If you had to pick one dream scenario for the National Championships, would it be winning for the third year in a row, winning the title on your home trails, or having your little brother win the Under-23 while you took the Elite national jersey?
For Norco Factory Team rider Peter Disera, there was no decision to be made as all three scenarios took place on Saturday at the Canadian XCO National Championships at Hardwood Ski & Bike on his home turf of Simcoe County, Ontario.
The elder Disera, Peter, first won the Canadian Elite National Championships two years ago, riding as an underage who elected to move up into Elite, followed by defending that title last season.
After taking the holeshot, Peter crashed on the first lap. He was back up quick enough to only fall into second behind teammate Andrew L’Esperance. Shortly after, he returned to the lead position and never looked back, with the fastest lap time on each of the five laps in the race.
Peter Disera on his way to a three-peat.
In Under-23, Quinton followed in his brother’s footsteps, also crashing on the first lap before quickly making his way through the field and back to the front of the pack to take a decisive victory by the end of the race.
“It was super nice to have it at Hardwood Ski & Bike in front of all our family and friends that were able to make it out today,” Quinton told Canadian Cycling Magazine after the race.
First it was Quinton, then it was Peter for a double Disera celebration at the finish line.
As for the rest of the team, they suffered from a group batch of bad luck. Andrew L’Esperance, who held the lead momentarily after Peter crashed, was in the hunt until he suffered a double flat, which ended his race early.
Andrew L'Esperence looking good early, but a double flat is about as tough as it gets.
Under-23 racer Sean Fincham was looking to defend his title for the third year in a row until his chain snapped and was forced to run to the pits. He gave it his all once back on the course, and was able to put down the fastest time in two of the three final laps in order to pull back from 28th
spot to seventh.
Sean puts down the power up a climb. A resilient effort got him into the top-10.
In Women’s Elite, Haley Smith took the holeshot and led early but also suffered from a chain mechanical, which forced her out of the lead group. She managed to get back up and running to work her way to a seventh-place finish in a very competitive Women's field.
Haley Smith leading Jenn Jackson. Haley started strong but also suffered a mechanical.
The XC team will set their sights back on to the world stage as the World Cup schedule on August 4th
Keep up to date with the team by following @NorcoFactoryTeam
All photos courtesy Robert Jones.