Marie-Helene Premont had a fantastic start to her season with a third place at the first World Cup of the year in Houffalize, Belgium. With a full field of racers hungry for Olympic spots, Marie-Helene, Marga Fullana of Spain, and Irina Kalentieva of Russia set the pace early on with Ren Chengyuan of China chasing hard. Marie Helene suffered a flat on the third lap and had to stop to inflate her tire, making her third place that much more incredible. She said that she felt strong enough to win, had she not had a flat. This was Marie's first race after a winter buried in deep Quebec snow, something that most of her competition does not have to contend with, so she and the team is very happy and looking forward to the Offenburg World Cup next weekend.
Max Plaxton had a great start in the men's race and said that he felt strong in the first lap, but another rider's bike struck his rear derailleur, shearing it off his bike. Bad luck, but his form is looking good for the upcoming races.
Fresh off her massive win at the Cape Epic stage race in South Africa, Alison Sydor felt strong coming into the first World Cups, but fell victim to a badly infected tooth that had to be pulled only days prior to Houffalize. After being pulled, it became even more infected and the choice was made for her not to start the race. She is recovering rapidly and is full steam ahead for Offenburg.
Jean Ann McKirdy scored a nice second place in the Super D at Sea Otter Classic and she is probably racing the XC as I am writing this, so congrats and good luck to her.
A big thanks goes to Lorna and Juergen Schouten for trekking all the way to Belgium to help the team out - they were awesome.
And of course thanks to Shimano, Alpina, WTB, Easton, Biemme, Pedros, Fox, and Nissan for their valued support of the team and for supplying us with gear the riders love.
Next stop, Offenburg World Cup.