Cycling Canada is pleased announced the racers who will represent Canada at the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, in Austria, in both the downhill and cross country competitions.
The event will kick off with the downhill event on Saturday, September 1 with the official downhill timed session. The championships races for all downhill categories will happen on Sunday, September 2. The downhill races will be held in Leogang, Austria.
Canada will send 15 downhillers to the event. The team will be headlined by Canada's top-ranked rider Steve Smith. Claire Buchar, who won a bronze medal at last year's Worlds, will also be a top contender for Canada. Canadian Champions Furthermore, Matt Beer and Casey Brown will be among the Canadian contingent racing for top honours.
The cross country races will be held the following weekend, in Saalfelden, Austria.
On the women's side, 2011 world champion Catharine Pendrel will head the team and will be defending her title. Pendrel will be joined by 2012 Olympian Emily Batty and Marie-Hélène Prémont. All three riders are expected to be among the top contenders in Saalfelden. Sandra Walter and Amanda Sin will also compete for Canada in the elite women's race. The nation's women's team is currently the highest ranked team in the world.
The men's team will be led by Geoff Kabush, who recently posted Canada's best ever Olympic result in men's mountain bike - finishing eighth. He will be joined by Derek Zandstra who is fresh off a breakthrough victory at the most recent US Pro XCT. Raphael Gagné and Cameron Jette will also compete for Canada at the event.
2012 Olympian Max Plaxton elected not to compete at this year's championship due to injury. Downhill rider Rob Fraser is recovering from injury and will not attend this year's event.
Canadian team for the 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
Elite men cross country
Elite men downhill