Challenging trails put riders to the test when the B.C. Cup mountain bike race series paid a visit to Mount Washington Alpine Resort on the weekend.
Mount Washington bike park manager Mike Manara said the weekend was a great success, with over 220 athletes from around B.C. competing for provincial titles.
“Great weather and the trail conditions were ideal,” Manara said. “One of the feature parts of the event, especially in the downhill race, was we were able to use the Monster Mile race course off the top of the Eagle. We couldn’t use it last year because there was too much snow.
“That course is known in B.C. as one of the toughest and gnarliest downhill tracks in all of Western Canada. It has a bit of prestige. You can compare it to the Lake Louise downhill of skiing, that’s kind of the equivalent in the mountain biking world.”
Announcer Brett Tippie, described by Manara as one of the godfathers of freeride mountain biking, manned the mic both days. “He knows all the athletes and riders and MCs events all over the country,” Manara said. “He’s a fun, enthusiastic guy. He gets the crowd into the race and keeps the riders involved.”
Thirty-three cyclists showed up for the cross-country B.C. Cup final on Aug. 25. Wade Luksay (United Riders of Cumberland) of Comox finished first in a five-rider field in the 30+ Citizen Men race.
Emily Johnston of Comox rode uncontested to victory in the U15 Women division while in the U19 Citizen Men, Evan Luksay (United Riders of Cumberland) of Comox was first and Kieran Nilsen (United Riders of Cumberland) of Comox was second in the two-rider division.
On Aug. 26, 154 competitors challenged Mount Washington’s legendary Monster Mile in the seventh race of the B.C. Cup downhill series. (The final goes Sept. 2 at Hemlock).
Tom Beardmore (United Riders of Cumberland) of Victoria was seventh in the U19 Citizen Men division, which featured14 riders. In 30+ Citizen Men, Derek Diedricksen (United Riders of Cumberland) of Comox finished eighth and Jess Purden of Courtenay was 10th. Rodd Carroll of Lazo DNF and Travis Ram of Cumberland DNS.
One of B.C.’s top downhillers, Simon Garstin (Knolly Bikes/Mountain City Cycles) of Courtenay, attacked the Monster in style to win the 19-29 Citizen Men, beating Bryce Stirling of Springbrook, B.C. by seven seconds. Alex Zirkl of Comox finished seventh in the 13-rider field.
There were 19 riders in U17 Sport Men (15-16) where Connor Rix (Spy) of Courtenay took 12th.
Complete results are posted on cyclingbc.net.
Mountain bike fun continues this weekend at Mount Washington. The Sept. 1-2 Bike Festival features the Fall Freak Out with jumps, downhill races and prizes plus the Island Series Jump Jam hosted by Jordie Lunn on Saturday.
On Sunday there’s the Year-Ender Bender race on Helter Skelter, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Manara notes the bike park will be open three extra weekends in September (until Sept. 23) and invites everyone to come up and enjoy the last month of the MTB season.