For two years running, Canadians have won the Pro/1/2 Bear Mountain Race. The men are back in force but this year they are joined by a contingent of women racers.

A battle for women’s honors is shaping up between Team Ultralink from Ontario and Equipe Cascades from Quebec. Team Ultralink will arrive with their Carbon Soloist bicycles. “We are very happy to be involved with Team Ultralink again this year,” said Gerard Vroomen, co-founder of Cerv?lo. “This is a team of very talented women, and we are delighted that they continue to find success with their Cerv?lo bikes.”

Team Ultralink is a registered Trade Team with the Canadian Cycling Association. Ultralink will be led by veteran racer Jennifer Stephenson and 2007 Ontario Provincial Team member Sarah Coney.

Stephenson formerly rode for Expresscopy/Biovail and has finished in the top 5 in stages of Tour de Toona. Her win last week at the Ultralink Calabogie Classic shows she’s in good racing form.

Team Ultralink manager David Gazsi is also a top contender to win the Master’s 35+ race. He won the Elite Masters race at Calabogie.

From Quebec, Equipe Cascades features veterans Joanie Caron, 3i?me aux championnats qu?b?cois sur route en 2007, V?ronique Labont?, gagnante de plusieurs courses provinciales en 2007, Jessica Burns, grande complice de ses co?quipi?res and 21 year old newcomer Julie Munro. Equipe Cascades has competed in major races including the Montreal World Cup, the Tour de Leelanau and the Green Mountain Stage Race.

Another Canadian, Lucie Poulin a Cat 2 from Montreal represents team Le Yeti.