Canada’s Miranda Miller Wins World Downhill Title
Cycling Canada – September 10, 2017 – Canada concluded the Mountain Bike World Championships in Cairns, Australia, on Sunday, with a world championship title for Miranda Miller of Squamish, BC, in the Elite women’s category. It is the first Elite Downhill world title for Canada since Cindy Devine won in 1990, the first year of the mountain bike world championships (and the year Miller was born).
The Elite women’s field suffered a blow when defending champion Rachel Atherton of Great Britain broke her collarbone in training. However, this left the door open to a new world champion to be crowned, and it was Miranda Miller, having the ride of her career, who took the rainbow jersey. Starting eighth from last, Miller had a clean run, and that proved to be the key when the favourites ran into problems. World Cup champion Myriam Nicole of France won the silver medal and Tracey Hannah of Australia the bronze. Vaea Verbeeck, Canada’s only other entrant in Elite women, finished 16th.
“It’s pretty crazy,” admitted Miller. “I don’t think it has sunk in yet. I feel like I had some luck on my side, but I’ll take it. It’s pretty cool. I’m sure in a couple days it will feel a bit different. I thought Tahnee (Seagrave) was going to knock me out. But I had some luck on my side for sure. When Myriam (Nicole) came down I thought ‘Oh, this is real’. For Canada, we haven’t had a [downhill] medal since Stevie [Smith, 2013] and Claire [Buchar, 2011], so it is cool. We got a medal in the Junior XC as well, so it’s great for Canada.”
Canada got off to a disappointing start for the day when defending Junior men’s champion and number one ranked Finnley Iles of Whistler, BC, crashed twice on his run to finish tenth. Matt Walker of Great Britain became the Junior men’s champion. Other Canadian Junior results were Kendall Mclean in 23rd, Ben Wallace in 25th, Jacob Stefiuk in 37th, Joshua Fultz-Veinotte in 41st, Anthony Poulson in 46th and Cole Mooney in 47th.
In the Elite men’s category, Canada’s top finisher was Samuel Thibault in 53rd, followed by Mark Wallace, ranked ninth but finishing a disappointing 54th after crashing near the bottom of the course.
Canada finished the world championships with two medals – Miller’s gold and Holden Jones’ bronze in the Junior men’s cross-country.
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Cycling Canada is the governing body for competitive cycling in Canada. Founded in 1882, Cycling Canada aims to create and sustain an effective system that develops talented Canadian cyclists to achieve Olympic, Paralympic, and World Championship medal performances. With the vision of being a leading competitive cycling nation by 2020 celebrating enhanced international success, increased national participation and world class event hosting, Cycling Canada manages the High Performance team, hosts national and international events and administers programs to promote and grow cycling across the country. Cycling Canada programs are made possible through the support of its valued corporate partners – Global Relay, Lexus Canada, Mattamy Homes, Louis Garneau and Bear Mountain Resort – along with the Government of Canada, Own The Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee.
Source: Cycling Canada
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