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.

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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.

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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.

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Time to celebrate!!!

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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!!

Rocks and Mud at Sudbury Canada Cup

This past weekend involved a long drive to the great white Sudbury for the third round of the Canada Cup Series.  A punishing course full of rocks, roots, hills and some soggy bark chips that stole the power from your legs, was a true mountain bike test for all riders.  Trek Canada’s full team made the trip, including Guest Rider Adam Morka and our favorite alumni Emily Batty.  After settling into the hotel and heading out for Team Thai dinner, it was time to put the feet up and get ready for the battle.

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The first race of the day saw the Elite men and women as well as the Junior men and women – so most of our Team!!

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In the Elite Men’s race, the pace right from the line was Full Throttle with all the top contenders looking to lead and force mistakes by those who followed.  Mitch led a small chase group and worked hard all the way around the tough and hilly lap to bridge the gap, with Peter leading another chase group just behind.  Both riders gave it their all and fought for everything they could, doing their best to stay in control of the course and the riders who tried to hold their wheels.

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Always a force to be contended with, Adam started with the fast paced lead group and used his seated power to drive through the rocks and roots.  Although he doesn’t race very often, Adam is always in the mix, and uses his race strategy to maximize his results and minimize errors.

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In the end, Adam concluded the race with a great 6th place finish, Mitch came across the line in a solid 7th place and Peter finished up in 12th. Great work by all riders to not only lead the chase, but also finish ahead of the riders who followed.

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Soren had an amazing race, using the opening doubletrack to draft her way up to the front of the line before choosing her spot to break away.  Her smooth riding and powerful climbing allowed her to consistently build her gap after breaking free at the end of the first lap.  Passing many of the Junior Men and using them as a motivational goal to continue pushing hard, Soren came across the line with her first Junior Canada Cup Victory!!

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In the Elite Women’s race, it became clear that Emily and Sandra Walters would take charge of the race, extending their lead over the rest of the field within a lap.  After putting in a solid effort to get some space, Emily powered away from Sandra to come across the line clear by over 1m30s, and in fine form to defend her National’s Jersey next weekend.

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Also in the field was Karlee, who benefited from a great start and used the open power double track to her advantage.  A few small mistakes quickly cost a few places that forced Karlee to chase hard over the rough rocks and roots on a course that demanded full concentration. Another strong race for Karlee as she finishes up her prep for Nationals next weekend.

Sudbury 130Later in the afternoon, once the course dried a bit more after some night time rain, Jon hit the course for his race.  With no-one willing to take the lead off the line, Jon wound it up and started to take charge.  After chasing down an early rider who took a “flier,” it was once again Jon and Rob Holmgren at the front, with Jon putting in some good efforts and getting small gaps on the descent.  Last year, Jon suffered a flat within the last 1km of the race, and this year it was his competitor who flatted half way through the second lap.  With Nationals in his mind, Jon continued to push hard over the rough rocks and tough climbs to build a good lead before bringing it home safely (and with air in his tires) for the second win of the day for Trek Canada.

A quick pack up before getting back on the road to head south and home before a big weekend for the Team at the National Championships.  Keep posted for more information, and come on up to Hardwood on Wednesday July 16th for a Meet and Greet / Ride with the Pros starting at 5:30.  The Team will also be around for weekend if you want to stop by and say Hi, and be sure to cheer us on as we take on the course and the best racers in Canada for the Red and White Jersey!!

Trek Canada would like to thank it’s sponsors for their continued support, and we could not do what we do without the help of Trek Bikes, ESI Grips, Clif Bar, 2XU, ProGold and SRAM.

The start of a great thing

Trek Canada has been the destination for many riders coming from the Team Hardwood Trek program located just north of Toronto.  It’s a great program that starts kids at a young age riding, building skills, racing and most importantly – having fun and making friends!!  It is a program that many of our riders have come through and are still involved with.

Soren is fresh from THT and spent many years developing her skills and taking advantage of the amazing coaches.

Peter is involved by coaching the Gold Athletes, and has developed their race fitness, tactics and skills.

Mitch also spent numerous years involved in the program and has helped many of the younger athletes through camps and guest coaching.

Jon was also a member of the program for several years, and is currently putting his own kids through THT’s Bronze Race program which helps kids learn to race, train and have fun on their bikes.

Many of the best racers in Ontario and Canada have been involved in THT along their progress, including Emily Batty, and the program has received an extra boost of financial support from the Trillium Foundation to expand on coaching certification and program development.

Below is a video outlining some of Trek Canada’s athlete’s memories and opinions on THT, and some of the great things they do with the athletes.  It’s a great way to get youth involved with the sport and loving being active outdoors!!