Cyclo-cross shorts: Pendrel and Garrigan secure Canadian titles

Garrigan and Pendrel claim Canadian cyclo-cross titles

Mike Garrigan (Van Dessel) and Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team) captured the maple-leaf jerseys in their respective elite races at the 2014 Canadian Cyclo-cross Championships held at The Forks in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba on Saturday.

Pendrel, a two-time mountain bike world champion, made an early attack during the elite women's race and rode away from her main competitors to take a solo victory for a second consecutive season. Her Luna Pro teammate Maghalie Rochette was second and Sandra Walter (Liv Canada) was third.

In the elite men's race, Garrigan also made an early attack that at first seemed like a risky undertaking. A chase group formed that included five-time title holder Geoff Kabush (Scott-3RoxRacing), Michael van den Ham (Trek Red Truck), Evan McNeely (Norco Factory) and Aaron Schooler (Focus CX Team), who crashed on the first lap and couldn't regain contact with the medal contenders.

Garrigan held a seven-second gap as he rounded the last lap ahead of Kabush and Van den Ham. The two remaining chasers put in a big effort to try and catch Garrigan but it was too late and he soloed in for a victory. Kabush sprinted in for second and Van den Ham took third.

Team Manitoba's Danick Vandale won his first cyclo-cross title in the under-23 race from a two-up sprint to the line after a close battle with William Elliott (Team NCCH p/b DEC Express). Christopher Prendergast (Team H&R Block) finished third.

New faces top Gateway Cross Cup podiums

The Gateway Cross Cup saw a series of fresh faces on the podiums during the two sets of C2 races over the weekend. Jamey Driscoll (Raleigh-Clement) and Erica Zaveta (Amy D. Racing) won the first rounds of the elite men's and women's races at the Gateway Cross Cup on Saturday.

Driscoll crossed the line with the win by 15 seconds ahead of his teammate Ben Berden and Brian Matter (Team Wisconsin/Clif Bar) was third, 29 seconds back. Zaveta topped the women's podium after winning the race by more than 20 seconds head of Sunny Gilbert (Michelob Ultra/BigShark) and Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement).

During round two, it was Matter who took top honours with Driscoll and Berden settling for the remaining podium places. In the women's race, Gilbert took the win by a commanding 22 seconds ahead of Mani and 37 seconds to Courtenay McFadden (GE Capital).

Van der Haar and Compton lead UCI ranks

Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) and Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) are at the top of the UCI overall rankings after their victories at the World Cup openers in Valkenburg, Netherlands. The pair won the overall ranking during the 2013-2014 cyclo-cross season.

Compton has a total of 2,140 points and is leading the ranks ahead of Helen Wyman (Kona), who has 1,878 points and Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP), who has 1,820 points. A series of American riders are also in the top 20 including Elle Anderson in 11th, Meredith Miller (Noosa) in 12th, Kaitie Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocross) 15th and Crystal Anthony 20th.

Van der Haar is leading the elite men's standings with 1,825 points while Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) sits in second place with 1,648 points and Francis Mourey (FDJ) in third with 1,536. Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) is the top-placed American rider in 12 and his compatriot Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) is in 19th.

Merlier wins in Germany

Tim Merlier (Sunweb Napoleon) won the UCI C2 Cyclo-cross Cup de Sportregion Rhein-Neckar held on Saturday in Germany. The Belgium racer won a two-man sprint against runner-up Sascha Weber (Veranclassic-Doltcini) while Vojtech Nipl round out the podium in third place.

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