The 2016 Canadian DH Championships were hosted at Sun Peaks Resort this past weekend, the third and final year running for the interior British Columbia Bike Park. Sun Peaks has deep roots in DH racing and despite the chairlift opening for biking in '99, the slopes were already hosting progressive trails and early races before lift access was introduced.
Racer feedback suggested they would prefer a more technical course than the high-speed track used the past 5 years for provincial and national level races, and the talented trail crew lads obliged with a new top-to-bottom course that only the very fastest man of the day, Kirk McDowall, was able to break five minutes on. In the women's field, Miranda Miller beat out the competition to hold onto the title for another year.
A section of newly built trail connects Insanity One to Honey Drop at the "Twisted Sister's Sister" ride-around, branching right to detour around this intimidating bridge, across Sting ski run and into the adjacent forest. "Newly built" is an understatement here, with non-stop rain through July delaying completion until a week before opening for practice. The result was just what everyone was hoping for in the new connector; a loamy, rough track with heaps of line choices and continuously deteriorating conditions that made planning lines in advance challenging. "Under-gunned" was an apt description used by one racer after finishing a lap on his enduro rig.
The course crosses the grassy meadows and newly benched sidehill of another ski run before plummeting back into the woods on another well established double-black trail, Honey Drop. Though Honey Drop is a veteran on the overall Sun Peaks roster, surprisingly, it's never been raced. Tight, flowing singletrack connects sections of unrelenting tech, with new race lines developing continuously over the week leading up to timed runs.
The second new section of trail included in the 2016 Canadian DH Championships race track begins where Honey Drop meets Wagon Wheel, and descends all the way to the finish line. This giant new swath of trail is much like the higher Sticky One, completed only weeks previous, with the rough singletrack beginning after a welcome but short section of machine-sculpted features. Roots, loam, flat corners and new lines developing with every set of Minions, had racers breathing heavy by this point.Full results are available here
on Pinkbike, featuring over 250 brave souls who endured the nearly six hundred metre descent countless times, battling it out for a spot on the podium or maybe just above their usual racing rivals.For those eastbound for Mont-Ste-Anne in a couple weeks, good luck!Event PageSun Peaks Resort