Cycling Canada announced its team for the upcoming 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships to be held in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, from August 26 to September 1, 2013.
The Canadian world championships team is comprised of 32 athletes - 20 cross country riders and 12 downhillers - who will compete in the cross county, downhill and trials races in junior, U23 and elite categories.
"We continue to have the ability to stand on the podium at these events. Our cross country program has been one of the strongest in the world over the last Olympic cycle with world titles and World Cup titles, as well as several medals in downhill. We are heading to South Africa with the objective to continue our momentum of performance at the highest level as we enter a new and exciting cycle that will take us to Rio," said Jacques Landry, High Performance Director and Head Coach at Cycling Canada.
In the cross country events, the dynamic duo of Emily Batty and Catharine Pendrel, who both have demonstrated podium performances this season on the UCI World Cup tour, will be looking take the top spot at the women's race. Pendrel won the world championships race in 2011.
Six-time Canadian Champion Geoff Kabush, two-time Canadian Champion Max Plaxton and current Canadian Champion Derek Zandstra will be looking to post big performances this year in the elite men's cross country race. Kabush is known in mountain biking for his ability to perform on demand at major events such as world championships, while Plaxton is now a consistent contender in elite field.
The U23 men's cross country field in Canada has depth with many riders challenging for a spot on team. The Canadian Champion, Mitchell Bailey, will be on the start line in South Africa, along with Antoine Caron and Evan McNeely. In the women's field, U23 rookie Frederique Trudel who is undefeated at Canadian Championships in the last three years by winning two junior titles and the U23 title in her first season riding in the age group, will be among the selected group of riders.
Peter Disera, who has impressed with his diverse skillsets by, winning medals at cyclo-cross, road and mountain bike Canadian championships, will be leading the junior men's cross country crew. Rachel Pageau, who has competed in some UCI World Cups this year, will be competing in the junior women's cross country race. Both Disera and Pageau recently won the junior Canadian Championships titles.
Steve Smith and Mark Wallace headline the downhill group to compete at the world championships, along with Holly Feniak, who will be defending her junior women world championship title. Both Smith and Wallace have been riding strong this season on the UCI World Cup, showing depth and consistency.
Canadian team for the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
Elite men cross country
Derek Zandstra [Team Relay]
Elite women cross country
Emily Batty [Team Relay]
Catharine Pendrel (2011 Word Champion)
U23 men cross country
Mitchell Bailey [Team Relay]
U23 women cross country
Junior men cross country
Peter Disera [Team Relay]
Junior women cross country
Elite men downhill
Elite women downhill
Lauren Rosser (2010 World Junior Champion)
Junior men downhill
Junior women downhill
Holly Feniak (Reigning Junior World Champion)