Created: Jul 02, 2022 07:43
Proven persistence: Robin Horsfield, who recovered from an early crash to finish sixteenth at the Canada Cup held in Whistler, B.C.
Robin Horsfield persisted against adversity to finish sixteenth at the Canada Cup held in Whistler, BC.
The qualifying-only race featured the best riders from Canada and the United States. The course on Blackcomb Mountain was a four-kilometer loop that included a six-foot drop, challenging descents and daunting steep climbs in hot, dusty conditions.
A host of riders dropped out of the race early due to the difficulty, with Peter Disera, a professional mountain biker and former Canadian national champion taking the win.
Canadian cyclocross champion Michael van den Ham, who finished second, and Robbie Day, runner-up at the 2021 U.S. National Championships, rounded out the podium spots.
Horsfield was rammed after the fall on the first run of the day, hitting the ground and twisting his gear system. This forced him back two minutes into the Junior World Series pack, where he was again rammed by the race leaders.
“By the time Robin got back to the tee box, halfway through the first round of six, he was already three minutes away,” said longtime Bermuda coach Mark Brown.
“While groups don’t pick up like they do on road bikes, maintaining contact with other riders is key to staying fast and strong.
“Being three minutes from the start and having to work in the junior peloton is an incredibly demoralizing feeling.
“Frankly, a lot of riders would leave their event at this point. Robin has proven time and time again that he is not a quitter and he has shown it again.
The impact of the slow start was seen in Horsfield’s lap times, which, normally consistent, showed over 19 minutes in the first lap, a second lap of 17 minutes as he worked with the top junior drivers, third and fourth laps of 18 minutes, then back to lower laps of 17 minutes once he made contact with the men’s field and passed several riders.
After enduring mixed fortunes on the show, including two broken chains at an event in Quebec City in May, resulting in a DNF, Horsfield admitted his early-season expectations had changed.
“This DNF means I don’t have the opportunity to make the top 20 in the Canada Cup series this year, which was a major seasonal goal,” said Horsfield, who will focus on events based in Ontario for the rest of the season.
“I’ve used this more as a practice run and a chance to ride among the best in North America again before heading back to Ontario, where I’m looking to finish in the top three in the province.”
Brown is confident Horsfield’s quality and determined mentality will only see him continue to progress and make his mark in mountain biking.
“Robin has a unique level of perseverance that shows in his continuous improvement at the provincial and national levels in mountain biking,” he added.
“There are, literally, hundreds of races where Robin could stand on the podium and win, but he recognizes that continued development requires racing among those who are, to date, stronger than him.
“We took that approach in the Fat Tire Massive series in Bermuda when he was a kid, never letting him win more than once before stepping him up until he was in over a year. the male category to make their way forward.
“This year he’s definitely in the top five runners in Ontario, and he’s proven he can be in the top 20 in Canada.
“His perseverance, demonstrated so acutely in this race and over the years, is what makes him a champion.
“While we recognize that Bermuda doesn’t see him compete as often as we would all like, I think he will, if he continues this journey for another three to four years, will put little Bermuda on the map in the sport of mountain biking – not just on a Caribbean level, but on a truly international level.