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Canadian MTB Championships - CN

Whistler, BC, Canada, July 20, 2003

2002 Results    Results

Green & Premont don the maple leaf jersey

Report by Eric Wallace, Trek-Volkswagen Racing Team

Mixed expressions on the podium
Photo: © Team Subaru-Gary Fisher
Click for larger image

The weeklong Whistler Gravity Festival culminated with the Canadian National Championship races to award the white and red Maple Leaf jersey. As the self-professed free-ride capital of the world, Whistler built a custom tailored cross-country course that would prove the winner worthy of a national crown.

The women's race kicked off the Sunday morning elite racing day with four laps of the 7.5 km course. From the starting pistol reigning women's champ, Alison Sydor (Trek-Volkswagen) poured on the heat, sitting on newcomer Marie-Helene Premont (Oryx) with Chrissy Redden (Subaru-Gary Fisher) ccomfortably in third. These three women continued up the climb and into the technical single-track descent. Premont edged into a lead as Sydor missed a turn and fell back to third position. With Redden and Sydor working together, Premont continued to increase her time gap with a hard charging Trish Sinclair (Gears Racing) bringing up the fourth wheel. Into the fourth and final lap, Premont held a three-minute lead over Chrissy Redden, Alison Sydor and Trish Sinclair. Into the finish line, the newcomer, Premont claimed her first national title while Redden claimed silver and Sydor bronze.

The men's race started a mere minutes after the finish of the women's event. From the starting buzzer, Roland Green attacked off the front followed by Ryder Hesjedal (Subaru-Gary Fisher) and Seamus McGrath (Haro-Lee Dungarees). This lead group of three continued to gain time on the chase group, each lap adding 30-40 seconds. With three of the five laps completed, Green accelerated to test the legs of his group, immediately gaining a twenty-meter gap.

Through the feed zone climb and into the technical descent, Green's lead increased to a split of 81 seconds with less than a lap to go. McGrath suffered mechanical problems while Hesjedal continued the chase to the lead. Throwing caution to the wind, Geoff Kabush (Kona-Clarks Factory) powered past the ailing McGrath, pushing the pace in the race for the final podium spot. At the finish, Roland Green claimed his National Championship title followed by Ryder Hesjedal and Geoff Kabush.

Two silver medals for Subaru-Gary Fisher Team

Reporting by Ryan Atkinson, Team Subaru-Gary Fisher

In a race considered by many to be a preview of the World Championships, Canadaís top professionals battled this weekend in Whistler, BC for the Canadian National Championship. Among the favorites to win were Subaru-Gary Fisher athletes Ryder Hesjedal and Chrissy Redden. Both Canadian stars entered the race after a solid month of racing NORBA and World Cup events, and both passionately wanted to walk away from the weekend with the Maple Leaf jersey on their shoulders.

Hesjedal started the menís race on Sunday nursing wounds from a Saturday training crash. Ryder cursed his bad fortune for landing on the same side that he had injured crashing in his fourth place performance at the Grouse Mountain World Cup the week before. He didnít let his injuries slow him much as he charged off the front on the first lap with Roland Green and Seamus McGrath. These three riders battled for position before Green charged away with two laps to go. Hesjedal chased, but didnít have enough gas to bring back the World Champion. Ryder finished second place on the day.

The women lined up under the threat of rain, expecting to have a repeat of last weeks muddy World Cup. Although the rain held off, the race was still taken by storm by an attacking Marie-Helene Premont who swept past the rest of the womenís field on the first lap and never looked back. Chrissy Redden, who won the Canadian National Title in 2000, led the chase and earned a respectable Silver Medal for the dayís effort.

Results

Women
 
1 Marie-Helene Premont (Oryx)
2 Chrissy Redden (Subaru-Gary Fisher)
3 Alison Sydor (Trek-Volkswagen)
 
Men
 
1 Roland Green (Trek-Volkswagen)
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Subaru-Gary Fisher)
3 Geoff Kabush (Kona-Clarks Factory)