The first of two selection camps for the 2021 Cycling BC mountain bike team took place in Squamish, BC on June 5th-6th. The camps will help determine the selection of athletes for an upcoming Cycling BC project which will send a team of eight riders to Quebec for the 2021 St. Félicien and Sherbrooke Canada Cup Cross-country (XCO) Mountain Bike races on July 10th and July 17th respectively.
It was very apparent that the absence of racing over the past year didn’t dampen the spirits of the cycling community and has only stoked the enthusiasm for mountain biking even more. We saw a great turnout of athletes in Squamish over the weekend as the group braved heavy rain on Saturday for a pre-ride of the course and to discuss race tactics for the following day’s race simulation. Sunday’s XCO race simulation was deliberately challenging; 25km of racing, nearly 1000m of elevation gain, and technical trails made for an excellent race that required total focus and determination on par with World Cup courses.
Junior rider, Lief Rodgers, from Port Moody, BC, led all riders with a winning time of 1:40:30, a testament to his fitness but it was his technical prowess that earned him a gap near the end of the first lap. Once he had a lead, Rodgers put down consistent power all the way to the finish. On the women’s side, local rider Marin Lowe from Garibaldi Highlands led from start to finish. She looked composed and consistent throughout the race, utilizing her solid descending skills to prevent Geza Rodgers (Lief’s younger sister) from closing the gap on the descents. Every category from U17 through to U23 was represented well over the weekend.
Cycling BC’s regional mountain bike head coach, Joel Hardwood, was pleased to see the combination of fitness and skill from all the riders. Cross-country Olympic (XCO) mountain biking in British Columbia is on the rise and the racers this weekend proved that they are well-rounded and determined to take on the rest of the country at the Canada Cup races in Quebec next month.
The second selection camp for this project will be held on June 12th-13th on Vancouver Island. The athletes selected for the project will be notified the week of June 14th.
For more information about the training camps, projects and selection criteria, go to: https://cyclingbc.net/high-performance/current-projects/
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