2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap

May 20, 2016
by Ernie Kliever  
This past weekend there was a little resurrection happening in hills surrounding Cultus Lake, BC. After a full year of building, months of planning, and huge community support, a once long forgotten race was hit hard with the jumper cables as it returned with some serious vengeance.

The "Vedder Mountain Classic" has some rich history. It started back in 1982 and ran annually into the mid 90's. It was once the longest running mountain bike race in North America. With a history like that, we had to dust this puppy off and get it back on the race calendar.

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
Harv Bergen of Lifecycles Bike Shop is a staple in the local cycling community, here he is putting down the hammer ~ photo: Mark McKay

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
~ photo: Mark McKay

Everything lined up for a great weekend on the shores of beautiful Cultus Lake, BC. Racers took their time in the morning to catch up with old friends and talk a little smack before the final call up.

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
~ photo: Mark McKay

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
~ photo: Mark McKay

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
~ photo: Mark McKay

The sun was out and the stage was set for a race that is already being described by many "as one of the best races of the year, on some of the best trails in BC". Cap this weekend off with beer gardens, a klunker ride, an unreal after party and the 2nd stop of the BC Enduro Series and we are talking about a pretty damn good weekend of mountain biking.

This year's course was a beast, with close to 1600 meters of climbing over 3 big climbs, but with a rewarding 3 big descents before finishing on the shores of Cultus Lake. Event organizers are already scheming about how to up the wow factor for next year.


Things got underway with an opening neutral lap through the streets of Cultus Lake before cranking the race dial to 10 as riders hit the main highway jostling for positioning as they headed into the first big climb and into the single track.

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
~ photo: Mark McKay

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
~ photo: Mark McKay

Riders then made their way into some of Vedder's premiere single track climbing. A twisting, brown ribbon of trail that goes deep into the lush coastal rain forest that locals are lucky enough to call home.

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
~ photo: Mark McKay

Things got interesting on the hill as riders used their strengths to attempt to gain enough of a lead to carry them ahead on sections where their weaknesses would certainly be their downfall. It was a race that didn't necessarily cater to the fittest rider, or the best descender, but rather to the true all-around mountain biker.

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
~ photo: Mark McKay

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
~ photo: Mark McKay

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
~ photo: Mark McKay

To win a spot on the podium you need to be incredibly fit, you need technical skills, you have to be fast on the downs, and you need to know how to pace yourself. After 32 km, close to 1600 m of climbing and just over 2 hours in the saddle, local rider Ricky Federau rolled across the line with a first place time of 2:09:05:38.

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
Forget that Bic razor, this plush bear rug chest has Trek's NASA aero engineers scratching their heads. Ricky Federau does his best Hasselhoff impression on his way to first overall.~ photo: Mark McKay

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
Rhys Verner looking fast as he rolls down into second place. Notice the lack of a dropper post (or hairy chest), Rhys is all XC ~ photo: Mark McKay

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
What are gels? Dirt is new the fuel for riders! I hear loam is high in fiber. Sully had a nice little OTB moment on the trails as he took a little soil sample on this way to third place~ photo: Mark McKay

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
This guy is Verdonkulous! Local lumberjack and bear tamer John Verdonk crushed his way to 5th place in competitive men ~ photo: Mark McKay

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
Natasha Cowie digging deep heading into this switch back ~ photo: Mark McKay

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
~ photo: Mark McKay

The ladies were absolutely killing it out there on the course. A solid ride from Natasha Cowie landed her in 2nd place in the Competitive Women Category. While Jayne Rossworn took the top spot in the XC and Kelsey MacDonald rounding out the third spot.

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Kelsey Mac Donald crushing into first place in the enduro and third overall in the XC. This girl is faster than you! ~ photo: Scott Robarts

Climbing Kerry d Away on Vedder Mountain. Chilliwack BC
Riders enjoying Vedder's latest bit of single track "Kerry'd Away" ~ photo: James Lissimore

There were lots of battles, stories, tales from the trails, but the one thing that seemed to stand out for the riders was how good the trails were. Heading into the newest 3.4 km Kerry'd Away, riders were blown away as they were treated to some of best single track climbing in the Lower Mainland. Follow this up with some of the most fun, twisting and flowing single track descents in BC... talk about putting the fun between your legs!

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
Kerry the legend! This guy might be a terminator because he builds like a machine, there is a reason we named the trail after him. By the way, he likes cold beer... just saying ~ photo: James Lissimore

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Course Release images
The FVMBA putting work into this year's course ~ photo: James Lissimore

With about 8 km of single tracking climbing from Cultus Lake to the top of 2-Cents, it's no doubt that Vedder Mountain is quickly becoming a must-ride destination. Volunteers and local builders with the Fraser Valley Mountain Biker's Association have put over 10,000 hours into this year's course, and it shows. From new climbs, new descents, new add-ons, new features, this list goes on. If you'd like to donate to the local club to see more of this amazing work happen, DONATE HERE.

Images from Smith Enduro Osprey BC Enduro Series Fraser Valley - Race Recap
With postcard views like this from the finish line, it really doesn't get any better ~ photo: James Cattanach

After a long, hard-fought battle on the trails, riders exited the single track onto the shores of Cultus Lake, some even finished their ride in the lake. Rolling into the pit area for local eats and a cold beer from Old Yale Brewing was the pièce de résistance as riders waited for friends to cross the line.

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
~ photo: Scott Robarts

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Competitive Men Full Course XC. From the left: Rhys Verner, Ricky Federau, Sullivan Reed~ photo: Scott Robarts

Competitive Men Full Course XC
1) Ricky Federau (02:09:05.38 )
2) Rhys Verner (02:10:16.34)
3) Sullivan Reed (02:10:35.91)

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Competitive Women Full Course XC. From the left: Natasha Cowie, Jayne Rossworm, Kelsey Mac Donald~ photo: Scott Robarts

Competitive Women Full Course XC
1) Jayne Rossworn (02:44:32.40)
2) Natasha Cowie (02:48:01.99 )
3) Kelsey Mac Donald (03:11:02.96)

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Yes that's right legs, you can "shut right up!" ~ photo: Scott Robarts

We always like to smack talk about who is fitter, who's a more technical climber, who's faster, who can send it. It's the main reason that many of us race, we love to beat our buddies, and challenge ourselves. One cool thing we have incorporated into our Te- XC format is timed stages within the race. We select some descents along the course and set up the timers to see who is really the fastest on the down. It adds another podium, another set of prize money, and another chance to chirp your buddies. It's like the illegitimate love child of XC and Enduro racing, and it's awesome! We didn't come up with this idea on our own, it was the Nimby Fifty Redbull timed descents that had us thinking what a great way to add to a race.

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Competitive Men Full Course Enduro. From the left: Sullivan Reed, Ricky Federau, Rhys Verner ~ photo: Scott Robarts

Competitive Men Long Course Enduro
1) Ricky Federau (00:10:54.35)
2) Sullivan Reed (00:11:21.87)
3) Rhys Verner (00:11:33.92)

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Competitive Women Long Course Enduro. From the left: Natasha Cowie, Kelsey MacDonald, Jayne Rossworm ~ photo: Scott Robarts

Competitive Women Long Course Enduro
1) Kelsey Mac Donald (00:14:32.22)
2) Natasha Cowie (00:14:54.56)
3) Jayne Rossworn (00:14:54.76)

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Hunter Verner is all hard trail pride and no dropper, as he powers into top spot in the Open Men category ~ photo: Scott Robarts

Open Men Full Course
1) Hunter Verner (02:35:38.79)
2) Jamie Levett (02:36:53.81)
3) Chris Linder (02:51:11.69)

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Open Women Full Course XC. From the left: Crystal Lambert, Natalie Wood, Libby Barnett~ photo: Scott Robarts

Open Women Full Course
1) Natalie Wood (03:17:05.48 )
2) Crystal Lambert (03:24:56.70)
3) Libby Barnett (03:49:25.77)

Open Men Long Course Enduro
1) Dale Ristau (00:12:42.09)
2) Hunter Verner (00:12:48.96)
3) Jamie Levett (00:12:56.67)

