Tony Routley got a chance to ride the new singletrack trails created in Whistler Olympic Park this week, and had one piece of advice for riders taking part in this Sunday's B.C. Cup race - go slow.
"It's a good course, and it's going to make for a pretty hard and physically demanding race," said Routley, who is helping to organize the event with Team Whistler and Whistler Olympic Park. "There is a fair bit of doubletrack, a lot of which is climbing, and that drops into singletrack that is relatively technical from an average rider's perspective."
Routley says it's difficult to classify the four new singletrack sections - while it may not be that hard for the average Whistler rider, he says that the course might seem challenging to the average rider from outside the corridor.
"There are some steep spots, a little bit of rock, a few little drops - you can roll everything, but you have to be careful - it's not something you go tearing into," he said. Some of the course sections have already been named, including Mad Man's Drop and Madelay Drop.
The trails are also on the loamy side. The eight kilometre course only opened to the public last weekend after construction by Olympic Park crews.
So far registration is strong, with approximately 100 registered riders. Routley expects more to sign on this week, and a huge influx of riders on the day of the race.
There are actually three races in one, including the B.C. Cup event where the number of laps will be set by a technical committee from Cycling B.C. There is also a recreational citizen's race that is open to non-licenced riders, where you have a choice of one, two or three laps.
Also taking part is the first ever ActNow B.C. Summer Biathlon, a free bike biathlon event for kids 12 and under. The event is limited to 50 participants, so advance registration is recommended.
More information on the race, including a schedule of events and prices, is posted online at www.teamwhistler.ca. Expect it to be busy if you're registering on event day, so get there with plenty of time to register and warm up for your race.