VICTORIA, B.C. – One of Canmore’s top cycling prospects had the conditions he wanted at the biggest race of the year – wet, dirty and muddy – but the results were anything but grungy.
Teen Larix Hallett hit turbo to win silver at the Canadian championships in cyclocross Saturday (Nov. 25) in Victoria, British Columbia.
Racing for Team Alberta, Hallett, a product of the Rundle Mountain Cycling Club (RMCC) said his technical skills were on full display on the west coast course, known for having an extended year of riding with warmer, but wetter temperatures.
“When a whole bunch of tire tracks go through the course, it would get quite sloppy and mucky to peddle,” said Hallett. “I'm quite happy with second, but it's just so close to first.
“I had a lot more power on the flats, so that's where I was making the competitors suffer more, but on some of the hills and stuff, I was just struggling to clip-in with my shoes, so that’s where I was losing quite a bit of time.”
In first place was B.C.’s Ethan Wood, a friend and rival of Hallet’s, and in third was Farland Lamont of Ontario.
Finishing 11th in the race was RMCC’s Quinten Macklem.
Carter Nieuwesteeg, Hallett’s personal coach and a pro rider, said first place was “absolutely in reach” for his pupil.
Mature for his age, which translates well as an athlete, Hallett has a future in cycling if he wants one, said Nieuwesteeg.
“I think he knows his strengths and is kind of learning how and when to apply them,” said Nieuwesteeg. “I think just knowing when and how to push hard or try and basically outride the other riders. This has been a big learning curve for him and I think he's definitely starting to show that.”
He added Hallett is a “silent killer” in the multiple sports he juggles throughout the year, saying he came back more calculated the next day in a non-nationals race at the course, which the Canmore rider won.
“I think it was just maybe a bit of a brain fart midway through the [national] race, where tactics from the other racers just basically took the advantage at the end of it,” said Nieuwesteeg.
Other locals competing at nationals were Canmore’s Logan Sadesky, finishing eighth in elite men. Banff’s Gregory Patychuk took fifth place in the Masters 65+ men, and Banff’s Finn Borstmayter finished 11th in U23 men.
In junior men, RMCC’s Luke Pulford and Emmet Macklem finished 14th and 15th, respectively, and Dakota Dixon was 17th in junior women.
In the master 45-54 men, RMCC’s Michael Macklem was 19th and Bradley Dixon was 37th.