Chris Sheppard (Kamloops, BC/Rocky Mountain Bicycles) successfully defended his title at the 2011 Canadian Cyclo-cross Championships in Toronto, Ontario, today, while Emily Batty (Brooklin, ON/Subaru-Trek) took her first title in the category in the women’s Elite race, highlighting an exciting day of cyclo-cross racing.
In the men’s race, 2010 Champion Sheppard crossed the finish line with a time of 1:01:52, beating to the line Mark Batty (Brooklin, ON/Team SpiderTech) and Aaron Schooler (Edmonton, AB/H&R Block), who both sprinted in a tight race for the silver medal.
Sheppard, a former mountain bike specialist, was thrilled with his performance and the opportunity to wear the coveted Maple Leaf Jersey for the next 12 months. “It was a great race. It started fast right from the horn. I was starting to panic when, on the second lap, a group of 10 of us got together. The young guys were looking really strong. When Aaron Schooler bobbled in the wooded area I saw an opening and told myself it was time to go! As I got a gap half way through the race I just stayed in my zone and aimed for the line!”
Emily Batty, a four-time Canadian U23 Champion in mountain bike and rising star on the international scene, took the win in the women’s category, winning her career first Canadian elite title. “Mical (Dyck) and Pepper (Harlton) set a really fast pace. It was a lot of fun and its motivating going into my winter training. The crowd and atmosphere was energetic and it was great to see such a big spectator turnout. My new Trek cross bike was perfectly set-up and I appreciated its light weight on the climbs.”
Batty crossed the line with a time of 40:59, before Pepper Harlton (Edmonton, AB/Juventus), second, and Mical Dyck (Victoria, BC/Pro City Racing), third.
Evan McNeely (Kingston, ON/EMD Serono/Specialized) also successfully defended his title in the Men’s U23 race, showing a 16-second lead win over Jarred Stafford (Newmarket, ON/Ride with Rendall), and a 2:17 lead of Jeremy Martin (Boischatel, QC/Rocky Mountain Factory Team), second and third respectively. Yohan Patry (St-Jérome, QC/Ride with Rendall) won the Men’s Junior race.
The event was organized by ZM Cycling and Fitness in collaboration with the Ontario Cycling Association (OCA) and is sanctioned by the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA).