on Blackcomb Mountain, adjacent to the Whistler resort. The four kilometre circuit featured two main climbs that were broken up with some single track descents. The elevation change of 240 metres for such a short course, plus temperatures rising into the 30s Celsius made for a hard day of racing.
Olympic bronze medalist Pendrel rode away from the rest of the field to win by nearly ten minutes. B.C. riders Jayne Rossworn and Emily Unterberger took second and third. Meeuwisse, only a second year Under-23 rider, was absent, but had already wrapped up the women’s title after the previous round. Meeuwisse finished with 740 points, while Rossworn jumped from sixth in the standings to second, pushing Quebec’s Marine down to third.
In the Elite men’s race, Canadian legend Geoff Kabush won by over a minute ahead of American Stephen Ettinger (Focus/Shimano), with Guthrie taking third, two minutes back. Guthrie, the winner of Round 2 moved back into the lead in the overall standings with 805 points. Quinton Disera (Norco Factory), the previous leader and Round 3 winner who missed Whistler, dropped to second in the standings at 670 points, with national champion Derek Zandstra (Cannondale-3Rox) taking third at 505 points.
“Taking the Canada Cup overall this year was a way I hoped to thank all my supporters,” said Guthrie, who is racing on his own without a team this season. “So many came together to help form my program for 2017 and I just can’t put the appreciation into words. One day races are always special, like Nationals and Worlds, but consistency over a six race series, because of the many battles along the way, is rewarding. My races were far from perfect this year but with the help of many, I was able to clinch the Series. This one is for everyone who has continued to support me and the ones who jumped on board for this year. It was also an extra special weekend for me to have family out. My 88 year old grandma made the trek and toughed it out all day in the sun, walking to and from the venue. Sharing that with them was what it’s all about.”
In the Junior categories, Julia Long (Cycling BC / TaG Cycling) won the women’s race and Holden Jones (Cycling BC / Team Squamish) the men’s. Despite missing the final round, both the men’s and women’s leaders each retained their leads to take the overall titles, with Gunnar Holmgren (Centurion Next Wave) winning the men’s and Leya Masson (CC Mont-Ste-Anne) the women’s.
Source: Cycling Canada
About Cycling Canada
Cycling Canada is the governing body for competitive cycling in Canada. Founded in 1882, Cycling Canada aims to create and sustain an effective system that develops talented Canadian cyclists to achieve Olympic, Paralympic, and World Championship medal performances. With the vision of being a leading competitive cycling nation by 2020 celebrating enhanced international success, increased national participation and world class event hosting, Cycling Canada manages the High Performance team, hosts national and international events and administers programs to promote and grow cycling across the country. Cycling Canada programs are made possible through the support of its valued corporate partners – Global Relay, Lexus Canada, Mattamy Homes, Louis Garneau and Bear Mountain Resort – along with the Government of Canada, Own The Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee.