Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? Plan: let’s resurrect a bad-ass race from the 90’s, cultivate a bunch of sweet single track, and get people fired up on mountain bikes. End result: the “Vedder Mountain Classic”.
As always the goal of these events is to bring people from the mountain bike community together, have them ride some of the best trails Chilliwack has to offer, and get them absolutely stoked about a big day between the tape.
Whether you raced the Vedder Mountain Classic, BC Enduro Series, or both, volunteered, our just hung out in the beer gardens, one thing was clear, it was a pretty damn good weekend for hanging out and riding bikes.
The Vedder Mountain Classic was once one of the oldest, and most continuously run mountain bike races in Canada. This year marks the second year since its return, and it's safe to say that XC is back in a big way.
An unusual amount of snow, combined with a usual amount of rain, kept the trail crew working around the clock to prepare the course for the past weekend’s festivities. If you rode Vedder in early Spring you would have been amazed at the muscle that the FVMBA crew put into these trails to make them ride-able again after the beat down that was this year's Winter.
A huge thank you to the FVMBA crew that worked tirelessly to make this course as amazing as it is. Hats off to Gareth, Kirk, Fred, Kerry, Andy, Meghan, Bob, Kelly, Matt, Pat, Ernie, Ali, Hamish, Max, and the rest of the trail crew. These guys and gals like cold beer, so feel free to drop them a 6'er next time you roll through the WACK.
Sometimes the best laid plans can take a detour… sometimes this might even mean a trip off course into the cabbage, but this year it was the weather that really put the literal dampener on things.
In the days leading up to race the heavens opened up, letting down a deluge from the sky, giving the course a nice soak come race day, and boy was she soggy in sections!
Riders compared sections of the course to peanut butter, noting that you had to fight for each pedal stroke on the climbs, and hang on for dear life on the downs. #peanutbuttersandwich
But hey this is mountain biking, and a little rain with a side of mud didn’t deter these riders from having a great day on the bike. #putthefunbetweenyourlegs
This year’s Vedder Mountain Classic saw a stacked field from Bronze Medal Olympian-Catharnie Pendrel
, Two-time US Olympic Long Team Member-Spencer Paxson
, 4 time National Champion-Evan Guthrie
, Team Canada World Championship Member- Sandra Walter
, Kona Endurance/Adventure Team Member-Kris Sneddon
, Kona Endurance/Adventure Team Member-Rhys Verneer
, Rocky Mountain Cross Country Team Member-Greg Day
,Former Olympian and National Champion -Andreas Hestler
,as well as local boy and 4 time National Champion-Ricky Federau
.... just to name a few...
This year the Vedder Mountain Classic
was the kick-off to the new Cycling BC Premier XCM Series
.This year the series includes the Sunshine Coaster
, Vedder Mountain Classic
, Nimby 50
, and the Spakwus 50
In addition this year was our "KIDS Classic". The race was 500 m of windy, bending trail with some variety of terrain which included grass, gravel and loam. We kept it classy by ensuring it was taped off like our Classic race, and ensured safety of raking the course. We had incredible support from the community with 30 participants who competed in 3 different categories: Run Bike, 16-18" wheels and 20-24" wheels. Our little shredders competed for cheers, photos, and smiles; concluding with their very own water bottle (like the racers in the Classic) and cookie to refuel. We want to spread the stoke of mountain biking and hope that this will further support that dream!
Races are meant to test us, they test us mentally and physically, and often they push us outside our comfort zones. It's that challenge that we seek, a chance to conquer something. Talk to anyone that finished the race this year and they'll tell you that it was damn hard, but one hell of a wild ride!
Racers fought their way through mud, lots of mud, greasy roots, steep chutes, drops, jumps, and endless flow over a 34 km course
with close to 1700 m
of climbing. Couple this with 50 mm of rain in the few days before the race you can be certain that this year's course was definitely a challenge. Short course here
The Director of "Good Times”, Brett Tippie
was hanging out in the pit making a ruckus and getting riders and crowd members fired up for a big day on the bike. Tippie managed to even sneak in a few shuttles after the race with the Enduro Bros.
A huge shout out to those making the race happen outside of the tape. The volunteers this year killed it. This dude in the purple hat at the top of Kerry'd Away was just what the doctor ordered to bring the stoke level up after a grueling climb. Cheers "Daryl in the Purple Hat", you killed it buddy.
