Whistler is no longer officially part of the BC Bike Race route.
The seven-day singletrack stage race announced last week that Squamish will now serve up the drama as the competition's final stage, a role Whistler has held for each and every prior race.
But with new trails regularly being built all over the province, race marketing directly Andreas Hestler said race organizers hope to explore them in competition.
"You have to really carefully assess when you're making changes if it's going to be something that's interesting," he said.
While the Whistler stage has faced some hurdles in recent years, as the race's road closures combined with Pemberton Music Festival traffic to create havoc two years ago, and riders funnelled onto a pedestrian bridge to avoid Highway 99 last year, Hestler stressed it wasn't a determining factor in the change.
Whistler isn't totally off the map, however. Through the race, riders will be offered an "optional upgrade" after the race's completion to do a number of activities from enjoying a spa day to a ride in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Hestler said the bulk of riders would go to Whistler whether it's on the route or not, and said race organizers are serving as a "concierge" to help them get the most out of their experience.
The race will start in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, which is the complementary change to the course this year. The six other stages are all returnees with Cumberland, Powell River, Earls Cove to Sechelt, Sechelt to Langdale, North Vancouver and Squamish all hosting action.
WMSC U12s star at Rio Tinto Tyee Cup
A gaggle of young Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) skiers performed well at Grouse Mountain on Feb. 24 and 25.
To start off, Lola Gilbert hit the women's podium in the giant slalom, taking second, while Viveka Deck Stang took fourth, Marlo Parkhill was seventh, Carys Griffin was eighth, Madeline Wardle placed ninth and Sophia Cross snagged 10th. The men's side was also solid, as Thomas Legg scored the win while JJ Gibbons was bronze. Jamie Tait and Braden Aitken took fourth and ninth, respectively.
The team then hit the Kinder Kombi, with a number of repeats in the top 10. Cross jumped to second while Deck Stang took third. Wardle, Vanessa Young, Griffin and Lara Markthaler were seventh through 10th in order, respectively. As for the men, Tait scored the win while Gibbons was fourth, Legg sixth and Aitken seventh.
After an evening of regrouping, the skiers tackled the Stubbie Slalom the following day. On the women's side, WMSC skiers took the top six slots with Young, Deck Stang and Cross sweeping the podium in order, followed by Griffin, Gilbert and Wardle. Markthaler was 10th. As for the men, Tait and Gibbons medalled with finishes of second and third, respectively.
Lastly, in the Tall Gate Slalom, Deck Stang secured the women's win while Griffin hit the podium in third. Wardle (fourth), Cross (fifth), Young (seventh), Nicole Doiron (eighth) and Markthaler (ninth) all hit the top 10 as well. As for the men, Legg ended up in the silver position, while Aitken was fifth.
Complete results are online at bcalpine.com.
Girls' hoopsters make provincials
The Whistler Secondary School (WSS) Storm senior girls' basketball team is no stranger to the provincial tournament.
But they'll be playing a level up this year. The Storm usually play as an A school, but after moving to AA competition this season, they earned their way into provincials.
WSS placed second in the North Shore League, with Ayden Kristmanson, Pietra Kamstra and Jenna Tobias earning accolades as league all-stars.
In the Lower Mainland tournament, the Storm finished 2-1 and needed a tiebreaker to determine the third and final league qualifier for provincials. The Storm travelled to Nanaimo and bumped Royal Bay 68-41 to punch their ticket.
Play began Feb. 28 at the Langley Events Centre. WSS, ranked ninth, was set to face No. 8 Langley Christian.