World Championships – Norway style!!

Over the long Labour Day weekend, Mitch and Soren traveled all the way to Norway for this year’s World Championships.  After the long flight and some adjusting to the new time zone, it was course inspection time.  Lap after lap, this new course proved to be a physical and mental challenge, and one that required exception skill.  Tough climbs, tougher descents and no real place to rest and recover – this would be a battle to the end!

Soren’s first World Championships, and with no expectations other than “Try my best and have fun,” she was called up in 30th place with a great 2nd row start.

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A great first few laps and digging deep, Soren was working her way up the field and feeling strong, until bad luck caught her.  After making a pass and opting for the A-Line, her front wheel got stuck in a rock that sent her flying over the bars onto the roots and rocks.

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As all great racers do, her first thought was to get back on her bike and make up any lost time, and then assess damage to the bike and body.  Her body was bruised and she felt some pain in her wrist, and her Superfly wasn’t shifting so well any more.  Riding to get to the pits sent her chain into her spokes, forcing her to get off to yank it out.  After re-mounting, another hill saw the chain return to it’s jammed position, this time for good.  Choices: DNF or run…. so she ran!!

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After several sections of carrying her bike because the chain wouldn’t let the wheel spin, she finally made it to the pits where the Team Canada mechanics were able to get it running again.  Back in the saddle, Soren fought her way back towards the front again, coming across the finish line in 28th spot – not too bad considering what she had to overcome!

So one purple cast, two tired legs and many lessons learned, Soren is back home for some much deserved rest and recovery.

soren cast

Mitch has attended the World Champions several times, and was hoping to overcome the bad luck from last year (he was struck by a car during his warm up ride suffering minor injuries and a broken bike.)  A good call up position and a member of a strong Canadian U23 team that included 4 other Canadians, Mitch was off the line strong and fighting his way up the dusty road.

Mitch climbing

Mitch has a great way of riding consistent laps and keeping the pressure on, so he worked his way up to 17th position half way through the race.  The rough course then made it’s first attack on Mitch, flatting his tire and forcing him to also visit the Pit Zone.

Mitch side

It’s always hard to re-motivate yourself after an unplanned stop, but Mitch is a fighter and returned to a state of “Full Gas.”  He continued to work his way back towards the middle of the pack until he also had a significant crash.

Mitch crash sequence

It took a while to get his legs back under him, but Mitch was able to hang on and come across the line in 31st position – an improvement from last year but not an ideal end to his U23 career.

Mitch descending

With the 2014 season behind them, it’s time for these 2 youngsters to get back to school before preparing to do it all over again!!

Ride for Karen – a Great Cause!!

This coming weekend (September 7th) is the annual Ride for Karen charity ride that benefits children with cancer by helping send them to summer camps in the Muskoka region.  It is a great event that was started 14 years ago by members of the Trek Family (Kirk and Kris Tobias) after the passing of their mother.  Since it’s humble start, the ride has grown into an event that draws over 300 riders and generates $200,000+ every year.  2013 saw the Ride surpass the $2Million mark – an amazing accomplishment and a lot of great memories for kids!!

This year, since the RFK does not conflict with the OCup schedule, Jon will be able to attend the event again.  The rest of our riders will be at Worlds, in San Fran, or the US, but that does not mean we don’t still believe in the event.

If you would like more information about the Ride, or would like to join us for a great day, please check our the link HERE.

Ride for Karen 2012

To help support less fortunate kids who will benefit from the RFK, please sponsor Jon.  Secure on-line donations can be made HERE.

JB RFK

Any and all support is greatly appreciated, with 100% of money raised going directly to the children.

Rain, shine, wind or cold, the Ride for Karen is always a high class event with many great sponsor (including the Trek Store), run by good friends, and with the purpose of “Riding Hard Building Hope.”

Crankworx, Midland and….. ??

The last couple weeks has seen Trek Canada prepare for a variety of different events from a  variety of it’s riders.  With World Championships on the horizon, that is the #1 goal for Mitch and Soren, but they also have a few things to accomplish before getting on a plane.

Mitch has been polishing his training after the 2 North American World Cups down in San Francisco, enjoying the warm sunshine, ocean breezes, and school prep so that the start of September can be an easier transition from the bike to the desk.

