A puncture has not prevented Leandre Bouchard to succeed his international best career result, finishing 18th in the senior elite cross country at the fourth World Cup mountain bike Sunday at Lenzerheide in Switzerland.
The Almatois fell victim to technical glitch on the last lap as he slowly ascended the peloton along with Australian Daniel McConnell.
“I reached 12th place in the final round, but a puncture slowed me down,” said Leandre Bouchard, adding that he feels that the top-15 is feasible in the near future as his fitness level is good. Halfway the race, the future Olympian pointed to 29th place. It has been an interesting increase gradually as the race progressed.
“I am very happy and satisfied with this result, added Almatois. The course had a paved climb and the rest was fairly flat and very Racineux. Devinci my bike was great to fly the route. Despite a lower altitude than usual, the course gave no rest and several riders were getting tired because of the heat. ”
Last week at the Mountain Bike World Championships, Leandre Bouchard took 20th place. On Sunday, 107 runners had to travel the route of 4.1 kilometers eight times for a total of 32.8 km. Bouchard was the only Canadian competing for race eventually won by the Swiss Nino Schurter, who pleased his supporters. Local rider finished 27 seconds ahead of French Julien Absalon. The other French Maxime Marotte was third. Leander crossed the finish line 4 minutes and 26 seconds after the winner.
“Confidence grows, but this is not a limited effect factor, argued the 23-year-old on the Cycling of Canada site. I know I can do well, and now I know more than ever. ”
His coach Jude Dufour agreement that his protege was now in excellent physical shape.
“Following our conversation, he told me that this World Cup was the one that gave him the best ” feeling ” race to date, told the coach of the Storm Alma club. Only two young athletes that are before him, namely Victor Koretzky French and Italian Luca Braidot. I still believe that the best is to come in the case of Leander. ”
National title in the crosshairs
Canadian Mountain Bike Championships are the next important race for Bouchard, who will be back in Quebec on Monday night.
According to what he saw of his protege, Jude Dufour considers that the national crown is within reach.
The Canadian championships will be held from July 14 to 17 in Baie-Saint-Paul. The cross-country in all categories takes place on Saturday, 16.
“With the form that currently has the title of Canadian Champion is possible and within reach, said the coach. Try to maintain an optimal level of form for three weeks is very difficult to achieve, but with the energy level of Leander, everything leads us to believe that this is possible. ”
The from Alma Catherine Fleury was not present in Switzerland since decided to go home to prepare for the national championships in the under 23 years. Like Leandre Bouchard Fleury is the national title.