Catharine Pendrel was out supporting the local race scene this year. We caught up with her post-race and here's what she had to say about the Vedder Mountain Classic.
Spencer Paxson, Evan Guthrie, Chris Johnson, and Dylan Wolsky were some of the riders that took on the challenge of riding both races over the weekend. Paxson made the trip across the border to take part in this year's events, he went on to claim the top spot in the XCM.
It was great to see some riders out this year that do this on the world stage, and for them to be genuinely stoked on this year's events. When you spend the majority of your season on the road its nice to come together and remember what it is all about. Talking with Evan after the race, he had this to say.
Read more about Evan's account of the race here
.Short Course Women
1 // Annie Roy // 1:46:11.0
2 // Erin Bruhns time: 1:47:51.6
3 // Kate Whitley // 2:09:59.5Short Course Men
1 // Hamish Graham // 1:13:26.9
2 // Shane Patterson // 1:14:38.6
3 // Hunter Verner // 1:22:52.5Long Course- Junior 18 and Under Men
1 // Tate Haugan // 3:03:16.8
2 // Breckin Nowak // 3:07:46.0
3 // Evan Russell // 3:11:39.0Long Course- Senior 19-29 Men
1 // Simon Szoke // 2:55:23.8
2 // Robert Whishaw // 3:00:24.7
3 // Andrew Jackson // 3:20:02.8Long Course- Master 30-34 Men
1 // Katharine Carter // 4:03:19.0Long Course- Master 30-34 Men
1 // Trevor Howard // 3:19:33.3
2 // Sylvain Pithon // 3:21:48.5
3 // Matthew Hornland // 3:34:23.9Long Course- Master 35-39 Women
1 // Elissa Lok // 3:44:47.7
2 // Kelly Jones // 3:52:29.7
3 // Crystal Lambert // 4:12:54.9Long Course- Master 35-39 Men
1 // Travis Hauck // 2:44:02.4
2 // Mikalai Panasiuk // 2:47:03.7
3 // Dave Vunic // 2:53:41.9Long Course- Master 40-44 Women
1 // Tara Miller // 4:05:08.1Long Course- Master 40-44 Men
1 // Michael Robinson // 2:51:45.6
2 // David Dorrans // 3:03:51.7
3 // Michael Johnston // 3:07:13.8Long Course- Master 45-49 Men
1 // Dwayne Kress // 2:49:27.5
2 // Andreas Hesler // 2:54:49.0
3 // Greg MacDonald // 2:54:49.0Long Course- Master 50+ Men
1 // Harvey Bergen // 3:08:31.3
2 // Ken Olson // 3:09:47.7
3 // John Verdonk // 3:10:07.0Long Course- Elite Women
1 // Catharine Pendrel // 2:52:12.0
2 // Sandra Walter // 2:55:32.5
3 // Jena Greaser // 3:09:57.6Long Course- Elite Men
1 // Spencer Paxson // 2:24:33.8
2 // Evan Guthrie // 2:25:41.7
3 // Rhys Verner // 2:31:56.3
FULL RACE RESULTS HERE
A big thank you to all the volunteers that came out this weekend. In total between the 2 races we had 80 volunteers
on hand to make this all happen. Hats off to the volunteers, we all appreciate your help, and we hope to see you back next year.
We want to take a moment to thank all of our sponsors and supporters this year. Without the generous contributions from local businesses, and the bike industry this event could not take place. So on behalf of the FVMBA and the BC Enduro Series crew , THANK-YOU! You rock, and you played a key role in putting on an awesome race weekend for over 500 race participants!A massive thank-you to our race sponsors and supporters for 2017. Your contributions are what allow us to host these great community events.Odlum Brown
I Via Sport
I Doc's Auto Body
I CBI Health Fraser Valley
I Old Yale Brewing
I Specailized Bikes
I Innovative Fitness Abbotsford
I Canadian National Enduro Series
I Inmist Media House
I Simpson Notaries
I Race Face Performance Products
I Vedder Mountain Bike Co
I Lifecycles Bike Shop
I Pedal Sport
I Kona Bikes
I James Lissimore Photography
I Tourism Chilliwack
I Toursim Abbotsford
I Whistler Performance Lubricants
I Orange Sport Supply
I Clearbrook Coffee Company
I Fortin's Home Hardware
I Envision Financial
I Cycling BCCheers folks, we will see you all again next year!
More Race Photos HERE