Bermuda National Mountain Bike Champion Robin Horsfield completed 5 of a scheduled 7 laps during the Under 23 World Cup in Les Gets, France before being pulled from the race due to the UCI's 80% rule.
Twenty four countries sent their best riders to the Under 23 event, which included the world champions in each of its four races (Menís and Womenís Elite, Menís and Womenís Under 23).
"Horsfield learned some significant lessons here in Europe over the past two weeks," commented coach Mark Brown. "He and I have discussed some mistakes he made in Andorra last week and he built upon that experience here in Les Gets today."
"With that said, I want to be clear that I am proud, and Bermuda should be equally proud, of Horsfield's participation here in Europe. It is easy to say Horsfield finished down two laps but it is equally true that Horsfield finished 5 laps here today at a World Cup event - there is no higher level of competition in the world and few can lay claim to have ridden even a single lap. Today's performance is an improvement over Andorra last week and an improvement over Mont Saint Anne last year. These are the world's best riders - Horsfield and 32 other riders were pulled from the race today due to the 80% rule. To give some local context about the 80% rule I note that if the rule was applied to the most recent National Mountain Bike Championship in Bermuda only two riders (including the
winner) would have been allowed to complete the scheduled 7 laps. In the year prior at the Bermuda Nationals no rider save for the winner would have been allowed to finish. However, even that context is misleading as here in France there were 107 riders on the start line and that adds a great deal of difficulty - after the first single track the back of the field was almost two minutes back from the front simply from the physics of moving from a pack of 107 in to one long line of riders through trail."
"We're heading back to Canada now where Horsfield remains ranked second in Ontario. Five or six years ago in Bermuda Horsfield moved early from the Junior 13-15 into Adult Male B and spent a season losing to adult riders. He then moved to Male A after tasting success in B and I can still recall personally beating him handily there. For these past four years he's been Bermuda's National Champion (Junior, then Elite).
This trip to Europe is the same development strategy being put in to play. Race not only where you are guaranteed good press - rather, race where your ambitions lie."