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Monod's crash costs gold at Canadian enduro series

CROWSNEST PASS – A wipe-out cost Banff's Matt Monod gold at the Norco Canadian Enduro Series (NCES) last weekend (June 18-19) in Crowsnest Pass.

More than 15 riders from the Bow Valley travelled to the downhill mountain bike racing competition with a string of top 10s over two days.

Two locals hit the podium, including veteran racer Monod, who crossed the finish line at a time of 29:13.31 for pro men – barely being edged out of first by Vernon, B.C.'s Harry Snow (29:13.03).

Riding a six-stage race at the Pass Powderkeg Ski Resort, Monod pedalled to the best times in four stages. But a first-day crash, which put him back about 20 seconds, proved costly for the Banff rider.

"I went down in a corner that I actually [checked] out the night before because I knew it would be tricky," said Monod. "I went down and my bike kind of went down the ski run and I had to grab it and fix my bars. [At the end], I was 0.28 seconds behind Harry Snow, the Englishman, but it was fun."

Canmore's Bryan Bell and Thomas George finished seventh and 10th in pro men, respectively.

For the race, the bike Monod used was "out of the ordinary" for enduro, but proved to be an absolute weapon.

Most riders use 150-170mm tires, but the Banff racer's were a lightweight 130mm. He said it helped him in sections where he needed to pour on the speed.

"I built a bike I thought would be fast for it," Monod said. "It was a bit of a lighter style that I thought would work well in the element."

It has been a while since Monod last raced in Canada. Back in 2018 was his last race on home soil; however, he was active in Europe.

Now back in Canada, he's working with younger athletes in enduro-specific programs. He was coaching athletes at NCES alongside Kevin Eaton.

In a field of mostly Alberta and British Columbia riders, several locals faired well at NCES, such as Clara Brown who won bronze in U21 women at a time of 33:18.66.

In U21 men, Canmore's Oliver Cebuliak was fifth, followed by Rundle Mountain Cycling Club's Beckett Wiebe and Nico Wiebe finished eighth and 11th, respectively. In 20th spot was Canmore's Dale Mulligan, and outside the top 20 were Canmore's Breo Dunn, Tobias Lemyre, and Cohen Marshall.

In 21-29 men, Canmore's Joshua Fultz-Veinotte finished eighth.

In the men's 30-39 and 40-49 categories, Canmore's Samuel Gauthier and Banff's Kevin Eaton earned a pair of sevenths, respectively.

In expert men, Canmore's Marcus Henry finished fifth.

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

Jordan Small joined the Outlook in 2014 and covers the vast world of sports in the Bow Valley. A Barrie, Ont. native, he also wrote for RMO's Mountain Guide section and the MD of Bighorn beat.
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