Wendy Simms (Ridley) takes fifth National Championship jersey © Norm Thibault

Wendy Simms (Ridley) takes fifth National Championship jersey © Norm Thibault

Toronto, Ontario – Wendy Simms (Ridley-FSA) has won her fifth Canadian National Championship jersey and Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bicycles P/B Shimano) traveled from his home in Bend, Oregon, to win his first-ever cyclocross maple leaf jersey.

According to Simms’ husband, Norm Thibault, the victory comes 11 months to the day after they gave birth to their first son. Simms showed that she was on form coming into the season with her performances at the opening StarCrossed and Rad Racing GP NACT events, and has been battling at the front of big domestic races ever since. Simms adds the jersey to the SSCXWC title she claimed two weeks ago.

Katy Curtis (Team Alberta) finished just seconds behind Simms, with Catharine Pendrel (Luna Pro Team), the 2010 World Cup MTB winner and currently fourth-ranked UCI mountain biker in the world, finishing in third to take her first National Cyclocross Championship podium.

Chris Sheppard leads Mike Garrigan up the climb © Norm Thibault

Chris Sheppard leads Mike Garrigan up the climb © Norm Thibault

Sheppard was able to parlay his performances in this year’s Oregon’s Cross Crusades, where he’s won every race he’s entered except for taking a second place behind an indomitable Ryan Trebon at the Sherwood Equestrian Park event. Sheppard was clear from the beginning of the season that the Canadian Championship would be a season goal, and he didn’t let an injury to his thumb stop his mission. Reigning champ Geoff Kabush, who Sheppard marked as the favorite, was not in attendance.

Mike Garrigan (Independent) and Sheppard were together until the last half-lap when Garrigan partially rolled his tubular. He was past the last pits but was still able to hang on and finish in second, 20 seconds ahead of a chasing Aaron Schooler (Team H&R Block).

Craig Ritchey (Blue Competition Cycles) almost blows out of a corner in a tricky section © Norm Thibault

Craig Ritchey (Blue Competition Cycles) almost blows out of a corner in a tricky section © Norm Thibault

Schooler took the lead at the start with Craig Richey (CyclocrossRacing.Com), Garrigan and Sheppard in tow. Sheppard briefly held a five-second gap, while Derrick St. John (Garneau-Club Chaussures) chased another 10 seconds behind.  Garrigan, the 2007 national champ who raced the first two European World Cups this season, caught the leader but, according to Sheppard, would slow the pace every time he reached the front. Sheppard buried himself to keep the gap over a hard chasing Schooler.

Schooler would hold tough at 15 seconds back, while St. John sat another 15 seconds back with three laps to go. Garrigan attacked when Sheppard bobbled a technical turn, but the due would come back together for the final lap. “I bridged back up then played cat and mouse into the final lap, then waited until the last half-lap just before the barriers, where I had noticed Michael was slightly getting gapped on previous laps,” said Sheppard. “I punched it on the pavement, then accelerated on the ensuing soft chicanes. His problem corner brought him down with a rolled tire – I kept on the gas and took the win.”

Read Chris Sheppard’s reflections on the win here.

Photo Gallery:

Full Results:

Elite Men, 25.3 km (7 laps)

