Posted by Editoress on 07/19/03
MTB Nationals Whistler BC
This report made possible through the sponsorship of Rocky Mountain Bicycles and Hamilton 2003
By Mike Badyk
Junior Expert National Championship XC Race Report - Batty and Plaxton Win
We just crowned our first National Champions for 2003 here at Whistler. In the men's race Max Plaxton (BC) rode away from the field, and in the women's Emily Batty (ON) overcame some difficulties to reel in the leaders on the last lap for the win.
The women's race was hotly contested. For much of the race there was a close race between Batty, Kylie Case (MN), Olivia Gagne (QC) and Catherine Vipond (ON). This small group pulled away on the first climb and left the rest of the field to try and chase them down. Case was very strong through the first half lap, but once they were on the first full lap, Gagne managed to pull away. This was about the same time that Batty had a small crash, requiring her to fix her bike. Going into the last lap Gagne was about a minute in front of Batty, who was in fourth on the big climb at the start of the lap. By the descent through the single track, Batty had already moved up into third. Batty then reeled in Case along the river, finally passing Gagne on the last climb on the western part of the course. Batty was riding strong just at the same time Gagne started to falter.
The dimunitive Batty was extremely happy with her win. "That's awesome!! I had a few problems. I went down crossing the creek and my brakes were jammed in my spokes. Once I got that fixed I knew I had to go really hard. I was able to catch Olivia on the last climb." Batty was also excited and curious about being invited to doping control for the first time.
Olivia Gagne was happy with her second place at her first Nationals as a Junior - "She's really good (Batty). I'm pretty proud of myself. I think it will be better for me in the rest of the Canada Cups. On the last lap I didn't have a lot of energy but I gave all that I could."
The mens race was much less of a battle than for the womens. Max Plaxton, displaying his awesome form once again, just rode away from everyone. The only time he was behind was at the start. "I kind of chose the wrong line at the beginning so I was back a bit on the first climb. I wasn't too worried though. I wanted to get in the single track first and once I did I never looked back." By the end of the first lap he had a two minute lead and he kept lengthening his lead each time he came by. Plaxton was so far ahead that he was lapping many riders in some of the other categories on the course at the same time.
Once Plaxton escaped, the battle for second wasn't an easy go for anyone. In the first full lap, Jean-Sebastien Perron (QC), Andrew Erb (ON), Brad Fairall (BC) and Jamie Lamb (NS) made things very interesting as they duked it out along the river (the course goes along one side and returns on the other). Fairall was eventually able to shake the others on the climbs. Perron and Erb weakened a bit and Lamb was able to pass them to rest in third going into the last lap.
Out at the front, Plaxton was riding all on his own. We had him at 4.5 minutes up at one point, but he backed off a bit to have a mere 3 minutes 47 seconds at the finish. The tired Plaxton was still happy and relieved with his win. Plaxton. "It's a really tough course. It just kills your body. There's not a lot of time to rest. But I felt really good. I won and I'm happy. A hardtail definitely wasn't the way to go. It was so bumpy and my hands and arms are numb. The race went well though."
"I'm going to rest a little bit then I have to get ready (for Abitibi Junior Road Race). I'm excited about Abitibi. Our team looks really good and I think we'll do a really good team time trial.
Brad Fairall from North Vancouver, rode a strong second place, often doing battle with Lamb in third. On the first climb he managed to stay with Plaxton on the big climb, but was gapped a bit on the first downhill and then kept losing time bit by bit. This is only his second MTB race of the year, since he has been concentrating on road. He finished second at the Road Nationals time trial this year.
Third place in the Junior Men's was Jamie Lamb from Nova Scotia. Lamb was still sporting a large scar on his left knee thanks to a crash pre-riding the Hardwood Hills Canada Cup course. This marks return to the circuit and his first Nationals since he was primarily racing road last year.
Were getting ready for the downhill. Elites will have to do seeding runs for the final. We have already heard that one huge drop off a cliff has been removed from the course at the request of the riders. Andrew Shandro was one of the riders requesting the change because of the danger.
|1. Emily Batty (ON) Bay Cycle 3Rox||1:34:20.2|
|2. Olivia Gagne (QC) Commencal||at 1:33.20|
|3. Kylie Case (MB) Team Manitoba||2:24.66|
|4. Catherine Vipond (ON) Team Ontario/Gears Racing||3:10.45|
|5. Meghan Kindree (BC)||5:08.30|
|6. Brook Baker (BC) Norco||6:46.83|
|7. Isabelle Jacques (QC) La Vie Sportiff||6:49.69|
|8. Katherine Clark (BC) Steed Cycles||9:22.35|
|9. Pepper Harlton (AB) Team Alberta||13:36.91|
|10. Marie-Laurence Lupien (QC) Specialized||15:13.15|
|11. Heather Bryce (BC) Steed Cycles||29:17.16|
|12. Heather Rochetta (BC)||39:21.25|
|1. Max Plaxton (BC) Gears Racing||2:43:07.6|
|2. Bradley Fairall (BC) Rocky Mountain-Crystal Decisions||at 3:47.94|
|3. Jamie Lamb (NS) Cyclepath||5:13.80|
|4. Andrew Erb (ON) Team Ontario/Jolleys||6:08.64|
|5. Jean-Sebastien Perron (QC)||6:36.37|
|6. Chris Thorpe (ON) Team Ontario/Bay Cycle||6:50.07|
|7. Mark Batty (ON) Team Ontario/Bay Cycle||6:52.52|
|8. Trevor Mahon (BC) Rocky Mountain||6:58.00|
|9. Daniel Sessford (YT) Team Yukon||7:08.09|
|10. Phil Bietz (MB) Olympia||9:10.26|
|11. Matthew Rochetta (BC)||10:54.46|
|12. Patrick Nesbitt (BC)||11:31.79|
|13. Jean-Francois Vennes (QC) Transport Vennes||11:40.93|
|14. Adam Quiring (BC)||12:42.04|
|15. Matthew Cottrell (BC) On the Edge||13:17.78|
|16. Justin Enns (MB) Olympia||16:46.62|
|17. Luc Boily (QC)||17:34.02|
|18. Jon Benson (MB) Team Manitoba/Olympia||21:17.90|
|19. Steven Yau (AB) Bow Cycle|
|20. Matthew Green (BC) Steed Cycle|
|21. Zach Grant (AB) Juventus|
|DNF. Matthew Lea (BC)|
|DNF. Marty Schaffer (AB)|
|DNF. Matt Walker (SK)|
|DNF. Robin White (BC)|
|DNS. Jean-Nicolas Lavertu (QC)|
|DNS. Kyle Douglas (ON)|
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