Crank the Shield returns for third edition this weekend

Mountain bike stage race set for Ontario

The third annual Crank the Shield Mountain Bike Stage Race has attracted over 260 riders for its 2010 edition from September 17-19. Racers will travel to the beautiful Haliburton Highlands Region of Ontario for a three-day weekend of racing.

This year's highlights include many of Canada's top mountain bike riders. In the duo division, two World Championship Team Canada riders are favorites: under 23 racer Tyson Wagler and Derek Zandstra (both of 3 Rox Racing). Trek Canada has also entered a duo, which is capable of taking the top step of the podium: 2008 overall winner Peter Glassford and Eric Batty.

No stranger to Crank the Shield, National Team Member Andrew Watson (Norco) has also entered the mix, and should contend for the overall victory among the solo men.

Canadian national championship silver medalist Amanda Sin, a first time Crank the Shield participant, has partnered with 2009 Crank the Shield Champion Kyle Douglas to form a powerful mixed team.

For 2010, two-time mountain bike Olympian Seamus McGrath is returning home to Ontario to ride the race. McGrath is excited to be a part of this event, as he will be partnering up with various riders throughout the event. Caleb and Ronald Graves (father, son team), will ride stage 1 with McGrath; Leslie Green and Anne Flannigan will ride Stage 2; and Chris Durand and Tecia White will get to ride Stage 3 with the Canadian mountain bike legend.

"This event is shaping up to be one of the most exciting mountain bike races in Ontario this year," said Chico Racing President Adam Ruppel. The race is promoted by Chico Racing.

2010 brings the best course yet for the race. The first improvement riders will notice is a large, brand new section of singletrack for stage 1 in Haliburton Forest. For stage 2, riders will finish directly at Camp White Pine, which makes the stage more enjoyable by eliminating a bus transfer and adding more trail. The most exciting trail change is the new start location of stage 3. Sir Sam's Ski and Summer Resort, which means 7km of brand new singletrack.

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