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Cheakamus Challenge back on

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The official word is that the 21 st annual Cheakamus Challenge Fall Classic Mountain Bike Race is back on, as scheduled for Sept. 20.

After seeing a 500 per cent increase in insurance cost, from $1,800 each year to $10,000, organizer Grant Lamont was ready to pack it in after 14 years at the helm.

The epic 70 kilometre bike race, which had over 1,000 racers a few years ago before dropping off in recent years, goes from Squamish to Whistler through the Cheakamus Canyon. It routinely attracts Canada’s top mountain bikers, including world champion Roland Green, who are winding up their competitive racing seasons.

After hearing of the race’s difficulties, members of the community stepped forward to see if they could help. The Whistler Events Bureau, which includes Whistler-Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler, and the RMOW, is backing the event fully, and Cycling B.C. will sanction the race, which will lower the insurance costs substantially.

According to Lamont, the new arrangement will make it easier to host the event.

"I think it’s better for me, definitely, and it’s better for the event, and it’s better for the resort," he said.

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