Canadian’s are having an excellent weekend at U.S. Collegiate Nationals, currently underway in Durango, Colorado. Ontario’s Tyler Orschel (Brevard College) started his weekend off with a win the Friday’s XCO race. Familiar conditions may be playing in the Canadians’ favour, with substantial snowfall coating the course in the week leading up to the race.
Organizers worked hard to clear the course at Purgatory Resort enough for Friday’s racing to go ahead. Orschel quickly took advantage, taking the Varsity men’s win by Two minutes 11 seconds. Tyler Clark, another Ontario rider at school south of the border, added another top-10 finish for Brevard. Owen Clark, newly minted junior men’s XCO national champion at St. Felicien, landed 11th. Madigen Munro (Colorado Mesa University / Trek Factory Racing) took home the women’s Varsity race.
While Orschel is likely more at home on snow than some of the other American riders, his win isn’t a surprise. He spent his summer racing in Europe where he steadily worked his way through the elite men’s World Cup field. That race campaign produced a solid 28th at short track XC world championships in Val di Sole, Italy and a 32nd in the elite men’s XCO World Cup finals at Snowshoe, W.Va. Orschel also took home a pair of bronze medals from Canadian cross country national championships in St. Felicien, Que. One in XCC and the other in XCO.
U.S. Collegiate Nationals continue at Purgatory Resort all weekend, with short track XC, dual slalom and downhill racing. Full results are available through USA Cycling.