A wild Friday and weekend of mountain bike racing are best to summarize the men's and women's UCI cross country races in Nove Mesto Na Morave. The firey fast week began with the Women's XCC short track event, which saw Jenn Jackson claim her first, second-row start of the season, finishing in position fourteen.
It was all eyes on Sunday's main event as Laurie, Emily, and Jenn all prepared and dialed in the course and bikes for what was to be the first dry race in Nove Mesto in years. Suspension and tires were the names of the game for all the athletes - trying to find the balance between grip, protection, and making sure the bike was reacting well to the high-speed hits and rooty terrain.
A clean and consistent race is a quick way to summarize Laurie Arseneault's performance. Off to a flying start, she rode most of the race within the thirties to slowly fade and finish 43rd. A Glimpse of what she is capable of as a young talented racer as she continues to build for the latter half of the race season.
Jenn was off to a flying start in the cross country race, riding top 20 until the law of averages struck on lap two. Despite all the tire testing, dialing in lines through rock gardens, and suspension tuning, a rear flat saw Jenn roll back into the '60s only to claw her way back up and finish 34th place.
For Emily Batty, it was all about her long-term game plan to reach the front of the race later in the season. She executed clean and repeated laps, earning the captain consistency award over two weeks. Finishing just one spot off where she placed in Germany, 44th place was her day all buttoned up and very close to her goal for these past two rounds finishing 40th place.
The team will take a few weeks' hiatus from racing before they return for the fourth round of the UCI Cross Country Mountain Bike World Cup in Leogang, Austria. The stand-alone event will surely be exciting and continue to elevate the sport as both the men's and women's fields are deeper and more competitive than ever. Stay tuned for more updates from the Canyon MTB Racing Team.