Zandstra wins Canadian cross country national championships

Kabush earns silver medal while Plaxton takes third

Derek Zandstra (Scott-3Rox) took the first elite cross country title of his career at the Canadian National Championships on Saturday, at the Hardwood Mountain Bike Centre, one hour north of Toronto.

After energy-sapping temperatures in the mid-30s (degrees Celsius) and high humidity all week, thunderstorms blew through overnight Friday, knocking the temperature down to a more reasonable mid-20s and dampening down the dust which was choking riders during training. Organizers were out in the early hours removing downed branches and cleaning up the course before racing began. The six kilometre course won praise from riders for offering a a mixture of technical singletrack and open passing sections, with short, punchy climbs to separate out the potential winners.

The elite men's six-lap race was expected to be a showdown between Canada's top-two World Cup riders - two-time defending national champion Max Plaxton (Sho-Air/Cannondale) and six-time national champion Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox). The duo have both scored top-10 finishes in the World Cup this season.

Scott-3Rox had the numbers, and used them to great effect. Cameron Jette went out hard on the first lap, with Plaxton leading the chase while Zandstra and Kabush sat on. Once Jette was caught and dropped, Kabush went off the front, and Plaxton had to chase him down while Zandstra got a free ride. The race was down to these three riders by early in the second lap.

"Yeah, the wind came into play and there was a fair bit of drafting. They were just smart," agreed Plaxton. "I mean, if I had three or four teammates, we would have done exactly the same thing. I'm happy. I've won twice in a row, but I was third today. I'm extremely happy; overall it's been a great year. Hat's off to Derek, it was a great win for him."

"When Geoff went off, I was hoping for Raph [Gagne - Equipe du Quebec] to be an ally, but I don't think he was riding as strong today. So it was up to me against Derek and Geoff. It was a big effort to pull Geoff back, but I was feeling good. With a lap and a half to go, I wiped out in an off-camber corner and laid it down, and unfortunately that was it. Derek got a good gap and Geoff put on the brakes. Those guys were working tactics; brake checking here, blocking ... but it's a bike race, you expect it."

Zandstra went clear late in lap four, and steadily opened a gap on Plaxton and his shadow, Kabush. The Ontario rider, who had never won a national title to this point, was 15 seconds ahead by the end of the fourth lap and 30 seconds up as he started his final lap. Kabush then jumped Plaxton in the final lap to make it a one-two finish for Scott-3Rox.

"We had three strong guys in the field, so we used our strength and numbers to get that win," said Zandstra. "We wanted to get one of us at the top, and it worked out. It just turned out that it was my turn, I guess. When we caught back up [to Kabush], we played a little cat and mouse, and mistakes happen, and that's when we capitalized. It feels pretty awesome; I've always gotten second or third, so I'm pretty fired up to get the win. I've always wanted this title, ever since I was a Cadet, but it's always just been out of my grasp. I'm really happy to get the jersey."

Kabush said, "Derek really deserves it. This title will be great for him. To get that jersey was our main goal."

