Coquitlam's Sandra Walter to Race for Canada at MTB Worlds
September 5, 2012
Saalfelden, Austria)– Sandra Walter, 32, of Coquitlam, B.C., will wrap up the strongest season of her 15-year cross-country mountain bike racing career on Saturday at the UCI World Championships in Saalfelden, Austria, as one of five elite women representing Canada in the event.
“Qualifying to represent Canada at the World Championship is an accomplishment in itself, because the Canadian women are so strong,” said Walter. Canada’s women are ranked first in the Olympic Cross-Country discipline and the team also contains defending World Champion and Olympian Catharine Pendrel of Kamloops, B.C.
“The race will be very challenging, both physically, technically, and mentally,” said Walter. “The World Championships are very special, because they are one of the few races in which we represent our country and wear the maple leaf jersey.” Throughout most of the season, riders compete under the banners of private trade teams, such as Walter’s Xprezo-Borsao Factory Team, sponsored primarily by the Bromont, Quebec, bicycle manufacturer, Cycles Xprezo.
The course in Saalfelden is 4.6km long and contains 180m of vertical gain per lap. Racers will compete en masse over a set number of laps, navigating over roots, drops, rocks, and other technical features as they aim to reach the finish line first. Races range from one-and-a-half to two hours in duration.
This will be Walter’s fifth time representing Canada at the World Championships, and she also believes she is poised to pedal out a personal best result. “I have been achieving personal bests throughout my entire 2012 season,” said Walter. “With that kind of consistency, I can only believe my race on Saturday will be no exception.”
Walter has enjoyed six individual victories this season, including two Canada Cup wins, which allowed her to clinch the overall national series title. In addition, she and her Xprezo-Borsao Factory teammate, Jean Ann Berkenpas of Maple Ridge, B.C., rode to victory over seven days at the TransRockies Challenge mountain bike stage race, July 30-August 3. At the Canadian XCO Mountain Bike Championships in St-Felicien, Quebec, on June 16, Walter finished fifth. She also achieved a career-best 16th place in the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup event in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec on June 23.
The UCI XCO Mountain Bike World Championships in Saalfelden, Austria, take place on Saturday, September 8, with the elite women’s race starting at 11:00 a.m. local time. The race will be broadcast live at www.redbull.tv
More info can found here.
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