July 19/03 1:25 am - Report from MTB Nationals
Posted by Editoress on 07/19/03
MTB Nationals Whistler BC
This report made possible through the sponsorship of Rocky Mountain Bicycles
Whistler Saturday Preliminary Report
By Mike badyk
Unlike the blazing sun of yesterday, the conditions at the moment are cloudy with a high overcast. The sun is sort of shining through from time and the temperature is pleasant at the moment.
This morning we have the Junior Expert categories and numerous age group categories. The course is 7.5 km for a full lap. Junior expert men will be doing a total distance of 25.8 km (3 laps) including the start loop and Junior Expert Women will be tackling 18.2 km (2 laps + start loop). There are 27 men and 11 women in the junior fields.
Max Plaxton is the favourite in the men's as the overall Canada Cup leader. On the women's side it will be interesting to see how Olivia Gagne, a first year junior will do in this race. As a cadet she wasn't eligible to go to the World's so she never bothered to come to the Nationals. In the Quebec Cup races, even as a cadet she was consistently beating the junior women.
Course conditions are very dry with the overwhelming description of the course as rocky. Riders with full suspension, disc brakes and fat tires are going to have an advantage on this course. They might be a touch slower, but the risk of mechanicals is so high that it seems to be a reasonable trade-off.
We will report back at the end of the Junior race. Stay tuned for National Championship Downhill racing later today on Canadian Cyclist.