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Léandre Bouchard opens season with Short Track podium as US Cup

Canadian opens first race weekend with speed at OZ Trails

Léandre Bouchard scored a podium finish in his first race of 2021 on Friday. The Pivot Cycles-OTE racer landed silver in the Short Track XC at the OZ Trails US Cup.

Bouchard crossed the line just four seconds behind the U.S.A.’s Christopher Blevins. Just 0.3 seconds later, Keegan Swenson claimed third.

Raphael Auclair, Bouchard’s Pivot Cycles-OTE teammate finished eight seconds later in sixth. Tyler Clark of Ontario added another solid Canadian result in Arkansas with his 11th place finish.

On the women’s side, Sophia Gomez Villafane (Clif Pro Team) won Friday’s Short Track. Erin Huck and Kelsey Urban rounded out the podium.

XCO racing at the OZ Trails US Cup is scheduled to take place Sunday, April 11 in Fayetteville.

A US Cup in California was one of the first events cancelled in 2020. In fact, with everything being very unknown at that time, that weekend’s STXC took place before organizers decided to cancel Sunday’s race. It is exciting to see XCO racing return to North America after over a year away.

This year’s event carries its own controversy. Cycling and state politics have mixed, with some fans and athletes objecting to Fayetteville hosting a high level event while state legislators are passing laws discriminating against transgender athletes.

Results: USA Cup – OZ Trails – Short Track XC (Fayetteville, Ark)

Elite Men

1) Christopher Blevens (USA)
2) Léandre Bouchard (CAN)
3) Keegan Swenson (USA)
4) Cole Patton (Costa Rica)
5) Jonathan Quesada (MEX)
6) Raphael Auclair (CAN)
7) Stephan Davoust (USA)
8) Riley Amos (USA)
9) Cypress Gorry (USA)
10) Daxton Mock (USA)
11) Tyler Clark (CAN)

Elite Women

1) Sofia Gomez Villafane (ARG)
2) Erin Huck (USA)
3) Kelsey Urban (USA)
4) Rose Grant (USA)
5) Lea Davison (USA)
6) Gwendalyn Gibson (USA)
7) Hannah Finchamp (USA)
8) Alexis Skarda (USA)
9) Haley Batten (USA)
10) Madigan Munro (USA)