A bigger Canadian presence will be felt this weekend as more Canadian mountain bikers will partake in the second UCI World Cup race of the 2012 mountain bike season, in Houffalize, Belgium. Relative to the first World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, the trip to Belgium is more manageable for more North American racers.
Max Plaxton will wear the Team Canada uniform in the men's elite race. Plaxton will be riding aside Geoff Kabush and Derek Zandstra, both racing for the Canadian Scott-3RoxRacing team.
In the women's race, Canada will once again be strong contenders for spots on the podium. Emily Batty (Team Subaru-Trek) started the season on a high note in South Africa, capturing her career first elite top three finish, while world champion Catharine Pendrel (Team Luna Pro) will be looking for the victory after grabbing the third place in the opening World Cup race of the season.
Olympic medallist Marie-Hélène Prémont (Team Rocky mountain-Maxxis) will be looking for a strong performance after a tough start to the season. Other Canadians will be Amanda Sin (Team Scott-3RoxRacing) and Catherine Vipond, the 2011 Canada Cup Champion, racing with Team Canada.
Canadian riders will also contest the junior and U23 categories. Frédérique Trudel will race in the junior women's race, while Marc-Antoine Nadon and Alexandre Vialle will race the junior men's race.
The cross country World Cup event in Houffalize will begin on April 14 with the U23 and junior women's races, and will end on Sunday April 15 with the elite races as well as the junior men's race.
The first-ever eliminator World Cup will be run on Friday, April 13
Canadian Contingent from Houffalize World Cup in Belgium
Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Rox Racing)
Max Plaxton (Team Canada)
Derek Zandstra (Scott-3Rox Racing)