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May 17/05 8:49 am - Canada Cup DH Season Preview


Posted by Editoress on 05/17/05
 

Canada Cup Season Opener Underway this Weekend:
Bromont to receive Canada’s Best Downhillers
By: Fred Belanger

(Montreal) - The Canadian National Mountain Bike race series, known as the Canada Cup, is opening this upcoming weekend in Bromont, Quebec. Located about 45 minutes outside of Montreal, Bromont is a picturesque resort town of the Eastern Townships, located along Highway-10. Racers from across Canada are scheduled to arrive during the upcoming week, and some have even been spotted riding the mountain this past weekend.

Although the weather wasn’t cooperative this weekend, riders gearing up for the season opener were out to get as many runs as possible under their belts, trying to dial in their new bikes. Eric Goss (Giant Canada) and Geoff Pendrel (Devinci Cycles) of New Brunswick, two of Canada’s best downhill racers, were seen riding the mountain, putting their new bikes through their paces, despite the rain and mud. “It feels great to be back on the bike,” said Goss when asked about how he was dealing with the muddy conditions.

This past off-season, lots of riders have signed with new teams, people have hooked up new deals with new sponsors, and people have decided to retire. The big news, which some might have heard rumour about, is that Dustin Adams (Giant) has retired. I spoke with Dustin last week, and to sum it up, he said, “…ya, I called it quits. I have had a good run throughout it all and had tons of good times… I am looking forward to having the first summer with my girlfriend and dog alone, and camping a bunch!”

The strange turn of events, for the only Canadian to podium in Downhill events at NORBA Nationals in the past 10 years, was brought about when he learned very late last year that Giant team management would not be resigning him for the 2005 season. A late season sponsor scramble didn’t result in significant enough return, prompting his decision to retire. Dustin finished in the top 5 at four NORBA Nationals in 2004, and represented Canada three times at the World Championships.

Another major retirement is that of Hugo Donais (Norco Factory Team) of Terrebonne, Quebec. “I wanted to concentrate on 4X and BMX Racing,” said Hugo when I last spoke to him. Always the optimist, he cited a difference of vision with that of his team manager, who according to Hugo, wanted to see him racing DH for 2005. According to other sources close to the team, Hugo may have been rubbing team management the wrong way, culminating in a blow-out at this year’s Sea-Otter Classic, in Monterey, California, where Hugo finished last.

Good news to the local scene is that Mathieu Laurin has signed with the Devinci/Daredevil Squad for the 2005 season. Bringing with him his World Cup experience acquired through racing for the IronHorse/MadCatz Team in 2004, our National Champion is poised for continued success in 2005. It will be interesting to see how Dominick Menard reacts to racing with his good friend.

Finally, Montreal local bad-boy, Luke Kitzanuk (pronounced “Kitz-ahh-nuck”) of Hudson has finally signed the big-time deal he deserves. Racing under the Giant label last year as a shop-sponsored rider, Luke has graduated to Giant Canada for 2005. Congrats Luke, you deserve it!

Random Info:

• Eric Cseff is racing again: he took the win at the 1st O-cup of 2005, and is rumored to make an appearance at the Canada Cup in Bromont.

• The Bromont DH course is scheduled to be the same as the Master’s World Championship course of last fall.

• Marc Fontaine is off Transcend.com and riding a couple of SantaCruz Bikes. Sean Brown is replacing Marc on the Orange bike riding Transcend Team.

• Janelle Cassidy is apparently not making the trip to the East-Coast, although Danika Schroeter (Giant Canada) is.

• Jamie Biluk (Cove Bikes) was seen in the parking lot of Bromont this past weekend, looking a little lost.

• Brant Lyon (Giant Canada) will likely not be making the trip to Bromont, a shoulder injury keeping him sidelined.

• Chad Onychuk (Devinci) is rumored to be making a welcome comeback to the Canada Cup circuit for 2005. Look for this former National Champion, and awesome guy, to stomp some young guns

[About the Author: Fred Belanger is an 11 year veteran of the Canada Cup series, and has raced across North America at World Cups, NORBA Nationals, Canada Cups, and Provincial Level events. He’s presently sponsored by Intense Cycles, Shimano, and Manitou, and resides in Montreal, Quebec. Please send all comments to: phat_freddy@hotmail.com]


 


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