In the tightly contested Pro Stock category, all eyes were on Jeremy VanSchoonhoven of Williams, Oregon who had won the event the previous three years. He started off strong with scores of zero on the first few sections before he got into trouble on some narrow logs in the later sections. VanSchoonhoven, the reigning North American champion, went first in all of the events while the other riders watched him closely as he picked out the best lines.
Still, he finished his first round of the six sections with a score of 13, which put him in third place. That opened up the door for Connecticuts Mike Steidley and John Webster of Mill Bay, B.C., who finished the first round with scores of 11 and eight respectively.
If youve never seen a bike trials competition, riders attempt to work their way through complex courses littered with obstacles without dabbing or putting their feet down. Every time you dab you get a point, with a maximum of five points per section.
Adding urgency to the competition, riders only get two minutes to clean each of the six sections, and two attempts at each section. Both scores count.
The sections in play last weekend include a boulder section, a stump section, a section with massive tires and a car, a section with an uphill waterfall and drop from a logging truck onto a van and then onto the ground, and two complicated log sections involving uphill climbs and downhill hops.
In the end it was Webster who would make the fewest dabs over two runs, posting a final score of 15. This was the first time since the Test of Metal Trials Competition became part of the North American Trials Series in 1999 that the title has been taken by a Canadian.
"It was nice to see the local B.C. guys stepping it up this year," said organizer Robin Coope. "It was pretty cool to see (Webster) compete against some of the top guys in the world like that, and pull it off."
Other highlights this year include seven year-old John Goodwins victoriy in the beginner modified class, the Labonvilles father-son team, and 12-year-old Kyle Quesnel, who competed in the Teen Test on Saturday and both the Rockstar Invitational and Trials Championship on Sunday.
The event has been growing in stature every year says Coope, and the event is getting a reputation as one of the best organized and gnarliest on the North American circuit.
Coope credits his volunteers, Dave McCrae of Triack Resources who provided the site, Mike Mohr from Mountain Building Centre and Ted Prior for getting the site in shape and helping make the event a success.
The number of actual entries was down, from 87 in 2003 to 53 this year, which is more of a reflection of high school exams than the popularity of the event says Coope.
1. John Goodwin
2. Jesse Ellington
3. Jordan Fenn
1. Carl Lebonville
2. Brad Tibbs
3. Jared Hicks
1. Todd Jensen
2. Greg Mackenzie
1. Trevor Howard
2. John Kowalik
3. Jordan Masse
1. Steve Baia
2. Dylan MacRae
3. William Hendrickson
1. Lucas Hamilton
2. Roman Bertolutti
3. Richard Belson
1. John Webster
2. Mike Steidley
3. Jeremy VanSchoonhoven
1. Justin Kohse
2. Chase Mollberg
3. Evan Brown
For complete results visit www.testofmetal.com.