Alternating between rain and slightly softer rain all day, there was some concern that the conditions could turn the third annual Joyride Bikercross on Monday night into mud wrestling.
Miraculously, the rain stopped in the first couple of heats, and the perfectly maintained course managed to soak up most of the rain. The traction was probably better for the racers than it was at the end of the last heat wave.
In the mens Pro race, there wasnt a dominant rider from the beginning. Making the hole shot to take the lead from the beginning was not a guarantee that you would finish first, either, with a lot of passing taking place through the technical sections and down the final straightaway.
Although he didnt win every heat, World Cup downhill and four-cross champion Cedric Gracia of France caught fire in the last few rounds to take the title in the closest match of the day.
He started out with the hole shot, but never had more than a bikes length on the other three bikers in the final heat. He poured it on at the end, and crossed the finish line a fraction of a second faster than his competition.
"Its just wonderful," said Gracia. "I was out too late in Vancouver last night, and didnt get to Whistler until noon, and I wasnt feeling the best. I almost didnt race today."
Gracia said he had a fun day, and praised the level of riding in Whistler.
"I was in Whistler last year for the first time. All my friends who ski would say you have to come to Whistler and ride the trails here, and now Ive seen it and it is one of my favourite places. People in Europe are talking about Whistler now, its just incredible."
Gracia won $3,500 for the win.
Second place and $1,200 went to Greg Minnaar of Russia, and third place and $600 went to Mike King of the U.S. Scott Beaumont of the U.K. wrapped up the last bracket.
King, the winner of the World Cup Four Cross at Grouse Mountain the day before, said everything was perfect. "This place holds water pretty well so we were pretty fortunate," he said. "It was pretty fast, and just a lot of fun to race."
King also thanked the crowd, estimated at more than 1,000 people, for sticking out the rain and giving their support.
Although a crash out of the first corner in the semi-finals scrambled the results slightly in the womens race, the top World Cup athletes came through.
In the womens Pro race, Jill Kinter of the U.S. took the top spot and $700. She was followed by Sabrina Jonnier of France, Tracy Moseley of the U.K., and Tai-Lee Mxlow of Australia, all of whom were in the area for the Grouse Mountain World Cup.
The Whistler riders, Jen Ashton and Claire Buchar had a frustrating time as a result of the crash, but still managed to finish sixth and eighth respectively.
In the amateur mens race, Brian Gerrard of Washington took the win, followed by Daniel Niezel, AJ Johnson of Washington and Tyler Morland of Whistler. Whistlers Adam Cook and Grant Laird were fifth and sixth.
In the junior category, Ronny Enns of Delta came out strong in the last heat and never looked back. Justin Terweil of Weffley Creek outfought Cameron McCall of Aptos for second place, and Jamie Biluk rolled in third.
From Whistler, James McSkimming and Daryl Leduke were sixth and ninth respectively.
In the DH chairs category, Stacey Kohut of Whistler was the guy to beat, getting off to a fast start and keeping it.
Cedric Gracia, France
Greg Minnaar, Russia
Mike King, USA
Scott Beaumont UK
Chris Kovarik, Australia
Steve Peat, UK
Bas De Beaver, Netherlands
Jill Kinter, USA
Sabrina Jonnier, France
Tracy Moseley, UK
Tai-Lee Muxlow, Australia
Anneke Beerien, Holland
Jen Ashton, Whistler
Michelle Demeresq, Vancouver
Claire Buchar, Whistler
Brian Gerrard, Washington
Daniel Niezel, Washington
AJ Johnson, Washington
Tyler Morland, Whistler
Adam Cook, Whistler
Grant Laird, Whistler
Aaron Kempf, Squamish
Dustin Kingman, Washington
Ronny Enns, Delta
Justin Terweil, Weffley Creek
Cameron McCall, Aptos
Jamie Biluk, Winnepeg, MAN
Connar Macleod, West Van
James McSkimming, Whistler
Matt Ward, Nanaimo
Daryl Leduke, Whistler