Posted by Editor on 08/31/03
Canadian riders took two cross-country titles on Saturday at the Masters Mountain Bike World Championships, in Bromont, Quebec. More than 350 athletes from 20 countries compete in the annual internationally sanctioned age-group competition for cycling. This year, the United States won four titles, France three, Canada and Italy two, and Sweden and Norway one each. In total, Canada won two world titles (gold), three silver and four bronze medals.
Marie-Claude Letarte of Baie Comeau, Quebec won the women's 30 to 34 years age category in a time of one hour, 27 minutes and 57 seconds. The 31 year old, finished seven minutes and nine seconds ahead of Collingwood, Ontario's Stephanie Martinek (Squire John's-Specialized).
"I was conservative at the start, for the first two laps, but on the last lap I gave it 100%. After finishing fourth for two years I really wanted to 'step up' to the podium, but I did not realized that I could win until the final lap."
Canada's second title was won by 45 year old Isabelle Cantin (Le Pédalier) of Loretteville, Quebec in a time of one hour, ten minutes and 35 seconds. Cantin, a mother of two and partner to men's bronze medallist Gilles Morneau (Le Pédalier), took the lead after her American rival Jane Finsterwald took a wrong turn on the second lap of their three lap race.
"I was in second place, just behind first, and she missed a turn on the second lap. I was at the front for the rest of the race. It was a big surprise to me, because I am just coming back after having two children (3 years and 15 months); it was fantastic and an unexpected win."
Other Canadian podium finishes include silver medals in the women's 35-39 age group by Sarah Robbins (Cycledelia) and Sharon McDowell-Larsen (Pikes Peak Velo), and bronze medals by Guido Visser (Xcluziv/Pepsi) in the men's 30-34; Bill Hurley (West Quebec Wheelers), men's 35-39; Gilles Morneau (Le Pédalier), men's 45-49; and Richard Tétreault (Drummondville, Quebec), men's 55-59.
The Master's Mountain Bike World Championships conclude on Sunday with the downhill competition.
- Gilles Morneau celebrated his birthday yesterday, and called partner Isabelle Cantin's win "my birthday present".
- Guido Visser started training in July, after finishing his engineering program. He says that the Masters Worlds is just the start of his return to competition.
- Bill Hurley was battling for the lead in his race when he got caught behind a crash in another category. He crashed himself avoiding the one in front, and suffered a flat, thwarting a chance to win his second Masters World title.
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