Local Ride’s McKirdy and Walter Qualify for Worlds
Maple Ridge, BC – Jean Ann McKirdy (Maple Ridge) and Sandra Walter (Coquitlam) of the Local Ride Women’s MTB Team have been chosen to represent Canada at the 2010 Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, QC on September 5 in the elite women’s Cross Country Olympic discipline event.
“Every time I get the news that I’ve been chosen to wear the maple leaf jersey and race for Canada, I get goosebumps and tear up,” said Walter. “It’s such an honour to be named to the team and I’m so excited to be able to share the experience with Jean Ann [McKirdy].”
Ever since the site of the 2010 MTB Worlds was given to the Canadian venue of Mont-Sainte-Anne, the duo have had the race in their sights. “It was announced several years ago that [Mont] Sainte-Anne would get the Worlds in 2010, and it’s been a goal of mine this whole time,” said McKirdy. “It will be amazing to represent Canada on home soil.”
The Local Ride Women’s MTB Team pair will be at the starting line with five other good friends and competitors from Canada, including National Champion, Olympian, and World Cup leader Catharine Pendrel (Kamloops), and frequent training and travel buddy Catherine Vipond (Kamloops). The field will be comprised of the planet’s fastest female cross country mountain bikers, who have all been required to meet challenging qualification standards.
“It’s inspiring to see the names of the strong and positive women who will be our team mates,” said Walter, who participated in her first World Championships as a junior in 1998 also in Mont-Sainte-Anne, the last time Canada hosted the event.
McKirdy also has strong ties to Mont-Sainte-Anne, having raced there nearly every year of her 10-year competitive cycling career for the annual World Cup series stop, as well as national events. She has also attended several MTB World Championships as a junior, U23, and now for her first time in the elite category. This will be Walter’s fourth World Championships appearance.
McKirdy and Walter have had strong results so far this season, with wins on the provincial road and mountain bike circuits, along with several podiums in the Canada Cup series. Walter placed fifth at the National Championships in Canmore on July 17 and second at the prestigious Squamish Test of Metal in June. Many of McKirdy’s top performances came on the road, including wins at the Barry’s Roubaix road race and the Race the Ridge criterium, both presented by Local Ride Bike Shop in Maple Ridge. She also aims to cinch the BC Cup MTB XC title at the series final in Whistler this Sunday.
“When I’m standing at the starting line at Worlds in September, it’ll be with the knowledge that I wouldn’t be there without the support of my family, friends, and sponsors,” said McKirdy. “I know it’s the same for Sandra [Walter]. We’re so fortunate to have an amazing support network that allows us to do what we do.”
jeanann_hardwood.jpg – Photo: Marek Lazarski/lazarskiphoto.com Rider: Jean Ann McKirdy is all focus on the bike.
Sandra_nationals – Photo: Marek Lazarski/lazarskiphoto.com Rider: Sandra Walter rips it up at the Canadian Nationals in Canmore.
P4250267.JPG – (l-r) Jean Ann McKirdy and Sandra Walter proudly don the Canadian National Cycling Team uniform.
Local Ride Women’s MTB Team