July 14/07 6:11 am - Catharine Pendrel Interview
Posted by Editor on 07/14/07
Catharine Pendrel Interview
Earlier today Catharine Pendrel won the gold medal in the women's mountain bike race at the Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, beating American Mary McConneloug. Catharine finally had a chance to get back to us, after all the media commitments that come with being the gold medalist.
I had an awesome race. The course dried up nicely. Mary took the lead first lap, but was making mistakes in the woods so I knew if I rode well I could catch her. I reeled her in early 2nd lap and she went down in a corner. I took the lead and attacked on the next climb and she didn't respond. I tried to imagine there was a World Cup field out there to push myself to go harder.
On the last lap Mary burped a tire and had to make a quick pit stop, but I had a comfortable lead at this point and drove it hard to the finish. I saw a quote that must have been translated (incorrectly), as Mary and I didn't actually duke it out last lap. We were chaser and chased.
It was amazing to cross the line first. The realization of a big goal and confirmation of my World Cup rides. That was the first time I have had the national anthem played for me and it was great to share the podium with Mary, a rider I respect a lot. I was also informed on the podium that I was the first Gold medal of the entire Games which is a great honour and I am proud to give this result to Canada.
Catherine was also able to give us an update on what happened in the men's race - we have only received top-3 results, and posted earlier that Adam Craig (USA) won, but that neither Mat Toulouse nor Ricky Federau had made the podium.
The men's race was plagued with mechanicals. Both Ricky and Matt flatted early in the race. Ricky's CO-2 malfunctioned and he had to pull out. Matt lost 6 minutes to the leader, but was able to continue and kept riding faster and faster finishing 4+ minutes off in 6th. A Medal today was definitely within his reach.
Congratulations to Catharine.