Emily Batty (Trek Factory Racing) won her second Elite national title on Saturday at the Canadian XCO Nationals in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, but it was tinged with a hint of regret that her rival Catharine Pendrel (Luna) was not there. Pendrel, the defending champion, decided to skip the Nationals to focus on her Olympic preparation.
"I was able to pull off a good result, but unfortunately Catharine decided not to race, and I was looking forward to that battle. We both have good form, and I'm coming off some good rides, so I was really looking forward to having the chance of going head-to-head. But I still had a great race, so I'm happy. It's been a few years since I've been here in Baie-Saint-Paul, so it was fun to be back. It's a unique course and you always have to be focussed."
The 5.9 kilometre circuit challenged both the technical skills and endurance of the riders, in hot and humid conditions. Riders had little chance to recover from the climbs before having to focus on the technical descents, covered in roots and rocks.
Batty, who will represent Canada at the Rio Olympic Games, came into the women's race as the favourite, after a bronze medal performance at the world championships two weeks earlier. She and Sandra Walter (Liv Giant) dropped the rest of the field on the first lap, and then Batty rode Walter off her wheel to record her second national title. Cindy Montambault (Equipe du Quebec) took the bronze medal.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Emily Batty (Can) Trek Factory Racing||0:28:35|
|2||Sandra Walter (Can) Liv Cycling Canada||0:01:25|
|3||Cindy Montambault (Can) Trek GPL||0:05:13|
|4||Haley Smith (Can) Norco Factory Racing||0:06:10|
|5||Rebecca Beaumont (Can) Cyclone D'alma / Marin Bikes||0:06:25|
|6||Mikaela Kofman (Can) Ridebiker/Liv||0:06:31|
|7||Jean Ann Berkenpas (Can) Team Giant Vancouver||0:06:47|
|8||Elyse Nieuwold (Can) PHI Hotel Group/P-K Express p/b Holiday Inn||0:08:29|
|9||Heather Gray (Can) Angry Johnny's CC||0:10:37|
|10||Maghalie Rochette (Can) Luna Pro Team||0:10:50|
|11||Marilyne Proulx (Can) Dalbix Sherbrooke||0:17:49|
|12||Chloe Cross (Can) Team Whistler||0:23:31|
|DNS||Laura Bietola (Can) Team Progressive p/b 3Rox / Maverix Racing|