Cory Wallace started his 2019 racing season off on the right foot, winning 2019 Samarathon Desert race in Israel.
The Japer, Alta.-based endurance racer and 24-Hour Solo World Champion teamed up with Soren Nissen of The Netherlands to win the four day mountain bike stage race in the Israeli desert.
After a 19km stage one prologue, the duo were in second with a 68 km time deficit to the leaders. The following three days were much longer stages, and played to Wallace and Nissen’s strengths. They won back to back days, starting with the 76 km point-to-point Stage 2 and repeating the following day on the 86 km third stage to extend their advantage.
Starting the final day, the Canadian-Dutch duo had a five minute lead going into 52 km of desert racing. Wallace and Nissen were able to hold on, winning the overall at the Samarathon Desert race in Israel.
Wallace spent much of his off season training in Nepal and South Asia. Following his Sub-24 Hour record attempt on Nepal’s famous Annapurna Circuit trekking route, the Canadian took time off to hike and enjoy a short off season before beginning his training for the 2019 season. Wallace shared his preparations for the race with Canadian Cycling Magazine, including long-distance bikepacking routes and motorpacing Nepalese scooter riders.
Cory Wallace isn’t the only Canadian enjoying success at early season warm weather racing. Norco Factory Team and several other Canadian cross country racers started their racing campaigns with the Salamina Epic series in Greece. Haley Smith won eight of the nine days of racing, while her Norco teammates Peter Disera and Andrew L’Esperance both scored top ten finishes.