Back to Maple

Emily Batty, me, Sandra Walter.
Photos by Marc Landry
This weekend I regained the right to wear the maple leaf on my Luna kit.  Being National Champion is something I have always cherished.  It was tough, not being able to challenge for it last year, but luckily Canada has another great Champion in Emily Batty who wore it well.  
Not much space between Emily and I for the first 3 laps. Photo Jeremy Allen
This year's battle for the Championship was fast and furious.  From the Start Emily, myself and Sandra Walter distanced ourselves from the field.  Within 10 minutes it was down to Emily and I duking it out.  When we entered the 2nd lap and there was no sign that Emily had any intention of getting dropped I started to wonder if and how I was going to be able to pull off the win. On lap 3 Emily surged to the front, I retook the lead, she countered and overtook me, it was awesome racing.  I knew I was going to have to make a big move to create separation so saved up and gave it everything into the Endo rock/Bone shaker section of the course.  Finally this did the trick and over the next 2.5 laps I was able to grow my lead to 45 seconds and claim the National Champion title once more.

One of the many features on course. Others included a gap jump, 2 rock jumps, several log hops, step ups and a rock garden...oh and some bmx.  It was a super fun course that never got boring.  It will be a great Pan AM Games 2015 at Hardwood Bike and Ski 
Not only was the course great but the spectators were amazing.  Such a welcoming and positive environment to race in!
 Huge congrats to Evan Guthrie on a Gutsy ride.  He charged to the front on lap 1 with Cam Jette and Raphael Gagne in tow and rode up there for all of 6 laps with the race favourites dangling 20-30 seconds back.  In the final lap he was caught, but finished a career best in 5th behind Winner Geoff Kabush, 2nd Derek Zandstra, 3rd Raphael Gane, and 4th Max Plaxton.

and that's my Keith who did a great job prepping Evan for Nationals and was a great team mechanic/manager for me this weekend!

National Champs from jr, U23 and Elite
L-R Quentin, Soren, Leandre, me, Geoff, Frederique, Marc Andre and Erica

Thanks to mom & Dad, Liz, Rick, Joan, Phil  and Ollie and Peggy for the family cheers!