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Peter Disera (Canada) in 2nd on last lap
Up and coming Canadian junior is one to watch
If you haven't heard the name Peter Disera, you may want to make note of it for future reference. Having recently won the silver medal in the junior men's cross country mountain bike world championships, the Canadian is also a talented road and cyclo-cross racer
"I've had an exceptional year. I'm national champion in cyclo-cross, individual [road] time trial, mountain bike cross country and [road] crit, and I was on the podium at nationals for the [mountain bike] eliminator," said Disera, who is from Barre, Ontario, to Cyclingnews.
Disera is wrapping up his final season as a junior. This fall, he is heading to the University of Guelph to major in water resources engineering, and he's hoping his school will be accommodating to his continued racing.
The young rider says that downhill and technical riding are his strengths in mountain bike racing. He found the world championship course in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa to be perfect for him. "My coach called it an 'elements course'. That means man-made technical features with smooth terrain in between. You can coast and rail turns and then switch on focus, do it and get out. I love that kind of stuff. I consider myself a good technical rider and when I don't have to be continually good technically, I find I do well."
Though still a junior, Disera already has plenty of riding experience. "I've been racing for six years, and it's the classic tale of moving my way up through the grassroots program and chasing the faster riders and the older guys. I still ride at Hardwood ski and bike weekly race series."
Disera was delighted to win the silver medal at cross country Worlds, one year after a heartbreaking experience. "I had a sort of devastating world championships last year in Austria. I ripped my tire off my rim on the third lap around. I had been sitting in the top 30 at the time."
But on the morning of this year's Worlds, Disera was optimistic. "I have this weird sixth sense about when something will go good or bad. The morning of the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup, I just had this feeling I would be putting two arms up going through the finish, and I ended up winning. Before Worlds, I wondered, 'why do I feel so crappy?', but then I remembered it was like how I felt before time trial nationals. I tend to get nervous when I know I have a shot at something."
After being awakened for doping control at 6:15 am, Disera got on to the business of getting ready to race at Worlds. "During my warm up, I felt like I was going to puke and I didn't feel well. Our first lap was tough. The second lap, my body was like, 'I know what we're doing' and I was ready to go."
"I just rode my own race and didn't deal with any of the attacks that were happening. I didn't get caught up in everyone else around me, but made sure my position was good. The other guys third through sixth places were really good on the climbs, especially when it got steep. I could do it on the flats and I was extremely good on the downhills. I tried to open up gaps where I could and hold gaps where I could. I thought I rode a pretty smart race."
With plenty of national and, more recently, international experience, Disera will be one to watch in the coming seasons.