Brevard Cycling student-athlete Owen Clark represented Canada this past weekend at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Scotland. It marked the sixth consecutive year that a Brevard College Cycling student-athlete has competed at the world championships.
Clark, a rising junior from King City, Ontario, raced for Team Canada in the U23 Men’s Olympic Cross Country race held this past Friday at Glentress Forest in Scotland where he finished in 49th place at the world championship event that featured a field of 90 racers from around the globe. He held his own throughout the challenging 3.5 kilometer circuit that included 1,015 meters of elevation gain and difficult technical sections. Clark ultimately finished 7:53 behind race winner and world champion Charlie Aldridge of Great Britain.
It marked the third straight season that Clark has competed at the world championships while part of the Brevard College Cycling program. Last season, Clark also competed in the U23 Cross Country championship held in Les Gets, France. In 2021, he raced in the Junior Men’s Cross Country category at the 2021 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy.
Rising Brevard College junior Cole Punchard was also selected to race for Team Canada at this year’s world championships, however was unable to compete due to an injury in advance of the worlds. Punchard, the reigning USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike Individual Omnium national champion, had raced in the both the 2022 and 2021 world championships as well.
Clark’s participation in this year’s event in Scotland continued a streak of six consecutive years that Tornado cyclists have raced in the world championships. Last year, Clark and Punchard raced together for Team Canada. In 2021, a program-record six BC student-athletes competed in the worlds as Clark and Punchard joined now BC alumni Tyler Clark, Tyler Orschel and Rachel Pageau on the Canadian national team while Mazie Hayden raced for USA Cycling. In 2020, Hayden (USA) and Orschel (Canada) raced in the world championships held in Leogang, Austria. The year prior, Orschel and Pageau represented the host nation at the 2019 world championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada. In 2018, Brevard College’s Carson Beckett (USA), Tyler Clark (Canada) and Nathan St. Clair (USA) all competed at the 2018 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
The Brevard College Cycling team will open its collegiate season at an event hosted by Piedmont University, September 2-3 in Demorest, Georgia. The Mountain Bike season will once again culminate with the USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships, October 12-15 at nearby Rock Creek in Zirconia, North Carolina.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Radek Kasik