Always In Motion

Successful MTB National Championships in Kentville, Nova Scotia, for Ontario’s athletes.

This past weekend, Kentville, Nova Scotia, was the electrifying spot for the adrenaline-fueled 2023 MTB National Championships. A captivating blend of races and weather set the stage for a fantastic weekend of racing.

Jenn Jackson takes the win in the Elite category.

The Elite riders witnessed strong performances as riders showcased their ambition on treacherous terrain. Jenn Jackson, from Liv Factory Racing (ON), proved unstoppable, surging ahead to seize the desired top spot. In the Elite Men’s race Tyler Clark and Quinton Disera battled a strong field of racers both finishing in the top ten.

“In the XCO, the most important part was staying calm in the slick single track. It was easy to make a mistake, and if you started to panic more often than not, it would make things worse. These are conditions I’m used to. Having so many years of racing cyclocross, I find it important to look for places during the lap where you can reset and prepare for the next section of the course you have to tackle.”

Punchard takes the title.

In the Under-23 category, a provincial battle for the national champion jersey unfolded with the top five places going to Ontario athletes. Cole Punchard of Hockley Valley Resort Armada (ON) emerged as the champion ahead of teammate Owen Clark  and 3rd place finisher Noah Ramsey (Bateman’s Bike Co – ON). Matt Leliveld (Independent – ON) and Dylan Kerr (Hockley Valley Resort Armada) rounded out fourth and fifth positions. Jocelyn Stel (Project Dialed In) and Kiara Lylyk (The Cyclery Racing) claimed the 5th and 6th place in the U23 women’s race.

Ackert Captures U19 Title.

The Junior races ignited the trail with a lot of young talent. Among a competitive field, Ian Ackert (ON) of Stimulus Orbea Racing Team blazed the Short Track on Thursday, setting the tone for his XCO win on Saturday.  

In the U17 races, Evan Moore (Collingwood Collective – ON) placed 4th and Sagan Goertz (KW Cycling Academy – ON) tenth In the men’s category while Aislin Hallahan (Hardwood Next Wave Cycling – ON) secured fourth place with Elly Moore (Collingwood Collective – ON) following closely behind in fifth place.

Second place in the Team Relay for Team Ontario

Sunday’s MTB Team Relay Championship provided edge-of-the-seat excitement as Team Ontario took the stage in hopes of defending their 2022 title.

Tyler Clark, Owen Clark, Elli Clark, and Cole Punchard united their strengths under the Team Ontario banner, capturing a proud second place just under a second behind the Pivot Cycles-OTE team on Sunday. The race witnessed thrilling changes in the lead during the first half of the race, making it a nail-biting sprint

“Key factors for the relay performance included some tactical strategies on the course. Due to its short length and limited climbing, gaps were harder to form. In the end, the last lap came down to a sprint finish."

 “My teammates' effort played a big role in the race's outcome. [Our first riders] Tyler and Owen worked hard to get a big enough gap, so all I needed to do was bike fast and hold the lead. I crossed the line and passed off to Cole, and he had an epic battle with the winners."

“[The] biggest challenge at the race was the weather, raining off and on for the 4 days leading up to the event made it difficult to decide what tire set up would be the fastest. We went back and forth between mud and fast tires, determining if a grip on the single track would outweigh the extra resistance on the road climbs or vice versa. In the end, we each picked the setup that best suited our skill sets."

Masters riders showed their skill level and determination in their categories. Peter Glassford of Trek Barrie-Aurora (ON) dominated the 35-44 category, seizing the National Title. Sue Haviland of Durham Shredders Mountain Bike Team (ON) emerged victorious, making her mark in her category, winning her second title in 2023. The 55+ Masters category saw great performances from Ontario riders John Westdal (Ottawa Bicycle Club) and Greg Clark (Trek Barrie-Aurora), securing well-deserved second and third positions. Jon Barnes showcased his performance, earning a solid second-place finish in the 45-54 Master Men category.

Super Worlds are on the horizon.

The MTB National Championships in Kentville, Nova Scotia, have been great for participants and spectators. The unpredictable weather and intense competition created a fantastic atmosphere throughout the event. Ontario-based riders showcased their talent, collecting well-deserved podiums and national titles.

With the championships now being done, all eyes turn to Glasgow, Scotland, for the upcoming UCI World Championships.