Soren used the Midland OCup as a building block for Norway also.  Rather than race her normal Junior Expert category, her coach had her race with the Cadet boys to give her someone to chase.  He also threw in a few “race challenges” for her, pulling her off her bike to make her run the hill, do push-ups or deal with a “flat tire.”  Mentally and physically she is fine tuning her skills, and it will be a great chance for Soren to display her skills on the biggest stage that mountain biking has to offer.

Midland 140Jon also raced the Midland OCup, and was glad to get out on the course Friday before the massive rain storm on Saturday forced pre-riding to be cancelled.  The course actually dried up really well for the afternoon races, and Jon found himself off the front several times, only to have his lead eaten away by lapped riders.  On the last lap though, he was able to put in one last hard effort after a crash to get the gap that held to the end.

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Post Podium, Jon joined in with a few other “Masters” let’s call them, to take part in a Retro Ride.  The group broke out their oldest bikes, clothes, glasses, shoes and 90’s Dream Parts.  Thanks to Dathan for the  bike, we hope you saw how much attention it drew.

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Peter was out racing in B.C. this past week.  He and his girlfriend Molly quickly found themselves on the Ryan Leech Podcast (LISTEN)

The Canada Cup finals at Whistler were on Friday over a rocky course and hard fought battle with Norco’s Andrew L’esperance who had a late race crash allowing Peter to claim the 5th spot on the podium .
There was minimal time for celebration Friday night as, after the initial date was cancelled earlier in the summer,  Canadian Marathon MTB Nationals had been rescheduled for early Saturday morning . An extra bottle cage, a few more tools and Clif Shots and day 2 of racing went off hard with many of Canada’s best endurance racers on the line. Kona’s Kris SNeddon and Cory Wallace were the favorites and animated the race from the start, eventually getting the best of Canadian XCO champ Geoff Kabush and putting over 24 min into Peter who was happy to roll in for 6th.
Karlee has had some recurring problems from her crash at Nationals, with post concussion symptoms causing her to take some time off the bike and rest.  She has returned to her hometown of Winnipeg for some Family Time, and we look forward to her healthy return shortly.
Thanks to those who were able to make a donation to Soren’s Norway cause – your help is appreciated.
Keep posted to more stories and photos about Worlds and the rest of Trek Canada’s exciting adventures!!!

Help Soren get to Norway!!

After what is turning out to be an amazing year as a first year Junior racer, Soren has qualified for to represent Canada at the World Championships in Norway!!!  This is an amazing achievement and the result of hours and years of committment to the blood, sweat and tears that are the Mountain Bike Badges of Honour.  Since she was a young girl riding and skiing the trails of Hardwood Hills, she has finally reached the first step of her hard earned dream.

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And now she needs your help.  To help compensate for some of the cost of the trip, Soren has been selling food at the weekly races, cutting grass, washing dishes, babysitting and whatever else she can think of to pay for this trip.

If you would like to be part of Soren’s support team, please follow the link HERE to her fundraising page.  Any and all help is greatly appreciated by Soren, and is just one more reason why Trek Canada loves it’s fans!!

Milky Soren

Be part of something great…. be part of Trek Canada!!

Playing at the Big Shows

These last couple weekends have seen Trek Canada riders challenge themselves on some of the biggest stages in the Mountain Bike World.  With World Cup races at Mont Ste Anne and Windham New York, as well as Canada Summer Games happening at the same time, it was a time to focus and perform.

For Mitch, Mont Ste Anne has a history of winning the battle, and unfortunately this year continued that trend.  A good start on a course that many describe as the toughest on the World Cup circuit, Mitch worked hard to pick off the racers that started too hard.  At the top of the climb, and at the furthest distance from the tech zone, Mitch made a pass that resulted in a flat tire on the descent.  Running a bike in cycling shoes is not only humbling but also painful, but that is what Mitch had to do in order to continue moving before ultimately being pulled by officials.  Windham’s World Cup would be a different story though, with Mitch feeling and riding like he did in the earlier World Cup races.  This year’s course included a huge amount of climbing, making it a challenge for all racers.  A clean start, strong climbing and a well paced race left Mitch breaking away from a group of chasers to finish in a strong 12th position.

