Green second in World Cup opener 

Victoria’s Roland Green, 27, the reigning UCI cross country world champion and World Cup title holder, took the silver medal at the first World Cup race of the season in Madrid, Spain.

It was hot, dry and extremely crowded with more than 25,000 spectators lining the 8.5 km course. The women raced five laps and the men six.

Bart Brentjens of the Netherlands took the lead early in the race, and Green focused on his battle for second with Roel Paulissen of Belarus. Green pulled away on the fifth lap and finished the course in 2:04:47, just over two minutes back of Brentjens, and 13 seconds ahead of Paulissen.

"Roel and I were with (Spain’s Jose Hermida) – we weren’t really chasing (Brentjens). We knew what the gap was, and I can’t speak for Roel, but I was riding at my maximum. We were riding for second place," said Green.

"I liked the circuit, it’s technical but for World Cups it could be wider."

Also for Canada, Seamus McGrath was 13 th and Chris Sheppard 28 th . Green’s training partner, Ryder Hesjedal, was 29 th .

In the women’s competition, Marga Fullana of Spain won for the hometown crowd, pulling away from Alison Dunlap of the U.S. and Sabine Spitz of Germany. Canada’s Alison Sydor was in the hunt to the end, finishing fifth overall, just one minute 15 seconds back of Fullana.

Also for Canada, Ontario’s Chrissy Redden was 19 th , Marie-Helene Premont 29 th , Kiara Bisaro 39 th , and Trish Sinclair 45 th to round out the top 50.

The World Cup season continues at Houffalize, Belgium, this weekend.

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