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Cruz fourth at worlds

Sports briefs: Ricard, Spence top Valley to Peak; Second Aerothlon held



Lucas Cruz was a hundredth of a second from the podium at the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Mountain Bike World Championships in Mont-Ste-Anne, Que. on Sept 1.

Cruz ended up placing fourth, as Kye Ahern of Australia earned the junior men's title over Antoine Vidal of France and Tuhoto-Ariki Pene of New Zealand.

"In the fourth split my tire started going flat but luckily I was still able to hit the bottom jumps and put down a solid time," Cruz posted to his Instagram account the day after the race. "Definitely an emotional day but I'm so grateful for all of the support I have from friends, family, pros, Canadians and sponsors. Congrats to all the other Canadians who raced and represented [their] country fiercely! I feel amazing on the bike right now and the confidence is high heading into the last round!"

Cruz was the best Canadian overall, while three others made the top 10: Eliot Jamieson (sixth), Patrick Laffey (eighth) and Seth Sherlock of Squamish (ninth).

The Sea to Sky was also well represented in the elite men's event as Whistler's Finn Iles placed seventh, nearly five seconds back of champion Loic Bruni of France. Australia's Troy Brosnan and France's Amaury Pierron rounded out the podium. Other Canadians in the top 20 were Mark Wallace (ninth) and Whistler part-timer Kirk McDowall (15th).

As for the women representing the Sea to Sky, Miranda Miller of Squamish and Georgia Astle of Whistler took 11th and 20th, respectively.

Vaea Verbeeck was the top Canuck, placing eighth, as France's Myriam Nicole topped Great Britain's Tahnee Seagrave and France's Marine Cabirou for the victory.

As for the junior women, Whistler's Amy Ertel was the lone Canadian to finish, ending up 11th. Austria's Valentina Holl cruised to victory by more than 12 seconds over runner-up Mille Johnset of Norway and 21 seconds over Anna Newkirk of the United States.

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Ricard, Spence top Valley to Peak

Alexandre Ricard is the Sea to Sky's King of Ascents.

Less than two months after winning the Red Bull 400 World Championships at Whistler Olympic Park, the Squamish runner held off Shaun Stephens-Whale by 11.3 seconds to win the men's division in the 22.5-kilometre event at The North Face Valley to Peak Race on Aug. 31. Jessie McAuley placed third.

In the women's race, Brooke Spence cruised to victory by nearly 23 minutes over runner-up Katherine Short. Sylvia Stellmacher came through to take third.

In the 10-km events, Jeffrey Russell and Zoe Dawson won the men's and women's divisions, respectively, while Joey Slesk and Olivia Rodig did so in the three-km contest.

In the one-km kids' dash, Felix Rodig and Piper Shoniker emerged victorious in the boys' and girls' event, respectively.

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Second Aerothlon held

Pemberton welcomed its second Aerothlon to town over Labour Day Weekend.

The combination of paragliding, mountain biking and cross-country running brought athletes from as far away as Mexico, Russia and Poland.

In the singles event, Canada's Mukunda Lorenzo won for the second consecutive year, topping fellow Canadians Douglas Hess and Simon Archambault.

In the doubles category, Russia's Igor Tolsky and Canada's Misa Pacakova earned the win, while in the three-member contest, Poland's Roman Karas joined Canada's Adam Dijkerman and Patrick Devlin for gold.

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