Canada had top-10 finishes in both the Junior women’s and men’s cross-country races on Thursday at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Marianne Theberge took eighth in the Junior women’s race, while Holden Jones of Squamish, BC was ninth in the men’s. Laura Stigger of Austria repeated as the women’s champion, while Alexandre Balmer brought Switzerland their second gold medal, after the Swiss won the Team Relay on Wednesday with Balmer on that team also.
Theberge moved up on the first lap into the top 12, and then slowly began to reel in other riders. Other Canadian results were Roxane Vermette in 22nd, Mireille Larose Gingras in 28th, and Eva Poidevin in 43rd.
“On the start climb I was in the 20s,” explained Theberge, who is at her first world championships, “and on the descent I was able to catch some girls, and after that it was just full gas all race. For a while I was up to seventh, but then I had problems on the roots, and she [Schneebeli of Switzerland] passed, and I didn’t have time to catch her before the finish. I didn’t know what to expect, so I’m really happy.”
The Junior men began in rain, making the track slick and treacherous, although it gradually dried out in the second half of the six lap race. Jones, who won the bronze medal last year, had a strong start, and was in the top five after the first lap. Mid-race he faded a bit, losing a few spots before the finish. Other Canadian results were Carter Woods of Cumberland, BC in 12th, Charles Antoine St-Onge in 25th, Tyler Clark in 56th, and Colton Woods in 61st.
“I was watching the forecast all week and it showed that it was going to start raining just before our race,” said Jones. “So, I was messing around with tires, and I think I chose the right ones. I ride in the rain quite a bit in Squamish, so I’m pretty used to it. The start was pretty hard, going right uphill on a paved climb and I didn’t want to burn all my matches, so I held back a little bit. I moved up a few spots on the first couple of laps and then I faded a bit, but it was a pretty perfect race.”
Source: Cycling Canada
About Cycling Canada
Cycling Canada is the governing body for competitive cycling in Canada. With the vision of becoming a leading competitive cycling nation, 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.