Canadians were in action all over the world and in all conditions this weekend. From Italy to Arizona, sunshine to snow, Canada’s were racing – or trying to.
At the Tennessee National DH, a freak snowstorm and high winds cancelled Saturday’s downhill finals. That means Friday’s Qualifying results stood. For Canada, this mostly worked out quite well. Tristan Lemire won the junior men’s event and Gracey Hemstreet, racing up in elite women, was third. Others, like Aaron Gwin and Rachel Pageau who raced with a flat tire and dropped chain, respectively, would have liked to had another swing at the finals.
Not that far away, Maghalie Rochette was marking her return to mountain biking with a win at the Cactus Cup. The classic Arizona mountain bike stage race, dating back to the early ’90s, combines an off-road time trial, 40 mile XC marathon and enduro. Rochette won two of the three stages and finished second to Chloe Woodruff in the XCM to take the GC title. It is the Canadian’s first mountain bike race since announcing she would be returning to mountain biking, targeting World Cup events and potentially the 2024 Olympics.
Geoff Kabush and Andrew L’Esperance also landed on the extended Cactus Cup podium in the men’s race.
European XCO and DH
Over in Italy, Léandre Bouchard rode to a first podium for his new Foresco Holdings Proco RL Pro Team at an XCO Cup event. It’s the first podium result for the new Canadian UCI team and an excellent start to the national champion’s season.
In France, Finn Iles also landed a podium in his first downhill appearance of 2022. The Brioude “Mini-World Cup” featured a stacked international start list. Iles was 0.43 seconds off Loris Vergier’s winning time on the short, but technical track.