Racing against a deep, talented field including three-time defending Canadian XCO champion Emily Batty and two-time world champion Catharine Pendrel—who ended up finishing first and second respectively—Walter was in good company at the front of the field. A native of British Columbia, Walter has shown good form all season with several top finishes in Canada Cup and BC Cup races.
Hot temperatures and a rocky, technical racetrack at this year's Canadian nationals made for tough going at the Hardwood Ski & Bike race venue, located about 75 minutes outside Toronto. It was the same track used at the 2015 Pan Am Games.
“I was really happy to put together a strong ride in extremely hot and humid conditions on a challenging course,” said Walter, who was racing on her Liv Obsess Advanced hardtail. “I’m also excited about the close gaps, only one-and-a-half minutes back from Emily Batty and 21 seconds behind Catharine Pendrel after I nearly made contact with her on the final lap.”
Indeed, Walter came on strong late in the race, surging to pass Jenn Jackson and land the final podium spot. The bronze medal was Walter’s sixth in XCO nationals competition. She now has three silver medals (2013, 2016, 2018) to her name and three bronze medals (2014, 2015, 2019).
“I've won several Canadian Championship medals but as our field gets stronger and deeper and talented young riders move up, it's getting tougher!”