Whistler mountain bikers named to Team Canada 

World Championship team announced

The Canadian Cycling Association announced the 2003 Team Canada for the Mountain Bike World Championships, taking place from Aug. 31 to Sept. 7 in Lugano Switzerland.

As in past years, Whistler will be well-represented at the World’s with three competitors taking part in both the downhill and cross-country disciplines. B.C. also leads the rest of Canada with 24 out of 50 athletes on the team – actually 49 athletes, with Whistler’s own Brook Baker competing in both cross country and downhill disciplines as a Junior athlete. Also from Whistler, Will Routley will be competing again as an Espoir (Under 23) in the cross country, and Clare Buchar will be competing in the women’s downhill and four-cross.

For Routley, 20, this is his third World Championship appearance. Moving up into the Espoir category, however, he knew he would have his work cut out for him to make the team.

"It was very good news," he said. "We have a really strong team I think, and Canada is one of the top countries in the world. It was really tight, and there are definitely a few guys that are disappointed right now."

Routley has definitely cranked his training up a notch this year, competing almost every weekend since the early spring on both his road bike and mountain bike. Although it’s been a gruelling schedule, he has been improving with every race.

In the recent World Cup at Grouse Mountain, Routley was the eighth Canadian, and fourth overall among the Espoirs. He was also fourth among the other Espoirs at the national championships in Whistler last month. He also posted strong results in Canada Cup races early in the season, but decided to sit the last two out to recover.

"Skipping the last couple of Canada Cup races made it a little tense, but now I think it was a good decision because I’m right on track with my fitness and my training. I’m right on track," said Routley.

With only weeks to go before the World Championships, Routley will only enter the provincial time trials in Squamish next weekend, and devote the rest of his time to training.

"I’m on a really specific program until the championships, with a power meter and power workouts, and I’m following that pretty closely," said Routley.

While he doesn’t know what to expect at the World Championship in terms of the course and his competition, Routley said his goal from the very beginning of this season was to do well.

"The first two times I was at the World Championships I was just happy to make it, but now I have a little more experience I’m looking more towards doing well. I still have less experience than other riders, but it’s hard to say," he said. "The World Championship courses are always the hardest courses, and I don’t know what to expect. We get there a few days early and train as a team, which will be good, so I’ll have to wait and see. I’m looking forward to it."

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