MB Windham

Peter also made the trips out to MSA and Windham New York, his first World Cup races of the year.  With no UCI points, which leads to late call-ups, Pete had to work hard and ride consistently to pick his way through the strong field of the world’s best.  Making his way through the field at MSA in the heat, Pete ended up getting pulled by officials with 2 laps to go.  Windham found Pete in a better call-up position, although a fast start and short punchy hills weren’t a match for Pete’s riding style.  Never one to give up, Pete continued to fight hard and chase down riders before finally getting pulled with 1 lap remaining.

Windham World Cup

Karlee was also at the World Cup races, although her first stop at MSA proved to be a tough one.  The course’s features, such as the infamous Beatrice, are difficult for the riders at the front of the group, while most riders near the middle are forced to run them.  It was a disappointing DNF for Karlee before some more training and then heading off to Windham.  Still being a little beat up from MSA, Karlee chose to race the Eliminator at Windham, making it through the qualifying rounds and chasing down a 15th final position.

KG Short track

Soren was also racing last weekend, but at the Ontario Summer Games in Windsor.  With her Mountain Bike power, she was able to easily win the MTB Time Trial, and also pull away from the field in the Mountain Bike race…. 2 for 2.  The MTB relay is always a fun event to ride and watch, and Team BOMS finished up in 3rd overall.

SM CSG MTB

The Road Time Trial was next, and since Soren doesn’t race road, she just went out and hammered her way to a 4th place finish.  Stepping up to the line in her first official road race, Soren wasn’t sure what to expect, and just rode hard throughout the race.  Staying in contact for the end, she was able to get in on the sprint to finish up a strong 2nd in her age group.  A lot of races in a short amount of time, and an impressive showing from a girl with a lot of potential.

SM CSG Roadie

 

Next up for Trek Canada is a local Ontario Cup race in Midland, the Crankworx Canada Cup in Whistler… and some well deserved rest!!

Nationals Picture Party and more Good News!!

So a week has passed and Nationals is in the books, but the Superfly’s don’t stop rolling!!  A couple days of rest and we’re looking ahead…

Soren took the chance to head down to Vermont for the USCup Catamount Classic to show off her Maple Lead Jersey and test out the US competition.  With a strong Canadian contingent in the group, it turned out to be a full Canadian Podium, with Soren on the top step once again.  Soren is still also floating on Cloud 9 for making the World’s Team selection, and this only builds her confidence.

Soren arms up

Time to celebrate!!!

Soren selfie

Podium Selfie from Catamount Classic USCup

Karlee took the opportunity to put on her NCCH Road jersey and race with the Women’s Road Team at Ontario Provincials.  A rolling course and a tough group for the Elite women meant there was a lot of work to do, and Karlee was in the mix from start to finish.  Doing her part to help the Team, and still trying to get a strong finish, Karlee came across the line in a respectable 14th spot.

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Starting the Gravel Grind

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The Grunt is always tough

Mitch got some great news this past week – he’s also made the World’s Team!!  After his impressive season and great performance at Nationals, he too will be spending the next month preparing for Norway.

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Perfect form on the Boneshaker!!

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Resting and Planning his move

Peter and Jon … nothing exciting this week – but still a couple of great guys!!

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Looking so Pro…

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Working his way towards the front

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Focused and attacking for the whole race

Nationals 236Looking forward for more people to chase

Keep checking back for more info about the Team as we work through the second half of the season and re-focus on our new Goals.

Trek Canada – Mixing it up at Nationals!!

This past weekend was one of Trek Canada’s biggest (and most successful!!) weekends of racing so far this year.  After several weeks of training on the course and learning all of it’s features, we were all prepared to test our fitness and chase the Maple Leaf Jersey.

Under perfect racing conditions, the weekend started off with Soren and the Junior Expert women.  After a great race in Sudbury, and countless hours on the course, Soren had a race plan in mind and stuck to it.  A strong start got her to the first piece of singletrack in second position, and she quickly took the lead on the following climb.  After gaining a small gap, Soren laid down the power and started to build her gap to what would end up being well over a minute by the end of the race.  Crossing the finish with her arms in the air and a huge smile on her face, Soren not only won the National Championship in her first year as a Junior, but also qualified for the World Championships in Norway this fall.  One quick day of celebrating is all she can afford… there’s still a lot of work to do!!

