After many months of planning, some wishful thinking, and a whole lot of paperwork, the team finally made it to Europe to kick off the 2021 Mountain Bike Race Season in Leukerbad, Switzerland, for a c1 level UCI Race.
Initially, we had plans to race the Bike The Rock, Huebach HC event on April 24th, but one day before our flights departed, the race got canceled. We had mixed emotions between disappointment and relief because we knew how much preparation and organizing we needed to do upon arrival in the EU. In the end, it all worked out as it gave us a whole week to spend in Koblenz, Germany, with the entire Canyon family dialing in the details for the upcoming races.
After a busy week of virtual high fives, product testing, bike fitting, and organizing a season worth of equipment from all of our amazing partners, we were off to Leukerbad, Switzerland, for the first mountain bike race of the year.
Despite having a nearly two-year hiatus from racing, both women jumped into full game face mode and fell into their regular pre-race prep routines. With new bikes and equipment, team infrastructure, and more, the ladies were flawless and managed to navigate the wintery weather conditions and altitude.
Emily Batty is slowly finding the form that brought her six consecutive podiums in 2018 and seemed to be smiling and enjoying every minute of it along the way. To her surprise, she exceeded her expectations. She battled for a top 5 position in an internationally stacked field for most race, only to have a slight mishap drop her to finish 7th position.
Laurie Arseneault, had a stellar performance, and moved up swiftly in a stacked field. 2020 saw Laurie transition from U23 to Elite during a time all North American events got canceled. The Leukerbad Swiss Cup, is her first race back in nearly two years and hosted a competitive field of international athletes with nearly 75 registered women. Her fitness and hard work showed as she moved through the field from a 65th call-up to a 31st finish.
We are over the moon excited for the new program and finally kick off the season smoothly and successfully. Of course, we need to dial in on a few more details, but we have accomplished so much in such a short amount of time and cannot wait to keep the good vibes rolling into 2021 and beyond and represent all of the brand's supporting our dream team.
Onward to the first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Albsdadt, Germany. Read more about the partners and sponsors that help make this team possible on our latest blog post - Meet The Partners of Canyon MTB Racing