Robin Horsfield returned to the Ontario Cup podium with a third-place finish at the Mountainview Ski Centre in Midland, Ontario.
This race, the seventh and final of the Ontario Cup Series, also stands as the official Provincial Championship for Ontario.
Horsfield changed tactics early in the race and allowed Noah Miller, the #1 ranked rider in Ontario to lead the opening sprint off the line.
This lead to some confusion on the part of Miller, who was eventually passed by Luke Hlavenka with Horsfield in tow. Horsfield then lead Hlavenka through the course's most technical section, before losing ground to Hlavenka on the downhills. Hlavenka later noted "I knew I had Horsfield on the downhills because I have raced this course hundreds of times". Miller, who has shown growing strength throughout the season and will almost certainly finish as the top-ranked Ontario rider for 2022 was distanced but slowly found his way back to Horsfield, overtaking him and finishing second on the day. Hlavenka would go on to win the race, becoming the Provincial Champion.
Coach Mark Brown notes that changing tactics early in the race was inspired by how he and Horsfield used to ride road races in Bermuda: "It was never so much about winning a road race for either of us. Rather, we took it as a challenge, being just two people against numerically dominant teams, to do something that threw other people off of their game and create opportunity. Today was absolutely about trying to win, but also grabbing a mental point or two off of Noah from the start."
Horsfield continues "Ultimately Noah and Luke had better legs today. Noah has had a great season - especially being a newcomer to the Senior Elite ranks. I have looked up to Luke for all of my years on the Ontario circuit - it is not upsetting to see him win a well-earned championship. He has worked hard and deserves the title. That said, I hope that next year is another story."