The Canadian team put in a solid but medal-free performance at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships outside of Canberra, Australia last week, with Whistler athletes contributing some of the top results.
In the downhill event Whistler's Claire Buchar placed sixth overall on the short but intense course, less than five seconds back of the podium. Emmeline Ragot of France took the win, followed by Tracy Moseley of the UK and Kathleen Pruitt of the U.S.
It was a solid result, but Buchar expected more.
"I was a little bit disappointed," she told Canadian Cyclist magazine. "Mostly it was a hard race, pedaling all that last bit. I made some really silly mistakes. I messed up a few lines, almost went out of the tape a couple of times. I think I was just too excited and was panicking a little bit and wasn't really focusing."
Micayla Gatto of Vancouver Island was one spot back in seventh, while Squamish rider Miranda Miller placed 13 th .
North Shore rider Steve Smith placed 10 th in the men's downhill, which is a phenomenal result in the extremely competitive World Cup field. Steve Peat of the UK took the win, followed by Greg Minnaar of South Africa and Michael Hannah of Australia.
In junior, Whistler's Tyler Allison led the team with a 24 th place finish.
In cross-country, Whistler resident Willow Koerber, racing for the U.S., placed third behind Irina Kalentieva of Russia and Lene Byberg of Norway. The top Canadian was Catherine Pendrel in sixth place while Marie-Helene Premont was 12 th . Whistler's Joanna Harrington also raced, representing her home country of Australia. She placed 32 nd .
On the men's side Geoff Kabush placed fifth for Canada while teammate Max Plaxton was 22 nd .