The Canadian Cycling Association unveiled its 2012 mountain bike calendar, which features the UCI World Cup at Mont-Sainte-Anne, the 2012 Canadian Mountain Bike National Championships as well as six events on the Canada Cup series, for both downhill and cross country.
"Once again this year, Canada's mountain bikers will be treated to some exciting races, especially at the 2012 Canadian Championships and the classic UCI World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, which marks 21 years of non-stop international racing," said Mathieu Boucher, Director of development for the Canadian Cycling Association.
"In addition to these great events, the Canada Cup will also mark key dates on the calendar, in its 21st year of operations, providing great advancement opportunities for the up-and-coming athletes, as well as established Canadian elite racers."
The 2012 Canadian Mountain Bike Championships will happen in St-Félicien, Quebec for the cross country races and the team relay on June 16-17, while the downhill championships races will be disputed at Mont-Sainte-Anne on July 7-8.
The cross country championships will feature some of Canada's top athletes, notably Catharine Pendrel, Marie-Hélène Prémont and Emily Batty - all ranked in the top 10 of the World Cup standings. Max Plaxton will attempt to defend his 2011 title, while Geoff Kabush will make a run to become the most decorated Canadian mountain biker of all time, gunning for an eighth elite title.
The downhill portion of the Canadian Championships will be held at Mont-Sainte-Anne on a similar course used for the 2012 UCI World Cup. Many of Canada top riders will race against the clock to win Canada's most prestigious downhill prize, the red and white jersey.
For the UCI World Cup, Mont-Sainte-Anne will welcome cross country as well as downhill races for all categories. This classic international event, organized by Gestev in Québec, is the only stop on the international calendar that has hosted consecutive international events since 1991, including two UCI World Championships (1998 and 2010). Pendrel has won the event twice, including last season in front of a home crowd of wild and cheering fans.
The Canada Cup comes back for a 21st season, and will feature six races on the calendar - four cross country races and two downhill races. Once again, the Canada Cup Series, which consists of internationally-sanctioned races, will hit four different provinces in Eastern and Western Canada. Québec will welcome four races, Ontario will play host to one cross country race, while Alberta and British Columbia will share the duties of hosting the Canada Cup finals. The Canada Cup is the series that has helped propelled Canada to the top of the international standings, providing race experiences to developing riders on the verge of World Cup racing.
2012 Major Canadian Mountain Bike Events
May 19: Coupe Canada Cup (Cross Country) - Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
May 20: Coupe Canada Cup (Downhill) - Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
May 27: Coupe Canada Cup (Cross Country) - Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec
June 3: Coupe Canada Cup (Cross Country) - Hardwood Ski and Bike, Ontario
June 16-17: 2012 Canadian Mountain Bike Championships (Cross Country) - St-Félicien, Quebec
June 23: 2012 UCI World Cup (Cross country) - Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec
June 24: 2012 UCI World Cup (Four-cross) - Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec
June 25: 2012 UCI World Cup (Downhill) - Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec
July 7- 8: 2012 Canadian Mountain Bike Championships (Downhill) - Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec
July 16: Coupe Canada Cup Finals (Cross country) - Canmore, Alberta
July 29: Coupe Canada Cup Finals (Downhill) - Panorama Mountain Resort, British Columbia
August 26: Raid Bras Du Nord (Cross country Marathon) - St-Raymond, Quebec