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Gallery: Snowy conditions greet ‘cross riders in Alberta

Treacherously snowy and muddy conditions at Velocicross and United CX double-header

Winter descended on Edmonton last weekend just in time for the Velocicross and United CX double-header. The snow and mud made the run-ups, barriers, switch-backs and off-camber sections that much more challenging.

Provincial champion Shantel Koenig (Redbike) took the women’s open race on Saturday in a close contest against Alana Heise (HSC-Garneau). Caitlin Callaghan (Hardcore CC) settled for her first provincial podium result in third place.

More snowfall overnight made Sunday’s race even more treacherous with recent Jingle Cross world cup competitor, Sidney McGil taking the early lead and extending her lead throughout the race. Koenig put in another strong race to finish second ahead of Alana Heise in third.

Saturday’s open men’s race was dominated by Aaron Schooler (Focus CX Team Canada) putting time into his rivals on the courses technical sections. Mike van den Ham’s (Garneau-Easton Cycling) competed in both North American cyclocross World Cup races but poor tire choice saw him out of contention for the win but still had a solid ride to finish second. Andre Sutton (Hardcore CC) rounded out the podium.

Van den Ham made better tire choice on Sunday taking control early and like Schooler the day before consistently extending his lead as the race went on lapping the rear end of the field. Schooler had to settled for second with Sutton again in third for the second day in a row.