Cycling Canada has announced the 27 athletes that will compete at the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, scheduled from Oct. 5 to 11 2020, in Leogang, Austria. The event, which takes place over the course of seven days, will see athletes competing in cross-country, downhill and E-MTB events.
Due to travel advisories, athletes were only eligible to represent Canada at Worlds if they are already racing in Europe for UCI-registered trade teams. This means there are some familiar, and notable names missing from the team announcement this year. 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Catharine Pendrel won’t be racing world championships for the first time in many years.
Getting back into racing
A week before UCI mountain bike world championships the Nove Mesto World Cup will give the cross country athletes an opportunity to gauge their form against their competition. 2019 Canadian champions Peter Disera and Emily Batty have been selected to compete at Nove Mesto, as well as 2019 World Cup medalist Haley Smith.
“I didn’t expect that I would get the chance to race at all this year, so to be back is a little overwhelming,” said Smith. “I know that, on paper, I am fitter than ever before and have done more and better training than ever as well but I don’t yet know how this training will translate to race speed. I am mentally fresher and sharper, having not had an entire summer of travel and race fatigue built up. I’m truly excited which is a really positive mental space to find myself in. I’m grateful for the chance to dig deep and see what I’ve got in me, and to hopefully do the maple leaf proud in the process.”
The downhill season kicks off
The world championships marks the beginning of the DH season. All eyes will be on former junior world champion Finn Iles, who finished seventh last year.
Miranda Miller, 2017 elite women’s world champion, returns from enduro to be Canada’s lone woman’s entry in the downhill events.
Iles will be joined in the elite ranks by Lucas Cruz, third overall in the junior men’s World Cup standings in 2019, and Eliot Jamieson, 2018 world championships bronze medallist.
In the junior men’s event, 2019 Lenzerheide junior men’s World Cup winner Seth Sherlock will lead a strong and experienced group.
Rochette returns to E-MTB
Maghalie Rochette, who took silver in last year’s inaugural E-MTB World Championship, returns to the E-MTB category this year. She will also be racing in the XCO event in preparation for the cx World Cup season.
Canada’s 2020 UCI mountain bike world championships team
Elite Women (XCO)
Emily Batty – Brooklin, ON
Jennifer Jackson – Oro Medonte, ON
Maghalie Rochette – Ste-Adèle, QC [XCO & E-MTB]
Haley Smith – Uxbridge, ON
Sandra Walter – Coquitlam, BC
Elite Men (XCO)
Raphaël Auclair – Haut-Saint-Charles, QC
Félix Belhumeur – Quebec City, QC
Léandre Bouchard – Alma, QC
Peter Disera – Horseshoe Valley, ON
Andrew L’Esperance – Halifax, NS
Marc-André Fortier – Victoriaville, QC
U23 Women (XCO)
Marianne Théberge – Lévis, QC
U23 Men (XCO)
Quinton Disera – Horseshoe Valley, ON
Sean Fincham – Squamish, BC
Gunnar Holmgren – Orillia, ON
Carter Woods -– Cumberland, BC
Elite Women (DH)
Miranda Miller – Squamish, BC
Elite Men (DH)
Lucas Cruz – Pemberton, BC
Henry Fitzgerald – West Vancouver, BC
Finn Iles – Whistler, BC
Elliot Jamieson – White Rock, BC
Magnus Manson -– Sechelt, BC
Mark Wallace – Duncan, BC
Junior Men (DH)
Patrick Laffey – Nanaimo, BC
Drew Mozell – North Vancouver, BC
Ethan Shandro – North Vancouver, BC
Seth Sherlock – Squamish, BC