The 2018 edition of the XCO Canada Cup series concluded on Sunday with Round 7 in Kentville, Nova Scotia, a new venue, and the first time the Canada Cup has returned to Nova Scotia in 16 years.
In the Elite women’s race, Haley Smith (Norco Factory) took her third win of the season, finishing one minute and six seconds ahead of Canada Cup leader Jennifer Jackson (AWI Racing). Local Nova Scotia rider Mackenzie Myatt (Cyclesmith CC) took third, and was the top Under-23 rider. Jackson took the overall title after attending six of seven events and recording five second place results, for a total of 945 points. Smith took second place overall with 775 points, followed by Elyse Nieuwold (Pendrel Racing) of Kamloops, BC with 580.
“It was a good race,” said Smith. “It was pretty slick out there, very, very rooty, and it rained! Jenn [Jackson] put a lot of pressure on for the first two laps, and I didn’t know if I had the energy to match it, but I was able to catch her on the descent and then I was able to ride away. It was awesome racing here – Lespy [Andrew L’Esperance] is my partner and he is from here, and all his family and friends were here, so I feel really stoked for him. The organizers did a great job and the course is awesome, and I hope everyone comes next year.”
In the Elite men’s competition, Forward Racing-Norco riders took the top two spots, with under-23 national champion Sean Fincham of BC beating teammate and Nova Scotia local Andrew L’Esperance by one minute and 23 seconds. Under-23 rider Quinton Disera (Norco Factory) finished third, just ahead of his brother and Elite national champion Peter. Felix Burke (Rocky Mountain), despite missing the final round, took the overall title with 850 points after winning two rounds. L’Esperance was second with 705 points, followed by Fincham at 655.
“Sean was killing it the first few laps,” said L’Esperance, “and then I had a small crash and he got a gap, and he just rolled with it. We’re really happy to go 1-2 here, and I’m happy for Sean to get his first Canada Cup win. It’s really cool to have a Canada Cup back here [in Nova Scotia] after 16 years and to be able to race in front of friends and family. Thanks to the organizers for bringing this event back, and hopefully it will continue for years to come.”
The Junior women’s race was won by Krystel Gagnon of Quebec, ahead of Madison Baudoux of Nova Scotia. Marianne Theberge (Equipe du Quebec/Mathieu Performance) won the overall title with 355 points (best of four results), followed by Mireille Larose Gingras (Equipe du Quebec/Sigma) at 290 and national champion Roxanne Vermette (Mont Ste Anne) at 285.
The Junior men’s race was won by William Cote (Equipe du Quebec), who finished nearly five minutes in front of Zachary Brunelle (Dalbix Siboire), with Dylan Kerr (AJ’s Evolution) in third. The title was taken by national champion Carter Woods (Dodge City Cycle/RMB/CBC), who tied on points with fellow B.C. rider Holden Jones (Pendrel Racing) at 370 (best of four results), but Woods got the title for the most recent win. Cote improved to third with his win in Kentville, at 305 points.
In the new Canada Cup Under-17 category, BC’s Emilly Johnston (Trek BC Devo) won her fourth race of the season to finish with a perfect 400 points and the overall women’s title. Emrick Vincent (Dalbix Siboire) won the Under-17 men’s race, but BC rider Jakob Yells (River City CC) took the title with two victories and 355 points.
“We are thrilled to end the 2018 Canada Cup XCO series in beautiful Kentville, Nova Scotia,” said Josh Peacock, Competition Coordinator at Cycling Canada. “The 2018 series saw stiff competition across the country, including the introduction of U17/Cadet as an official category. We continue to see young riders develop into top World Cup talent through this series and are very much looking forward to another year of competition in 2019. Special thanks to all of our dedicated organizers, athletes, volunteers and officials who continue to support this series.”
The final event in the Downhill Canada Cup series will take place on August 19th, at the Canadian Open DH Canada Cup presented by iXS, in Whistler, BC.
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, lululemon, 4iiii, Argon18 and Bear Mountain Resort – along with the Government of Canada, Own The Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee.