U23 Women- Arseneault cracks the top 10 at home
Under-23 women's world championships see more Canadian's posing fast results at Mont-Sainte-Anne
Laurie Arseneault started off a big day of cross country racing with a fantastic result for the home crowd. The Canadian under-23 national champion worked her way steadily through the field to finish ninth at Mont-Sainte-Anne.
It took the entire race to crack into the top-10 though. Starting the final lap, Arsenault was still sitting in 11th. The steady progress, it seems, was the plan all along.
“There’s a fine line between pushing too hard at the start and just pushing enough,” Arseneault said after the race, after emerging from a huge crowd of family and friends. “I really tried to work wisely, and it paid off for sure.”
On the World Cup circuit, Arseneault has been steadily posting results in the mid-teens. For her final world championships, her goal was clear.
“I worked all year to crack the top 10,” said a visibly elated Arseneault. “I wanted it so bad for my last year of u23, so I’m very happy and so grateful to everyone that supported this.”
Arseneault wasn’t the only Canadian posting an excellent result at home, either. Sophianne Samson moved up through the field to finish 21st at Mont-Sainte-Anne. Samson had started near the back of the field, and had to work through traffic to earn her result.
Roxane Vermette also cracked the top-30 racing at home in Quebec. Vermette finished 29th in the under-23 women’s cross country world championships.
Mirielle Larose-Gingras. Photograph by Nick Iwanyshyn email@example.com
Amilie Simard. Photograph by Nick Iwanyshyn
Marianne Theberge showing signs of a crash early on. Photograph by Nick Iwanyshyn
Roxane Vermette chases Sophianne Samson up L'Enfer
There was a strong Canadian contingent in the race, each of whom was followed around the course by loud roars of support from the crowd. Rounding out the home team were Amilie Simard (34th), Mackenzie Myatt (35th), Mireille Larose Gingras (40th) and Marianne Theberge, who was forced to drop early in the race.
Frei gambles for back-to-back wins
Sina Frei came into Saturday’s race as the odds-on favourite to win. The returning under-23 world champion has been racing elite all season, even scoring World Cup podiums against the pro women. Frei walks away from Mont-Sainte-Anne safe in her world champions jersey, but the victory didn’t come without a fight.
“It was hard for me,” Frei said after taking the win. “It’s so different to ride in the under-23 category. There’s more pressure, I’m not just on the start line”
First year under-23 Laura Stigger (Austria) emerged from the junior ranks with serious pedigree. After winning junior road and XCO world championships in the same year, the Austrian wasn’t shy about challenging her Swiss opponent. After five laps of racing, only 31 seconds separated the repeat under-23 world champion, Frei, from the rising star of Stigger.
The Austrian was more than satisfied to come away with second.
“I’m super happy with my performance today,” Stigger said, adding, “Sina is so strong, and I’m happy to have another battle with Loana [Lecomte] as well.”
After riding with Frei early on, France’s Loana Lecomte ended up settling for third,