This past weekend saw hundreds of racers converge on Sun Peaks
resort for the World Masters Championships in Downhill (DH) and Cross Country (XC) as well as the Canada Cup Finals for DH and XC. The Canada Cup was also counted as a B.C. Cup event too, so riders were doubling up on their points by the end of the weekend. The Master’s XC would take place on Friday, while all remaining XC races would be on Saturday. Sunday would be the DH day, as all categories would be running the 4.8 KM course to see who had the goods to be crowned World and Canada Cup champions.Ross Measures (Bicycle Rockers Apparel
) and I got to Sun Peaks Friday around noon, to find the XC action in full bloom. Since neither of us was sure where our accommodations were, we headed out to find our contact man Jordan Petrovics. Jordan sent us to the powers that be. Ross ended up finding a sweet pad at the Hearthstone
, while the excellent folks at the Fireside Lodge
more then accommodated my group of three that would be arriving soon. Derek Lee (Calgary Cycle
), Mical Dyck (Terrascape
) and I found ourselves in a sweet little 2 bedroom with kitchen that would play host to our stinky gear for the next few days.
Once the Masters were done with the XC course, the rest of the racers and general public could go do laps. I caught up with Gerry Patychuk and we decided to see what all the fuss was about. Really, we could do a lap too. So the course is 98% new from last year and is basically one big loop around the village using existing trails and a whole lot of fresh (2 days old) single track to make up just over 6 KM of lactic fun. Well neither of us is about to break any records, any time soon with our 52 minute lap, but hey we were having fun and cheering on the ones that had to race the next day. XC is so humbling, but I think more of us should get out and just suffer through a few rides. Not only will it make you more fit, but it’ll do wonders for your overall DH skills too. That night we cooked in our own little kitchen at the Fireside and hit the sheets early to get up for the big XC day.
I broke a cardinal bike mechanic rule on Saturday morning when I went to work on Mical’s rear wheel. Never work on a bike on race day!! Needless to say we never did find that CrossMax SL spring for the pawls and had to borrow a wheel, just hours before the race. Remember to fix everything the night before and your blood level will stay down and racers can stay relaxed like they need to be before the big race. I decided to do a DH run while I was waiting for the Pro XC to start, so Jim Lo and I headed up the Sunburst Express for a lap. Up until the Garbanzo Expansion at Whistler, Sun Peaks Resort had the most vertical of all the bike parks. The Sunburst Express delivers you to 26 trail options, all of which drop an amazing 2000 vertical feet. New for this year were machine built beauties like Steam Shovel, Route 66 and the lower DH course. Route 66 is nothing but crazy berm, after crazy berm, you will learn to corner on a trail like this. Once we had a few thousand vertical under our belts, it was time to go and focus on the Pro XC racing about to take place.
In the men’s field it was a stacked deck of riders that all wanted a piece of the Canada Cup pie. But it came down to Ricky Federeau and Kris Sneddon doing battle for first place from the first lap. Speaking of the first lap, it was good to see 3rd place finisher Andrew Watson get up after what looked like one heck of a tumble on a high speed descent.
Sneddon would take the win and retain his Canada Cup overall leader’s jersey. I’d also like to mention that 7th place finisher Rodi Lega was also going to race the Pro DH on Sunday in what would be his first DH race ever.
The women’s pro field was a list of who’s who in the upcoming Canadian ranks and they went out hard. No one could catch Wendy Simms though once she decided to let loose and prove that she deserves a spot on the Canadian Team at worlds in September. It seems she was over looked in the selection process. Catharine Pendrel came in second with Mical Dyck taking 3rd to round out the podium. Mical’s 3rd place secured her second season as the Overall Canada Cup ladies points Champion. For full XC results please visit My Results.com
and pictures can be found at Alpineimages.ca
Here are your 2005 overall Canada Cup points champions.
Pictures from the XC and DH push up contest for a new set of tires.
Training and seating runs started at 8 am Sunday morning for the Master’s DH event. The fastest Master of the day was Jason Sigfrid in the 30-34 class with a time of 4:58.82; this would have been good for 7th place in pro men’s field. The Master’s were serious racers, but you could tell they were also there for a good time too. Gary Jackson of Cycling BC was seen racing in a full on Payne Stewart golf get up even.
A typical Master's Champion train of thought?
A Honda bike even found it's way to Sun Peaks for the World Cup.
Racer development from Invermere.
The Canada Cup/B.C. racing got under way at around 2 p.m. once the Master’s award ceremonies were all done. I chose to hike the DH course from the top, down at this point and get a few pictures of the action. The top few hundred meters are like a free fall into the woods, with crazy rock drops along the way.
Jordan Soles was the first rider I got to see hit this section up and you can tell he’s from Golden B.C. by the way he attacked the rocks-even if it was just a scared death grip he had going on. This is where a lot of action goes on in the first few seconds of racing, but we knew that there was still 4 KM’s of course to check out.
The dusty course filtered down the mountain to the high speed section and into Arm Pump. This was when the U17 and Junior Expert racers started blowing by and they had kicked up the speed knob a few notches on the way.
Near the last section of Arm Pump is when the Pros started popping up, with the ladies ripping through first. Good work to Adrienne Miller on making a pass in the tech wooded section and going on to a 3rd place finish. Micayla Gatto took 2nd in her first Pro race since moving up from Expert and the win went to Danika Schroeter who is very familiar to that position now. The men had their speed knobs turned up to 11 and all were gunning for the podium spots. With out Tyler Morland at the race, there was a small group of racers that could finish with the overall and they wanted it. Best I’m passing you line has to go out to Adam Billinghurst for his “look out; I just had the worst F’ing crash of my life.” Oddly enough it worked, now if more racers would just listen when they have been caught and quit jeopardizing their fellow racers chances at medals.
After the dust had settled, Charles-Alexandre Dube had found 3rd, Luke Kitzanuk took 2nd and American David K had the top podium spot. Pro XC racer Rodi Lega finished in 29th spot in the pro field in his first DH race ever, which would have been a second in the Sr. sport class or 5th in Sr. expert class. Awards finished around 7 p.m. that night and the village finally quieted down to its regular pace. Full results can be found at myreults.com
and pictures at alpineimages.ca
Big congratulations go out to the race organizer; Henry Pejril and his crew of volunteers that all rallied together to make this happen. Events of this size don’t just happen, they take months, sometimes years to unfold and most of us don’t know the behind the scenes. Announcing the Pro class is like the icing on the cake for a job well done. I did a few more runs on Monday morning with Jordan and we talked about the crazy weekend we’d just been witness to. We talked about the work that Sun Peaks
resort was putting into their resort as a whole and where cycling was headed. With an 18 hole golf course, 26 Gravity fed runs and a Village that’s growing by the month, Sun Peaks is a venue that can handle the biggest of race weekends I’ve seen to date. Thanks to the Fireside for making our stay comfortable and Jordan for the invite to play. See you all next year.