Friends and Family is what the Red Bull Mt.7 Psychosis is all about. Oh and $5000 to the winner helps too!!
While every one from the B-Labs van was staying with Adrian, Margie and their dog with too many vertebras, I was at the Patychuk Lodge. The Patychuk family was gracious enough to host most of us old and current Calgary residents at their home for the weekend. It’s nice to be taken care of like family-thanks guys!All weekend the extra fine folks at NME tours and Session 7 Shuttles were running a FREE shuttle service to riders in order to cut down on the road traffic and keep runs to a maximum. I know that the racers were stoked on this as it's tough to get pre-rides in on a 14 KM course when you show up in your Honda Civic. Thanks go out to the shuttle wagons!!
In between rain storms on Friday, I got in a few great trail runs with various rider’s parents and racers when they weren’t training for the race. Here’s a bit of information for those of you that only go to Golden to ride the race course, there are a lot of great trails on Mt.7 and you should explore when you’re there. Robert MacPhalen and I did a few exploratory runs and managed to find the soon to be infamous “Upper Black” trail and all we had to say was DAMN!!! Bring your goods and to quote Robert “I’d hit some of this if I wasn’t clipped in”, Sure you would!! It was nice to have all the youngin’s in bed early, as this year they had to race on Saturday from 5 K while the older crowd got one more day to practice.
Saturday morning brought more rain to the mountain and it was up to the racers to use there bodies to absorb as much of it as possible. This is what the Little Big Rippers did and they did it in fashion with Steve Palitsky taking the win. The Wannabe Men field was won by Geoff Briggs, who wasn’t even aware of his winning time until minutes before awards when someone finally found him casually hanging out at the Calgary Cycle trailers and told him of his winning. Not only did he not know he’d won, but he’d missed out on the free Red Bull being provided to those that occupied the hot seat-too bad, there’s always next year. Once the course was clear it was time for practice to start for those that were racing off the summit on Sunday. For the first few hours, NO ONE cleared Dead Dog and it’s slippery as hell slopes-it was beginning to look like they’d have to re-route the top section like a few years past when rain turned it unsafe. And then rumors started to filter down that Zander had ridden it and had used a fellow rider as a cushion on his way through a berm. Good work buddy! (Zander would get a top 10 finish on Sunday with a stick stuck in his leg that couldn’t be removed by onsite first aid, and had to be tended to at the hospital-once beers and RedBulls were consumed first though!) As the evening set in, the top of the course was really getting good. Clayton Racicot was heard saying “man it’s so good I can almost nose manual on Dead Dog now” Everyone went home to get some sleep and pray to the rain gods to take the day off and let it keep drying up. I hear a few people made it to the party at the Kicking Horse River Lodge
, but it was good to see them all bright eyed the next morning.
I was at the volunteer tent just before 7 a.m. to find out details of were I’d be stationed and what the day’s plans were. Dave informed me that I was going to be with 2 other course marshals, 2 first aiders and 2 search and rescue personnel. Wow this road gap is going to be crazy was my first thought as I’ve been volunteering at the Tail Gate for years and most of the time I’d be there alone. Throw in a road gap and the people will come and that they did. The Sandbagger and Hard Tail classes weren’t allowed to hit up the road gap as it was part of the “PRO” course only, so this allowed for a lot more spectators to filter up the hill to find a spot for the main event.
The Non- Pro classes didn’t disappoint either, from their lost looks to smiling “give me more pain” faces, you could tell everyone was getting the epic in they needed. Once the course cleared it was time to unleash the pro riders and first up was the ladies. Margie DeGrace took top honors with a smashing new course record for the ladies heat. Now on to the men’s race and what would be our first riders to start hitting up the road gap. They were coming in hot and sending it large!! My personal favorites had to be Dave of the CAFÉ laughing all the way through the air, Tyler Gnitt throwing a no hander in his race run, Kyle Strait’s sweet table and Thierry Provencher going WAY BIGGER then everyone else. In the end it was Tyler Morland and another new course record that had most people talking.
5th-Nick Quinn 3rd-Terry Provencher 2nd-Andrew Pohlman
The awards ceremony was nice and quick with even the volunteers taking home goods. I met back up with my traveling crew and loaded up B-Labs again for the trip home. First though Tyler took 14 of us out for dinner to celebrate the win-top notch buddy! I got dropped off at 2a.m. while the rest of the crew still had 2 plus hours to go to Whistler. Thanks for the good times and maybe you’ll have room again next year?!