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Solid performance by Canada in Comm Games MTB

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Bisaro and Premont

Bisaro and Premont (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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McGrath instigated

McGrath instigated (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Marie-Hélène Prémont (Château-Richer, QC) took gold, and Kiara Bisaro (Courtenay, BC) and Seamus McGrath (Waterdown, ON) bronze in the women's and men's mountain bike cross country races, held under extreme temperatures in Lysterfield National Park in Melbourne, Australia. Canada performed well as a nation, taking three medals out of four athletes entered.

The women were up first and Marie-Hélène Prémont gave a commanding performance, leading the race from start to finish and widening her lead with every lap of the six kilometres circuit. Prémont, Canadian champion and Olympic silver-medallist, took the gold in a time of 1:55,31. "It was a very good race today considering that this is the start of the season for the Canadians," said the 28-year old. "My legs felt good and I was able to execute my plan of pushing the pace from the start." "The heat was intense, about 30C, good chance that I liked it!"

Kiara Bisaro (Courtenay, BC) crossed the line in third place behind New Zealand's Rosara Joseph to round out Canadians on the podium. Bisaro (31) a regular top-10 finisher on the World Cup circuit, battled for a couple laps in second place, but the heat factor played a role in her case and she settled for bronze with a time of 1:57,59.

"We came here to a wide open field not really knowing how the rest of the girls would be like to race against," said Bisaro. "The sun and heat really got to me today and I just didn't have what it took to finish second, but I'm super happy with the bronze. I had fun on the course today and I'm looking forward to the next World Cup race."

On the men's side, Seamus McGrath (Waterdown, ON) finished with the bronze medal behind the two English riders: Liam Killeen and Oli Beckingsale. McGrath said he enjoyed the fast course: "I felt really good at the start of the race and I knew right away this was going to be the kind of race where I would have to pick my spot. The two English riders had numbers on me in the last lap, and with the sun and the heat, I just didn't have it left in my legs to get to the line first."

Geoff Kabush (Courtenay, BC), who was the early favourite, said that he just didn't get into the race today. He finished in 11th spot and was disappointed.

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