BOUCHARD FINISHES TOP-20 IN ELITE MEN AT MTB WORLDS
Cycling Canada – (Ottawa, ON – July 3, 2016) Canada concluded the 2016 Mountain Bike World Championships on Sunday, in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, with a top-20 finish in the Elite men category for Rio-bound athlete Leandre Bouchard of Alma, Quebec. In the Under-23 women’s competition, Catherine Fleury of Alma, Quebec, finished 22nd.
Fleury, who is racing for the first time after injuring her ankle in a crash at a German World Cup event in May, rode consistently around 20th all race, dropping a couple of spots in the last lap. Jenny Rissveds of Sweden was the winner. Other Canadian results include Frederique Trudel of Breakeyville, Quebec, in 25th, and Soren Meeuwisse of Orillia, Ontario, in 30th.
“I haven’t raced since Albstadt [World Cup], and with my ankle it was hard to run on some of the steep climbs. I gave everything that I had for today. I’m a little bit disappointed about my result and how I felt out there, but days like this happen, and for me it was today.”
Bouchard, who started well back in the men’s 104 rider field, moved into the top-30 on the start lap and then steadily took a few more spots each lap. Nino Schurter of Switzerland successfully defended his title, finishing five minutes and four seconds in front of Bouchard. Other Canadian results include Derek Zandstra of Trenton, Ontario, in 33rd, Andrew L’Esperance (Halifax, NS) in 53rd, Raphael Gagne (Quebec, QC) in 54th and Geoff Kabush (Courtenay, BC) in 68th. Evan McNeely (Kingston, ON) did not finish.
“It’s been my best year so far,” said Bouchard. “I was a little bit back at the start because of my plate number , but I am normally a good starter, so with the long start loop I knew that I could move up. It feels awesome to be in the top 20. The crowd here is so noisy it just makes you push and push. I’m really happy with this race.”
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