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Smith and Gatto win Canadian downhill championships

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Wallace races to junior national title

Steve Smith on his way to winning the 2013 Canadian downhill title

Steve Smith on his way to winning the 2013 Canadian downhill title

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Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing), the king of downhill in Canada ranked third in the UCI World rankings and second on the UCI World Cup rankings, added another title this weekend to his credentials; Canadian Champion. Under bright blue skies at the Panorama Mountain Resort, Canada's top downhillers raced for Canadian titles in all age categories, from Cadet to Masters.

Smith, who won two UCI World Championships medals for Canada and three top three performances on the UCI World Cup tour in his career, took part at these championships thanks to the UCI approval for the Canadian National Champion to wear a national champion sleeve instead of the full national champion jersey.

He posted the top qualifying time in Saturday's seeding run, was the last to go in Sunday's final race, and he posted a time of 2:24.22 despite facing a challenging and deteriorated course. Kyle Sangers (J&J Cycle) crossed the line in second place, while Sidney Slotegraaf (Tuf Rak Racing) came third.

"I am happy to have won this race. There was a lot of pressure on me today as everybody expected me to win, it was kind of tough. I haven't been to this race in six years, and now that the rule has changed to a sleeve, we were all stoked to come out and still be able to support our sponsors," said Smith.

"I am pretty much going there to win everything. I really want to win. Last year, a second or third was an accomplishment. This year, it's the win that I am going there to do. I am moving on from where I was in Italy and progress from there," said Smith. "I want to thank all my sponsors, and Cycling Canada for working to get the new sleeve rule approved. It's been a good race here at Panorama, and a good time. It was such a good course and a good race."


In the women's elite race, it was a three-way race between the top qualifiers Micayla Gatto, the 2010 Canadian Champion and two-time World Championships medallist, Miranda Miller, two-time Canadian Championships medallists, and Lauren Rosser, the 2010 World Junior Champion.

In practice after the seeding runs, the defending Canadian Champion Casey Brown broke her collarbone, and did not start today's race.

On race day, it was Gatto who came out the fastest of the group, posting a time of 2:48.43, winning her third career title.

"It was a good day, a good competition. The track was really challenging. The crew made some good improvements from previous years," said Gatto. "All the top Canadian girls were here today. It was a very tight race, all the girls killed it.

"They made some good changes to the course. They took out an uphill section which was nice. They also added a bit more technical sections, which I am used to riding on the north shore. I like the fast, technical courses. Having support helps me achieve my best, with my boyfriend and family here really helped."

Rosser climbed on the second step of the elite women podium in her first race of the season, while Millar took third place.

Junior men

In the men's junior race, all eyes were turned on youngster Mark Wallace (Devinci Global Racing), who has been riding strong this year on the UCI World Cup tour. Wallace did not disappoint, taking the title with a run of 2:34.06. Hugo Langevin (Équipe du Québec-Cycles Performance-Niquet) improved from fourth in the qualifiers to finish second, while McKay Vezina took third.

"Glad to get the Canadian title. It's always nice to show off the country we live in and its colours. The day went pretty well, the run was going good. I clipped a tree and took a bit of a wobble," said Wallace, the 2012 Canada Cup Series Champion. "To me, this was just another race trying to do as well as I could. Definitely, when things are going good, you want to keep it like that. There are a lot of people to thank. My family, Devinci Global Racing and steve who have all helped me so much."

Cadets and others

In the cadet categories, Magnus Manson (Dunbar Cycle) won the title with a very fast time of 2:41.82, with Nic Rodgers and (Dunbar Cycle) coming in second and Carter Paschinski (AFD Factory Racing) in third.

D'Arcy O'Connor (Master 30-39), Ryan Kuhn (Masters 40-49) and Derek Diedrickson (Masters 50+) also won the Canadian titles in their respective categories.