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Crystal Lambert riding it like she stole it on her way to first place in the Enduro ~ photo: Scott Robarts

Open Women Enduro Long Course
1) Crystal Lambert (00:15:38.45)
2) Natalie Wood (00:16:48.48 )
3) Libby Barnett (00:18:16.74)

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Michael Murdoch, battling a recent injury, but out in front on his way to crushing the Short Course. He's gunning for a podium spot next year in the full course ~ photo: Scott Robarts

Open Men Short Course
1) Michael Murdoch (01:08:30.00)
2) Chris Friesen (01:26:13.01)
3) Brent Pinckeny (01:32:05.26)

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Open Men Short Course Enduro. From the left: Michael Murdoch, Chris Friesen, Kelly Barnes ~ photo: Scott Robarts

Open Men Short Course Enduro
1) Chris Friesen (00:05:47.79)
2) Michael Murdoch (00:06:00.33)
3) Kelly Barnes (00:06:12.47)

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Open Women Short Course XC From the left: Melissa Burroughs, Katherine Barry ~ photo: Scott Robarts

Open Women Short Course XC
1) Katherine Barry (01:57:14.55)
2) Melissa Burroughs (02:13:26.81)

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Katherine Barry with a double podium, and on her birthday too ~ photo: Scott Robarts

Open Women Short Course Enduro
1) Katherine Barry (00:08:56.07)
2) Melissa Burroughs (00:10:41.27)

This year saw a total of 130 racers out. The stoke was high, and we can only expect things to grow from here.

XC RESULTS
ENDURO RESULTS

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Future trail dog "Spruce" doing his best "Blue Steel" ~ photo: Scott Robarts

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Local bike Shop "Vedder Mountain Bike Co" rep'n, these guys know how to have a good time! ~ photo: Scott Robarts

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
Battle wounds, Vedder bites back! ~ photo: Scott Robarts

Vedder Mountain Classic 2016
~ photo: Scott Robarts

2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Recap
~ photo: Mark McKay

From unreal single track climbing to long, flowing, loam filled descents, this year's "Vedder Mountain Classic" had racers grinning from ear to ear as they rolled across the finish line. The whole event was topped off with a premier private party at the Lakeside Beach Club, if you weren't there you definitely missed out.

More shots of the race can be found here:
Mark McKay's Photos
Scott Robarts Photos
Pete Whalen's Photos

Big Shout out to all the awesome sponsors that made this whole event possible:

Goodlife Fitness, Simpson Notaries, Tourism Chilliwack, Kona, Specialized, Race Face, James Lissimore Photography, Vedder Mountain Bike Co, Lifecycles Bike Shop, Langley Concrete Group, Old Yale Brewing, Muddbunnies, Spruce Timing, Lakeside Beach Club, BC Enduro Series, One Up Components, Cycles Lambert, Nobl Wheels, Clearbrook Coffee Company, Clearbrook Iron Works, Combined Insurance, Envision Financial, Kintec, The Bike Room, Kevin Lepp Realty


2016 Vedder Mountain Classic Course Release images


MENTIONS: @muddbunnies / @Specialized / @FVMBA / @srobarts / @konaworld / @raceface / @lissimorephoto / @VedderMountainBikeCo / @bcenduroseries / @OneUpComponents / @NOBLwheels




9 Comments

  • 6 0
 Way to go Ernie FVMBA VMTA and all the trail builders of Vedder. You all win
  • 2 2
 Doesn't that almost look more like an XC race than an enduro? Maybe the pictures don't do the trails justice. Edit: Oops, I get it; their seem to have been both XC and enduro races though it seems as if the XC part was the main focus.
  • 3 0
 Lefty on a Santa Cruz? Xc is weird.
  • 3 1
 ahhhh... that was a lot of spandex.
  • 1 0
 Anyone seen the pics from the Klunker ride from this year? I want to get a copy of it.
  • 1 0
 That Murdoch kid made me feel old. Much older than usual!
  • 1 0
 Ricky!!!
  • 1 0
 Way to go Jayne!!
  • 3 5
 Spandex 29er, oops I'm gay?

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