Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and SE Racing hosted their 8th Western Open this past weekend and if you missed it, you missed out! The weekend was far more than just the race on Sunday, but an event from start to finish. On Thursday afternoon, over the past few years, we have been able to gather a crew of racers and parents to ride MT7 - the home of the original Psychosis course and Dead Dog. We had a strong crew of 25 riders this year at the summit, with most taking the 15 km course from top to bottom; several for the first time ever. The tension and nerves as the riders decide if they will drop over the edge or take the safer rider around option is always one of my favorite moments.
The Western Open kicked off the unofficial practice on Friday and you really started to feel this year was going to be something special. We had close to 200 racers from Alberta, BC and the USA come to test their metal against one of, if not the hardest, tracks in BC. Thirty-one elite men, consisting of some of the fastest racers, were here including, Chris Kovarik, Lee Jackson, Matt Beer, Phillip Kmetz and Kirk McDowall. The ladies were here in full force as well and were not sitting on the sidelines with 11 women competing in the annual Huck to Flat competition off the finish jump. Savannah Glennie blew away the crowds with jumps over 25 feet to take first place in the women’s class. Dean Tennant, after being the king of the Huck to Flat for the past three years, had to hand over the crown this year as he was bested by Cody Macarthur with a jump close to 45 feet off a two foot ramp with a limited run in. To see this live is something else.
The LIV Lounge is new to the Dunbar Summer Series and based on the feedback it will be huge part of the series going forward. Amalie Pasternak, Caroline Black and coach Leanne Johnston volunteered their time and resources to provide women of any age, ability and support level a place to hangout, store their gear, get coaching and meet fellow riders with just over 20 women taking advantage of the LIV Lounge throughout the weekend.
Several awards were handed out before the podiums started and none were harder to present than the Steve Smith Chainsaw Award, presented by Momentum Watches, for the fastest amateur male (Blake Bunting) and Female (Savannah Glennie) on the day. Both racers took home mini chainsaws and brand new sport watches from Vancouver’s own Momentum Watches. Hayden’s mom Glenna Genoud took home a nice bottle of wine and a huge thank you from the crowd for the support she has given not only to Hayden and his pursuit of the racing bug, but for supporting the events themselves by volunteering at each race. Thank you!
Brandon Johnson, who drove all night then slept in back of his truck with his girlfriend and pet rabbit all weekend just so he could race, took home the KORE Components Core Award. The award consisted of several parts such as rims, bar, stem, seat and seat post all from KORE.
And for the finally it was time to have Chris and Claire Kovarik draw the winning ticket for a brand new cherry red M16 frame from Intense Cycles. Intense has generously donated one M16 frame for each stop on the Dunbar Summer Series and two Tracer 27.5 frames for the BC Cup Finals at Fernie Alpine Resort. All proceeds from the raffles go to support my daughter, Lola, in her rehabilitation. Her story can be found at LOVE FOR LOLA
|I am always happy to announce at SE Racing events. They are well executed, really fun and have incredible racing for all ages and experience. Looking forward to more wicked BC Cup DH racing at Panorama Mountain Resort next week! - Brett Tippie|Junior Expert Men's podium - Blake Bunting (1st), Jesiah Dyck (2nd), Alex Silverthorne (3rd).Elite Women's podium - Clair Buchar (1st), Aubrey Demchuk (2nd).
|This track is a beast for sure at close to four minutes fully pinned and it only take one mistake to go from first to third, but it was a hell of a ride haha!. - Chris Kovarik|Elite Men's podium - Kirk McDowall (1st), Matt Beer (2nd), Chris Kovarik (3rd), Rhys Ellis (4th), and Phillip Kmetz in (5th).Full Results:
|Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden BC never disappoints, probably the most brutal track on the circuit with roots, chutes, rock slabs and holes that could swallow your bike. Thanks to Stephen Exley for running another on point event and of course Brett Tippie on the mic keeping it hilarious!. - Claire Buchar|
Updated BC Cup standings can be found on ROOTS & RAIN
So if you missed out on the Western Open, you won’t want to miss the next two rounds at Panorama Mountain Resort July 17th and Fernie Alpine Resort August 28th!!!
Registration for the next stop on the series at Panorama Mountain Resort can be found here: www.CCNBIKES.com2016 Western Open at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Registration for the complete Dunbar Summer Series can be found here: www.CCNBIKES.com
Photos By: Chris Pilling Photography
MENTIONS: @raceface @intensecyclesusa @dunbarcycles
@pinkbikeproductions @kickinghorse @whistlersquid