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Green takes fifth Cheakamus Challenge



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This year the field included more than 320 riders.

Victoria’s Kabush, the Canadian champion, finished the race in 2:53:11, less than five minutes back of Green. Ricky Federau of Abbotsford was third in 2:58:11.

Whistler’s Will Routley was the top local in the race, finishing fourth overall among the pro expert men in 3:04:45. As the top local, Routley received a $300 gift certificate from Nesters Market.

Other strong local performances came from Matt Bodkin, who was eighth overall, and Matt O-Keefe in 13 th .

In the women’s race, Whistler’s own Nikki Kassel was the top racer, coming in at 3:44:58.

Kassel had raced in five previous Cheakamus Challenge races, and was ecstatic to finally be on top.

"I’ve come in second place for the last three years," she said. "I finally won!"

Like Green, Kassel paced herself with a strong group of riders, including Carrie Tuck of Calgary, until she reached the final climb.

"Once I reached the wall by the Northwest Passage on Whistler, I knew I was going to do it. I knew the course so well after that, I just cruised down."

According to Kassel, the race felt easy this year after riding in the Samurai of Singletrack the previous week. Although the Samurai was 15 km shorter than the Cheakamus Challenge, she said all the technical riding made for a long day.

"The Samurai was fun, but the Cheakamus was more my style," she said. "I’ve been riding long hours all summer, and I love to climb. The conditions were perfect, and I just wanted it. I was tired of second."

Tuck finished second in 3:50:05.

Third and fourth place went to Angela Teng and Joanna Harrington of Whistler, with times of 4:09:59 and 4:21:32 respectively. Tonja Dwyer of Calgary was fifth in 4:46:13.

Several Whistler riders also finished on top of their competitive categories. Eric Crowe won the veteran expert men 35-plus category with his time of 3:14:12.

His son, James Crowe, won the junior expert men’s category in 3:19:42. Tyler West was fourth in the category in 3:33:57.

The junior men’s race went to Michael Harrington in 4:35:51.

Stuart Cook was on top of the beginner men’s race with a time of 4:01:58. Greg McDonnell was third in 4:09:19.