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Pendrel and Plaxton win titles at Canadian Championship

The Canadian Press

6/16/2012 7:04:27 PM

ST. FELICIEN, Que. -- World champion Catharine Pendrel secured her fourth Canadian Mountain Bike Championship title on Saturday while Max Plaxton of Victoria won his second.

Pendrel, of Kamloops, B.C., pulled away to win in one hour 30 minutes 22 seconds followed by Marie-Helene Premont of Chateau Richer, Que. Emily Batty of Brooklin, Ont., won the bronze.

Pendrel won her first national title in St. Felicien in 2009.

"This is a great venue," she commented. "It wasn't an easy victory, because I knew that Marie-Helene (Premont) was anxious to win her on home ground. I had a little bobble in the middle of the race, but everything went really well for me and this is a great win as part of my build up for the Olympics."

The men's race was a battle between seven-time champion Geoff Kabush of Victoria and Plaxton, the rider who broke his consecutive win streak last year.

Plaxton won in 1:32:48 followed by Kabush 42 seconds later. Derek Zandstra of Trenton, Ont., took bronze.

"Last year was special, winning my first elite title," said Plaxton, "but this one shows that I'm really the top rider in Canada now, possibly in North America.

"It was a tough race, with the two of us watching each other, and then Geoff attacking. This gives me a lot of confidence going into the next couple of World Cups, and I think a podium is possible."