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Derek Zandstra (Scott - 3 Rox Racing)  
2Geoff Kabush (Scott - 3 Rox Racing)  
3Max Plaxton (Team Sho-Air/Cannondale)  
4Cameron Jette (Scott - 3 Rox Racing)  
5Peter Glassford (Trek Canada Mountain Bike Team)  
6Raphaël Gagné (Rocky Mountain Bicycles Factory Team)  
7Andrew Watson (Norco Factory Team)  
8Sébastien Cadieux-Duval (Garneau Québéc)  
9Mathieu Bélanger-Barre?e (Opus / OGC)  
10Jamie Lamb (Oakley Atlantic Racing)  
11Jean-Philippe Thibault-Roberge (CVM 2 VALS from Orford)  
12Matthew Martindill (from Owen Sound)  
13Jacob McClelland (AWI Racing)  
14Colin Daw (Fremont Bank Cycling Team)  
15Alex Lavertu (CVM 2 VALS/Stoneham+Tewkesbury)  
16Kelsey Krushel (TUF RACK Racing)  
17Luc Boily (CVM 2 VALS)  
18Kris Sneddon  
19Jon Winfield (Team Bikeland)  
20Vincent Lessard (Équipe Brunet)  
21Ryan Atkins (Apollo Bicycles)  
22Mark Winfield (Team Bikeland)  
23Tim Carleton (La Bicicletta Cycling Club)  
24Robin Wallar (Team Spoke O`Motion/Aurora)  
25John Cauchi (Rock and Road Cycling)  
26Jarrod Forrest (Rebec and Kroes Cycles)  
27Steve Prosser (Team Spoke O`Motion)  
28Simon Wagler (Two Wheel Racing)  
29Chris Fruetel (Trek Store C.C.)  
30Gavin Clark (Racing Greyhounds)  
31Tim Gale (Pedal Power Racing)  
32Corey Hakkers (Two Wheel Racing)  
33Michael Hermanovsky (from Richmond Hill)  
34Dave Reid (CSAJCC p/b Norco LG)  
35Jamie Wagler (Two Wheel Racing)  
36Mike Neilly (Caledon Hills Cycling Race Team)  
37Jonathan Cantin (CVM Subway Sigma)  
38Maxime Lemay (ADF Ultime Vélo)  
39Francis Therrien (ADF Ultime Vélo)  
DNFMarc-André Daigle (Garneau Québéc)  
DNFMatthew Farquharson (TUF RACK Racing)  
DNFErich Baumhard (Evolution Cycling Club)  
DNSAndre Landry (Fitworks)  
U23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mitchell Bailey (Trek Canada Mountain Bike Team)  
2Evan McNeely (Norco Factory Team)  
3Antoine Caron (Specialized Racing Canada)  
4Evan Guthrie (Norco Factory Team)  
5Jérémy Martin (Rocky Mountain Bicycles Factory Team)  
6Marc-Antoine Nadon (Scott - 3 Rox Racing)  
7Patrick Chartrand (Les Yables)  
8Andrew L`Esperance (Norco Factory Team)  
9Steven Noble (Opus / OGC)  
10Julien Gagne (Dalbix Sherbrooke)  
11Kevin Massicotte (Ride with Rendall)  
12Davis Ross (Team Bikeland)  
13Léandre Bouchard (Cyclone d’Alma)  
14Emmanuel Boily (Cyclone d’Alma)  
15Alexandre Vialle (Espresso Sports)  
16Quinn Moberg (Team Squamish/Corsa Cycles)  
17Samuel Tremblay (Rocky Mountain Bicycles Factory Team)  
18Daniel Varga (Opus / OGC)  
19Jon Slaughter (CSAJCC p/b Norco LG/Waterloo)  
20Alex Schmidt (Speedriver.com )  
21Vincent Belhumeur (Lessard Bicycles )  
22Corey Brioschi (ShortHills CC Race Team/Bolton)  
23Patrick Martin (Rocky Mountain Bicycles/Procycle)  
24Tyson Wagler (Two Wheel Racing/Shakespeare)  
25Jean-Daniel Boily (Cyclone d’Alma )  
26Bretton Matthews (Norco Evolution )  
27Stephan Boily (CVM 2 VALS )  
28Spencer Skerget (Team Yukon )  
29Felix Wilberg (Team Alberta : Cyclemeisters / Bow Cycle)  
30Scott Lynch (Two Wheel Racing)  
31Steven Turcotte (Lessard Bicycles)  
32Preston Wagler (Two Wheel Racing/Shakespeare)  
33Merlin Dallaire (Dalbix Sherbrooke)  
34Greg Van Moorsel (Reynold Cycle)  
35Anthony Barrette (Rebec and Kroes Cycles/Gatineau)  
36Ian Bagg (The Hub Race Team)  
37Trent Meyers (Caledon Hills Cycling Race Team)  
38Alex Lefebvre (Speedriver.com )  
39Elliot Galbraith (Centurion Development Canada)  
DNFAndrew Savard (Team Yukon)  
DNSJames Clarke (Caledon Hills Cycling Race Team)  
DNSÉtienne Tremblay (Cyclone d’Alma )  

 

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