Posted by Editoress on 08/5/01
Mountain Bike Nationals - Downhill
British Columbia riders dominated the downhill at the Canadian National Mountain Bike Championships, at the Sun Peaks ski resort near Kamloops, B.C. In the downhill event local favourite Dustin Adams (Giant) of Kamloops won the pro men's category while Cassandra Boon (Giant) of North Vancouver took the women's title.
The course was praised by many riders as the best ever for a Canadian event, however, it was so difficult - with drop-offs of up to 10 feet - that riders in the non-elite divisions had problems. The organizers have already decided to offer a less extreme course for non-elite categories at future events.
Boon has been the fastest Canadian rider of the season thus far, so her victory - her first national title - was no surprise. Adams came into the event as a longshot, after separating his shoulder and missing most of the early racing season. He covered the 3.4 kilometre course in a time of five minutes and 7 seconds, hitting speeds in excess of 70 kilometres per hour in some sections.
"This is only my fifth race back after 2 months of recuperation. I'm not as fit as some of the other guys who have been racing all season, but I think I made up for it by being very smooth in the technical sections of the course."
The 21 year old has been racing for 5 years, and showed great promise as a Junior aged racer, winning the national title twice. However, as a pro his career has been plagued by injuries, including a broken wrist, broken collarbone and an earlier separated shoulder.
"This is definitely my best result ever in Canada, and one that will stay with me for a long time."
The 23 year old Boon was cautious on her run, which she feels contributed to her victory.
"I was really happy personally with my run. Everything worked perfectly with my equipment. I tried to ride more carefully than normal so that I could stay on my bike. I didn't crash and that was a good thing. I rode smart."
Perennial favourite Andrew Shandro (Ford-Devinci) finished second and Dave Watson (Sombrio-Smith) third in the men's race, while visiting New Zealand rider Lisa Horlor (Oakley) was second in the women's competition, ahead of Claire Buchar (Evolution-Balfa).
In the Junior races, Jeff Beatty (Storm BC) and Katherine Lobodzinski (Ontario) were the victors.
The national mountain bike championships continue on Sunday with the cross-country competition. Alison Sydor and Roland Green are among the more than 400 riders who are expected to compete.
- Sylvie Allen (Rocky Mountain) broke her chain at the very beginning of her run, but still managed to finish only 34 seconds behind Boon.
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