Pouvez-vous parler français?

It would appear that there are a goodly number of French speaking Canadians who will be racing at the US Cup at Bonelli Park this weekend. First was a little cluster of them at the bike washing station, then came a few more out on the course as I rode around. Some of them wore clearly distinguishing maple leaf kit, while others of them wore a combination of maple leaf / trade team kit, and still others were entirely decked out in trade team kit. In each case it was the common tongue that set them apart.

As you may know, the races this weekend at Bonelli are the second round of the US Cup. The first round was held the first weekend of March in Texas at the Mellow Johnny's Classic. Max Plaxton won the pro men's race there, finishing with a two second gap on Geoffrey Kabush. Todd Wells and Jeremiah Bishop were ten and twenty-five seconds back, in third and fourth places. For the women, it was Katerina Nash finishing on top, with Catharine Pendrel two seconds back, and Georgia Gould and Emily Batty in third and fourth, respectively. Pendrel and Batty were amongst that group of Canadians out on the course today. Batty raced to a second place finish here last year, behind Lesley Paterson, and should be considered amongst the favorites. Bonelli is a challenging course, in fact this years course has been given a UCI ranking of 'hors categorie'. It should be quite a weekend of racing.

Over on team street, many team mechanics were busy putting bikes together, making adjustments, or engaged in routine maintenance. Others seemed to have it all in hand, or maybe they were just taking a moment to relax.