Who are we racing, each other, or the course?

Irina Kalentieva, Wolfram Kurschat, and Robert Mennen at the World Cup in Canada.  2nd Place for Irina

Well known and loved for its technically demanding trails, the Canadian organizers had gone one better, extended the east coast course and made it even more of a challenge.  To quote Wolfram “parts of it are unridable – will we be racing each other or the course?” he speculated.

Then, as if on cue at the start of the women’s race, the heavens opened and it began to pour it down.  Irina’s face lit up.  These are her preferred conditions and the former World Champ rode straight to the front of the field straight from the gun, sitting behind Catharine Pendrel (Team Luna).  At one point she slipped down to third place “my third lap was not great, but I was able to pull back third place, it was just such a tough race against the conditions and the course” Irina admitted following the finish.  She completed the race in 1hr39m13s to finish in second place.


By the start of the men’s race, the course had dried out a bit, however this wasn’t about to make it any easier.  Wolfram and Robert both suffered with non-perfect starts and then were blocked by the field.  The course, with its many technical trails, and rock gardens didn’t make it easy for the German National Champion.  The evening following the race, Kurschat explained “in one of the difficult sections, I lost my rhythm which meant I fell from the bike.  What shook me though was the two meter drop just in front of me.  Thankfully I didn’t fall there, but it shook me a lot.  I thought that a top 30 finish was on the cards, but following the crash I knew that wasn’t possible.”  Wolfram finished in 36th.


Mennen told of similar frustrations, “because of the poor starting position, as soon as it got to the singletrack I found myself in a log jam.  It was impossible to make my way forwards”, he finished the race in 54th position.


The second World Cup race in Canada starts this coming week.  The transfer to Bromont is on Wednesday were they plan to prepare for the race.


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