Robin Horsfield third in Ontario Cup series finale
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 round 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 top-ranked rider in Ontario, to lead the opening sprint off the line. Miller was eventually passed by Luke Hlavenka with Horsfield in tow.
Horsfield then led Hlavenka through the course’s most technical section, before losing ground to the former on the downhill section.
Miller, who has shown growing strength throughout the season and will almost certainly finish as the top-ranked Ontario rider for the year, slowly found his way back to Horsfield, overtaking him and finishing second on the day. Hlavenka went on to win the race, becoming the provincial champion.
Horsfield’s coach, Mark Brown, explained that changing tactics early in the race was inspired by how he and Horsfield have previously competed in road races in Bermuda.
“It was never so much about winning a road race for either of us,” he said. “Rather, we took it as a challenge, being just two people against numerically dominant teams, to do something that threw other people off their game and create opportunity.
“Today was absolutely about trying to win, but also grabbing a mental point or two off Noah [Miller] from the start."
Horsfield, meanwhile took the opportunity to pay tribute to Hlavenka and Miller.
“Ultimately, Noah and Luke had better legs today,” he said. “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."
The final rankings for Ontario are set to be updated in the coming weeks, with Horsfield poised to finish within the top three.