Team Hardwood Next Wave Shines at National Races

There’s always a week in June where we get to set the national stage when it comes to mountain bike racing. Local venues Horseshoe Resort and Hardwood Ski and Bike played host to back-to-back weekends of racing, hosting the mountain bike Canada Cup/ Ontario Cup at Horseshoe on June 10 and Trek Store Canada Cup/ Ontario Cup on June 17. The weather would cooperate for both weekends offering dry and warm summer conditions on excellent trails, allowing local riders on several local teams to showcase their talents to athletes from across Canada. For Team Hardwood Next Wave Cycling Team, this was no exception and the athletes did extremely well across the different age groups.

On June 10, conditions were great and HNW team athletes were ready to take hometown advantage. Holly Ryan would start the podium run with a silver place in the Girls 9-10 year age group completing two laps in just over 20 minutes. In the 13-14 y age group Ava Holmgren took gold for the girls and Ian Ackert took silver for the boys. Another gold would come from an excellent performance by Liam Ryan racing in the Boys 11-12 year age group. Meanwhile Avery Gervais earned a bronze in the Men Sport 17-18 year age group, while Kelly Lawson took bronze in the Women’s Expert 15-16 year age group. Amongst the Masters athletes coach Lisa Holmgren took gold in the Expert Women 40-49 age group, while coach Rob Holmgren took gold in the same age group for the men. Kevin Simms would round out the podium run for the coaches with a gold place finish in the Expert Men 50+ age group.

Even warmer and drier conditions would welcome athletes to Hardwood Ski and Bike in Oro-Medonte on June 17. Athletes from across Canada were treated to their second Canada Cup race within a week, only a few short miles from the previous week’s race. The pressure was on for Hardwood Next Wave athletes to represent their title sponsor and they would not disappoint. In the Citizen races, Amanda Samuelson and Sophia Szafranski both won their age groups while Benjamin Brown took bronze. Kai McGIllivray-Kwan would continue the winning with a silver in the boys 9-10 year age group, while Liam Ryan would repeat his gold medal performance in the Boys 11-12 year age group. In the Junior Sport 15-18 year category Katelyn Walcroft took silver, while Ava Holmgren would have to settle for a silver medal in her race this time. Avery Gervais found another bronze medal performance in the Men Sport 17-18 year age group, while Kelly Lawson improved on her pervious week’s race with a silver in the Women’s Expert 15-16 year age group. Lisa Holmgren would repeat for a gold medal in her category, while Rob Holmgren would settle for bronze. Kevin Simms again finished with a gold in his category.

Kudos also to other local athletes racing on other teams, most notably Quinton Disera (Norco Factory Team) who won the Elite Men’s race at Hardwood and Jenn Jackson (AWI Racing) who placed second in the Elite Women’s race at Horseshoe. These results show how this local area really is home to some of the country’s strongest cyclists.

Overall it was an excellent performance by all the athletes. There are still more races to come both on the road (Canadian National Championships and Tour de Releve in Rimouski) and on the trails with mountain bike Canada Cup action now shifting back to the West Coast. Athletes continue to train hard on the local roads and courses to represent their team and region.

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