Six athletes will represent Canada in the cross-country events this Sunday, October 30, at the MTB Pan American Championships in Mexico City.
Ricky Federau will compete in the elite men's race, facing a field which includes Hector Leonardo Paez of Colombia, a surprise seventh place finisher at this year's world championships. Federau beat Paez to claim the Pan American under-23 title two years ago.
Trish Sinclair and Catherine Pendrel will both compete in the women's elite race, and Max Plaxton of will ride the men's under-23 event. Neal Kindree and Raphael Gagne round out the roster, riding the junior men's event.
National team coach Michel Leblanc believes that the Canadians - particularly the men - have good chances at winning medals at this event, but is aware that the conditions and level of competition will be challenging. According to Leblanc many of the South American athletes treat the Pan American championships as "almost their world championship. They will have been preparing for this race a long time and will be motivated."
"Racing at that altitude with the heat and pollution won't be that easy," said Leblanc. "The races will be tough and we'll need to be ready to face the music."