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In the Elite Women’s race, it became quite clear quite quickly that Emily and Catherine Pendrel were the class of the field, getting a gap on the remaining ladies.  Pushing a pace that Emily described as a “top 5 World Cup pace,” the 2 riders matched each other’s attacks until Emily let a small gap form with a lap to go.  Still chasing valiantly, she came across the line in second place, to the loudest cheers of the day.

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The field of women also included Trek Canada’s Karlee Gendron, who had a great start to be in contact with some World Cup racing women throughout the first lap.  Unfortunately, washing out on a downhill corner before a rock gap sent Karlee tumbling through the trees in a crash that made spectators gasp and hold their breath.  As a testament to her committment to racing, Karlee picked herself up, brushed herself off and clipped back in, doing her best to clear the fog from hitting her head and work through the battered muscles.  In the end though, Karlee made the wise choice to abandon the race to prevent further injury after being unable to re-focus and ride safely.

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The Elite Men’s field contained more than a few World Cup racers, and all of them were eager to display their power and skills on the challenging course.  Right from the start, small groups were formed while other riders made alliances to bridge the gaps and get back into contention.  All the riders in the top 20 were giving their all, planning tactics and throwing caution to the wind.  Adam Morka was stuck in No-Man’s-Land for much of the race, chasing down two groups of 3 riders just ahead of him.  After leading out much of the first lap, Adam settled in to a pace that did not get him closer to the leaders, but kept him away from any chasers.  At the line, an exhausted Adam came across with a strong 6th place finish.

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Peter also found himself in a chase group behind the leading groups, and was the driving force for much of the race, catching riders that had faster starts before dropping them from the group with his ruthless pace.  Starting the second lap outside the top 15, Peter worked hard to bridge up to a larger group before working his way to the front and riding them off his wheel.  Only one other rider was able to stick with Peter during this onslought of power and skill, and it was a race to finish for the pair.  It’s always impressive to see Peter race, and we can all learn from his skills, consistency, focus and execution of a race plan.  Congratulations to Peter for finishing up in 10th position.

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Just behind the Elite Men were the U23 men, and this year’s group contained many very fast racers who were in their last year of the category.  With Mitch defending his Jersey, and many other wanting to take it from him, the race had a very fast start.  Again, it was very clear that Mitch and Leandre Bouchard were the 2 to watch, with the pair of rivals (and friends) battling hard as they took turns at the front.  Several other talented racers tried to chase, but they were no match for the two leaders.  With a lap to go, Leandre made the decisive move, getting a small gap on Mitch that would eventually be the difference between the riders.  Never one to concede a race, Mitch fought hard right to the line to keep the gap small, finishing a very exciting race in 2nd position.

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With the Big Dogs done their races, the Sunday races featured the Relay and Master racers.  Several Trek racers took part in the fast and exciting relay before Jon hit the trails for his chance at the Jersey that eluded him last year.  With an aggressive plan in mind, Jon survived the usual Faster Master Start to come out of the first singletrack and take the lead, and never looked back.  After getting a small gap on his main rivals, he focused on staying strong and fast, attacking every hill and saving nothing for later.  A small gap extended into a large gap, and Jon had to use the field of 30-39 Masters, that started 2min ahead, as motivation for his chase.  To cheers from all around the course, Jon caught all but the winning 30-39 racer, coming across the line over 3min ahead of second place.  A great race from start to finish lead Jon to regain his National Champion title.

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With one of the Team’s major goals now complete, Trek Canada is now looking at the rest of the year, which includes World Cups at Mont Ste Anne and Wyndham, as well as a few more Ontario Cups, road races, Crank the Shield, Ride for Karen… and probably a few Cross races in there too!!!

We would all like to thank not only the fans that came to support us along the track, but also those who could not attend.  We appreciate your thoughts and encouragement.

We are very proud to represent the Trek Store, Trek Bikes, 2XU Compression, ClifBar and ESI Grips.  Keep posted for a Nationals Picture Party coming soon!!