The under-23 Specialized Racing duo of Howard Grotts and Kate Courtney suggested the future of American mountain biking is bright, as both rode to top-five placing’s over the weekend in Mount-Sainte-Anne, Canada.
Grotts, recently crowned men’s pro national champion, continued his strong season with a second place finish, 26 seconds behind winner Titouan Carod (Scott Creuse Oxygene Gueret). Keegan Swenson (Team ShoAir-Cannondale) also put in a solid ride, finishing in tenth. Grotts remains in the top-five overall in the U23 World Cup standings, sitting in fourth with two rounds remaining.
A two-rider battle headlined the elite men’s race, Nino Schurter (Scott-Odlo MTB Racing) and reining world champion Julien Absalon (BMC) showed themselves to be head and shoulders above the rest. Schurter came out on top, besting Absalon by fourteen seconds. Florian Vogel (Focus XC Team) rounded out the podium in third. Stephen Ettinger (Team ShoAir-Cannondale) was the top American in 31st, a distant 7:35 behind Schurter
Courtney remains in third overall in the under-23 women’s World Cup standings after riding to fifth place in Canada behind winner Jenny Rissveds (Scott-Odlo MTB Racing). Rissveds finished in a time of 1:18:52 with Courtney 3:02 off the pace. Shayna Powless cracked the top-fifteen with a 12th place finish, coming in a few minutes behind Courtney.
In the women’s elite race, Lea Davison (Specialized Racing) rode to another top-ten finish with sixth in Mount-Sainte-Anne. She finished 3:05 behind winner Jolanda Neff (Stoeckli Pro Team). Erin Huck (Scott-3Rox Racing) and Georgia Gould (Luna Pro Team) finished 22nd and 25th, respectively. Davison continues to hold fourth in the World Cup overall.
On the Downhill side, junior racer Charlie Harrison (USA National Team) led the way for the Americans, barely missing the podium with a fourth place finish. Aaron Gwin (Specialized Racing) placed seventh in the elite men’s race, 4.903 seconds off the winning time set by Josh Bryceland. Gwin continues to lead the World Cup overall in the elite category.
The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup stays in North American with the riders taking on the courses in Windam, New York, next weekend.