There was a lot of talk about strategies leading into the inaugural Crud to Mud race, the crown event of the first annual Mud Fest mountain bike celebration held by Whistler-Blackcomb to celebrate the opening of the bike park.
With an on-snow giant slalom followed by a downhill through the bike park, people wondered whether the skiers or mountain bikers would have an advantage. Or would it go to a snowboarder who didnt lose time changing out of ski boots before jumping on his or her bike?
In the end the Crud to Mud went to Chris Colbeck, a ski coach with Dave Murray Ski Camps during the winter and a downhill mountain bike coach with the Single Track Off Road Mountain Bike Club (STORMBC) during the summer. He has also happens to have a few World Cup mountain bike downhills to his credit.
"Damn, that was fun!" said Colbeck of the race. "It felt like the race was tailored to me individually because I ski all winter and mountain bike all summer.
"The skiing part went well. I do some coaching for the Dave Murray Ski Camps, and I do as many Kokanee series races as I can, and we all know how competitive those can be with guys like Rob Boyd and Chris Kent to chase after."
The mountain bike segment also went by pretty fast for Colbeck, who said he was surprised to make it top to bottom without making any mistakes.
"To tell you the truth Im not in shape right now. The race definitely wasnt easy. Its tough pushing yourself for eight minutes like that," he said. "Im definitely looking forward to it next year, and to defend my title. Ill definitely try to be in shape for that because people already told me after the race that they were gunning for me."
Some of the people that were gunning for Colbeck include Jeff Hume, the number two alpine downhiller in Canada, 2000 national mountain bike downhill champion Chad Onyschuk, and bike legends Richie Schley and Davey Barr.
"I was pretty blown away by the turnout," said organizer Chris Winter of Joyride Productions. "We had all the strong locals, plus some really good athletes from Vancouver. The interesting thing was nobody was sure what the winning strategy was going to be, snowboarders or skiers, skiers or bikers.
"The boot thing was big. I think Tom Prochazka wowed everybody when he showed up at the finish line of the bike race still wearing his ski boots. It was good to see people red lining right to the finish."