6 Highlights from MTB World Championships

2016 Mountain Bike world Championships are finished up and I have nothing but wonderful memories. It came together on the day for me and I finished up 53rd at my first World Champs in the Elite category. Here are a few of the highlights from this experience.

Racing for Canada

I was very proud to be selected to Team Canada for World Championships this year. It show’s my hard work over the winter and my improvement overall. It is even better that I got to do this with 3 of my Norco Factory Team teammates.

Team Canada

Kavarna

Afternoon coffee with friends close to where we were staying in Žďár nad Sázavou. The lead up to this race was a long one, I arrived in the Czech Republic 8 days before race day. It is important to stay relaxed and not think about the race too much in the days leading up to it. Hanging out in the sun and enjoying a nice coffee was the perfect way to distract me.

To-go cups with hand-drawn pictures, beautiful latte art and little cookies to go with every coffee.

To-go cups with hand-drawn pictures, beautiful latte art and little cookies to go with every coffee.

The Course

This was my first time racing in Nove Mesto, and I think it is now one of my favorite courses on the World Cup circuit. (Cairns, Australia may still have the upper hand, home of 2017 World Championships!!) The course has lots of good mountain biking in it, which isn’t always the case at big international races. It is made of up of 5 climbs of about a minute each linked together with double and single track with 4 main features throughout the lap.

Ariel photo of the start strait and the grand stands from the World Cup in 2015. 57000 fans came out to see the races.

Ariel photo of the start straight and the grand stands from the World Cup in 2015. 57000 fans came out to see the races over the weekend.

Training Peaks screen shot World Champs

A HR, speed and elevation graph from the race. You can see the five climbs and how on/off the effort is.

Watching the Elite Women’s Race

I was in my room watching the race on Red Bull TV and yelling at the screen on the final lap, it was super exciting! Emily and Catherine both had amazing rides.

Rock ‘n Roll Section

This was my favorite feature on the course for a few reasons. It is pretty technical and requires you to hit the correct line and be really smooth on your bike. I practiced this one a lot in training just trying to get the speed up and finally riding it as well as the best in the world. (Coach Dan takes video out on course and we can compare my line and speed to Absalon, for example). I had a bit of a scare on this feature during my first look at the course early in the week. I rode it without knowing the line and crashed and I came down hard on my hand. We got it x-rayed that night and luckily there was no broken bones. By the time race day came along my hand was at almost 100% and I was riding this section really well.

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No broken bones, thankfully. Just a sore hand for a few days.

Rock 'n Roll

Rock ‘n Roll PC | Rob Jones – Canadian Cyclist

The Atmosphere

There were people everywhere, fans lining the course 4 and 5 deep, the grand stands in the trees were full and the noise was deafening. To be honest I didn’t really see or hear a lot of this during the race. Focus was high and I was in my own world. My race finished up in a sprint, so it was head down full gas all the way to the finish line. After the race I felt I had to take it in a little bit. Haley and I went up on this small grass hill after the race and I just watched everything that was going on. This short moment was incredible, I had just done the race of my life, my girl friend was waiting at the finish line, I knew my family at home was glued to the screen watching the race and there was this incredible scene all around me. I will remember that moment for ever.

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Andrew LEsperance (Canada)

Climbing up the loudest part of the course PC | Rob Jones Canadian Cyclist

Andrew LEsperance (Canada)

Exiting Mita’s Choice PC | Rob Jones Canadian Cyclist

L Esperance had an impressive ride up to 53rd

Coming out of Rock ‘n Roll PC | Rob Jones Canadian Cyclist

Huge thanks to my family, friends and girl friend for all the love. Thanks to Cycling Canada stafff and my coach for all the help leading up to the race. Thanks to Norco Factory Team for the on-going support and the bike and equipment to make it happen. Also thanks to the Oxford at Eight crew in Halifax who have stepped up to support my racing in a big way this season.

2 Comments

  1. Gary Drohan says:

    Andrew, congratulations on a great showing at the World’s! Hope to see out for a ride with O@8 when your are back,

    Safe travels,

    Gary

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