1. Chris Sheppard (BC) Rocky Mountain Bicycles P/B Shimano 00:52.0
2. Mike Garrigan (ON) Independent 27.9
3. Aaron Schooler (AB) Team H&R Block 47.6
4. Derrick St. John (ON) Garneau-Club Chaussures-Ogilvy Renault 01:56.3
5. Craig Richey (BC) CyclocrossRacing.Com/Victoria 02:05.3
6. Tyler Trace (BC) Trek Red Truck Racing P/B Mosaic Homes 02:14.4
7. Andrew Watson (ON) Norco Factory Team 02:39.3
8. Nathan Chown (ON) Handlebars Cycling Company : Queen City Cyclists 02:56.6
9. Adam Morka (ON) Trek Canada 03:10.0
10. Kevin Calhoun (BC) Rocky Mountain Bicycles P/B Shimano 03:17.5
11. Thierry LaLiberte (QC) XPREZO-BORSAO 03:19.3
12. Erik Box (ON) Cycles Devinci 03:25.5
13. Nicholas Berry (BC) Mighty Riders 04:03.0
14. Shawn Bunnin (AB) Team Alberta : bicisport/Calgary 04:10.6
15. Aroussen Laflamme (QC) XPREZO-BORSAO 04:21.1
16. Shaun Adamson (AB) Cycle-Smart, Inc./Edmonton 04:35.3
17. Raphaël Gagné (QC) Rocky Mountain Bicycles Factory Team 04:54.3
18. Peter Mancini (ON) 05:02.4
19. Kevin Noiles (BC) La Bicicletta Elite Team 05:49.3
20. Drew MacKenzie (BC) Island Racing Club/Victoria 05:58.1
21. Matthew Krahn (AB) Redbike 05:58.8
22. Peter Morse (ON) Jet Fuel Coffee 06:06.5
23. Greg Reain (ON) Ride With Rendall 06:46.8
24. Kevin Black (ON) Wheels of Bloor 07:02.2
25. Nathan Underwood (QC) Ride With Rendall 07:11.2
26. William Goodfellow (QC) 07:23.3
27. Timothy Carleton (ON) Trek Store Race Team/Toronto 07:59.8
28. Marco Li (ON) Darkhorse Flyers -1 Lap
29. Imad El-Ghazal (ON) Kunstadt Sports Cycling Club -2 Laps
30. Kyle Douglas (ON) 3 Rox Racing -2 Laps
31. Steve Timmons (QC) Eagle Owl -2 Laps
32. Isaac Smith (ON) Darkhorse Flyers -2 Laps
33. Shawn Clarke (ON) The Cyclery -3 Laps
34. Marc LaPointe (QC) Cycling Team -3 Laps
35. Tristan Smit (ON) Evolution Cycles/Richmond Hill -3 Laps
36. Jeff Moote (ON) The Hub Race Team/Niagara Falls -4 Laps
37. Andrew Lees (ON) Cycling Team -4 Laps
38. Doug Hinan (ON) Peterborough Cycling Club -4 Laps
39. Ross Horsley (ON) Independant -4 Laps
40. François-Charles Dumas (QC) Devinci -4 Laps
41. Brandon Parker (ON) Mountainview Cycling Club -5 Laps
42. Camilo Mondaca (ON) Darkhorse Flyers -5 Laps
DNF Sylvain Jean (QC) Kona Bio-Max/Morin-Heights
DNF Pascal Bussieres (QC) Team Spirit/Cannondale pb Rhus Elementi
DNS Scott Fitzgerald (ON) Lapdogs Cycling Club/Toronto
DNS Cameron Jette (ON) La Bicicletta Elite Team

Elite Women, 13.15 km (4 laps)

1. Wendy Simms (BC) Ridley-FSA 41:08.7
2. Katy Curtis (AB) Team Alberta 1.7
3. Catharine Pendrel (BC) Luna Pro Team 22.8
4. Pepper Harlton (AB) Team Alberta : Juventus Cycling Club 26.4
5. Natasha Elliott (ON) Garneau-Club Chaussures-Ogilvy Renault 59
6. Mical Dyck (BC) Trek Canada 02:26.5
7. Emily Batty (ON) Trek World Racing/Brooklin 02:54.3
8. Amanda Sin (ON) 3 Rox Racing 03:44.7
9. Leigh Hobson (ON) The Hub Race Team/Cambridge 03:47.5
10. Melissa Bunn (ON) Stevens Racing P/B The Cyclery 04:13.0
11. Laura Bietola (ON) 3 Rox Racing 04:43.2
12. Sophie Matte (QC) Stevens Racing P/B The Cyclery 04:57.5
13. Joanne Thomson (QC) Ride With Rendall 05:26.4
14. Amanda Wakeling (BC) Trail Bicycles 07:06.2
15. Véronique Labonté (QC) Team Nanoblur-Gears/Montréal 07:41.3
16. Vicki Thomas (ON) 07:53.9
17. Emily Flynn (ON) EMD Serono-Specialized CC 08:38.1
18. Alison Beamish (ON) 08:44.2
19. Briana Illingworth (ON) True North Cycles Race Team -1 Lap
DNF Jenny Dalton (ON) The Cyclery