This Canadian Downhill Championships has been held three times in the last four years at Panorama Mountain, and the resort in British Columbia is slated to organize the event in 2014 as well.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Steve Smith (Devinci Global Racing) 0:02:24.22  
2 Kyle Sangers (J&J Cycles) 0:00:04.28  
3 Sidney Slotegraaf (Tuf Rack Racing) 0:00:05.59  
4 Kirk McDowall 0:00:06.96  
5 Rob Fraser (Tuf Rack Racing) 0:00:07.44  
6 Julien Laramée (Equipe du Québec, Cycle Neron. Specialized) 0:00:08.13  
7 Forrest Riesco 0:00:08.22  
8 Samuel Thibault (Equipe du Québec, Lama Cycles, Maaxx) 0:00:11.64  
9 Dean Tennant 0:00:12.18  
10 Nick Grimm 0:00:12.24  
11 Adriano Digiacinto 0:00:12.65  
12 Nicholas Geddes (Norco Factory Team) 0:00:12.98  
13 Sheldon Smith 0:00:13.10  
14 Bryden Rigets (Cycle Component Network) 0:00:13.22  
15 James Frost (Sweet Petes, Primary Sram Trek) 0:00:14.14  
16 Cameron Porteous (Dunbar Cycles) 0:00:15.54  
17 Kip Shortreed 0:00:16.80  
18 Benoit Rioux (Equipe du Québec/Xprezo Borsao) 0:00:17.06  
19 Braeden Onciul (Xpress Racing) 0:00:17.07  
20 Phillipe Ricard (Lamar Cycles, Maaxx) 0:00:17.39  
21 Luke Stevens 0:00:18.02  
22 Anthony Evans 0:00:18.62  
23 Cody MacArthur 0:00:18.74  
24 Robert Venables (Dunbar Cycles) 0:00:19.72  
25 Cody Ratte (Calgary Cycle Race Team) 0:00:19.82  
26 Garrett MacIntosh (Dirt Addiction) 0:00:22.22  
27 Matt Nielsen (Primary Racing) 0:00:22.30  
28 Grant LeStock-Kay (Cowichan Cycles Cartel) 0:00:22.91  
29 Tyler Allison 0:00:24.16  
30 Dexter Robson (Experience Cycling) 0:00:25.10  
31 Daniel Banks (Xpress Racing) 0:00:30.61  
32 Alexander MacMillan (MacMillan Racing) 0:00:31.84  
33 Evan Blackwell (Thebase Race Team) 0:00:33.10  
34 Taylor Rowlands 0:00:37.94  
35 Camerom Starcheski (Xpress Racing) 0:00:39.38  
36 Remi Gauvin 0:02:25.53  
DNF Ben Porteous (Dunbar Cycles)    
DNF Matthew Beer    
DNS Jamie Biluk    
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Micayla Gatto (Cycling BC) 0:02:48.43  
2 Lauren Rosser 0:00:03.49  
3 Miranda Miller (Cycling BC) 0:00:04.99  
4 Vaea Verbeeck 0:00:05.85  
5 Jamie Hill (CCN) 0:00:18.88  
6 Danice Uyesugi (Cycle Component Network) 0:00:37.81  
7 Kristen Courtney (Adrenalineracer / To Wheels) 0:00:46.74  
DNS Casey Brown (Team Dirt Norco)    
Junior men 17-18
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Mark Wallace (Devinci Global Racing) 0:02:34.06  
2 Hugo Langevin (Equipe du Québec, Cycles Performance, Niqu) 0:00:00.35  
3 Mckay Vezina 0:00:01.28  
4 Alexander Geddes (Norco Factory Team) 0:00:01.69  
5 Lee Jackson (Norco Factory Team) 0:00:01.99  
6 Matt Hardwick 0:00:02.28  
7 Jack Iles 0:00:05.57  
8 Chris Bennett (Thebase Race Team) 0:00:08.49  
9 Jayson Giorio 0:00:10.44  
10 Sebastian Lutz 0:00:12.41  
11 Mitchell O'Keefe (Team Alberta/Pivot Death Grip) 0:00:14.38  
12 Benjamin Despres-Morin (Equipe du Québec) 0:00:15.35  
13 Wyatt Kelln (Team Alberta/AFD Factory Racing) 0:00:16.92  
14 Bowen Irvine 0:00:17.90  
15 Jeremy McDowell (Team Alberta/WinSport Academy) 0:00:19.17  
16 Hayden Genoud (Team Alberta/Derailed Sports) 0:00:25.33  
17 Eric Smeeton 0:00:25.46  
18 Tyler Gresson (Xpress Racing) 0:00:27.06  
19 Dylan Hoover 0:00:32.27  
20 Thomas Corsiatto (CABC DH Division) 0:00:33.72  
21 Nik Dunn 0:00:34.61  
22 Etienne Heyburn 0:00:35.23  
23 Dakota Boyer (Calgary Cycle) 0:00:35.86  
24 Filip Glazer (Winsport Academy Mountain Bike Club) 0:01:00.66  
25 Benjamin Yeager (Prince George Cycling Club/RUCKUS) 0:01:23.76  
DNS Stuart Dickson    
Junior women 17-18
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Kirby McLean (AFD Factory Racing) 0:03:34.11