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8 Canadians heading to first XC Mountain Bike World Cups of the season

Both pro and national team athletes will line up in Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic and Albstadt, Germany

Catharine Pendrel

The final two weekends of this month—May 20-21 and May 27-28—will see eight Canadian mountain bikers ride in Team Canada colours, competing in this year’s first XC UCI Mountain Bike World Cups.

The competitions will take place in Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic and Albstadt, Germany, respectively.

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Canadian ranks will be divided into two groups, Cycling Canada announced, with pro riders such as Emily Batty and Catharine Pendrel competing in team colours, while a field of other athletes will participate in the national team project, riding in Team Canada colours. “These races are a chance for riders to assess their fitness level at the start of a new year and new Olympic cycle,” said Dan Proulx, mountain bike head coach. Riders, he noted, will represent in the under-23 men’s and women’s competitions, with elite men and women also rolling out.

Developing Canadian talent at the international level, he added, is the focus of a great deal of athletic investment for the national squad. “The entire four-year plan requires careful periodization if we hope to achieve results when they matter,” said Proulx. “These races are more about the process and small technical improvements. We simply want to make sure that the fundamentals are in place and that fitness has advanced since our early-season races in North America.”

The national team ranks of 2017 include:

Mackenzie Myatt – Musquodoboit Harbour, N.S. [under-23 women] Sean Fincham – Squamish, B.C. [under-23 men] Marc-Andre Fortier – Victoriaville, Que. [under-23 men]

Catherine Fleury – Saint-Gedeon, Que. [elite women] Cindy Montambault – Val-David, Que. [elite women] Sandra Walter – Coquitlam, B.C. [elite women] Andrew L’Esperance – Halifax [elite men] Evan McNeely – Kingston, Ont. [elite men]