The 2018 Canadian National Championships take place this Saturday in Peterborough’s historic Nicholl’s Oval. On Sunday, the Canadian season ends with a C2 race at the same venue. This year’s championships promise to be a great showdown between several riders who are on form. Defending champion Michael van den Ham leads the way. Van den Ham finished half a bike length behind Curtis White at the Pan American Championships last weeekend. 2015 national champion Raphael Gagne and five-time national champion Geoff Kabush will also be in attendance. Kabush recently won the Iceman Cometh Challenge MTB race.
This years course is a very technical and challenging one. The key features is a large slope that separates the park from a nearby river. The course traverses the slope multiple times each lap. In addition, there are the more common features you will see, including long ride-ups, powerful straightaways and off-camber turns. There are also two run-ups and one set of barriers.
As previously mentioned, last years race was won by Michael van den Ham. He beat Kabush by 30 seconds, with Mark McConnell finishing another 30 seconds behind Kabush. McConnell took the early lead with Kabush and Gagne in tow. Van den Ham eventually made his way up to the lead group and attacked at the midpoint of the race and never looked back. All four riders are back this year and should be in contention for the win.
- Michael van den Ham
- Geoff Kabush
- Raphael Gagne
Dark horse: Craig Richey