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Joyride attracts core following in Sun Peaks

Joyride ’04 settled nicely into its new digs at Sun Peaks Resort last weekend, throwing a bikercross and big air contest that locals will be talking about until next year.

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Cold weather and the threat of rain kept the spectator numbers down, but a large part of the Kamloops mountain bike community came out to support the events and the after party.

"It wasn’t a huge crowd, but it was a hard core crowd, really passionate cycling fans," said event organizer Paddy Kaye.

The bikercross event was one of the most exciting that Kaye had ever seen, with lots of passing from top to bottom. The course was also challenging, with huge features from top to bottom.

"I brought the same crew with me that worked on the course in Whistler in the last three years, and we made it into an epic," said Kaye.

The event also attracted a large international field, taking place a week after the World Cup in Calgary. Many of the top athletes and teams packed up afterwards and headed to Whistler for CrankWorx, July 22-25.

The final brackets of the bikercross included some of the top riders in the world.

In the end it was California’s Brian Lopes, the reigning world champion in 4X, who took the Joyride crown this year, edging out former world champion Cedric Gracia of France in the final heat. Third place went to Tyson McCrea, one of Canada’s top World Cup 4X prospects. Fourth place was claimed by California’s Chris Powell.

The pro women’s event went to American powerhouse Jill Kinter, who defended her Joyride title when she made the hole shot ahead of Sabrina Jonnier of France, the current World Cup 4X leader, in the final heat. Whistler’s Lisa Lefroy was third.

The Open Men’s race was won by Ryan Newman, followed by Mason Mashon, Justin Terwiel and Cam Smith.

The top junior was Everett Hoath, followed by Ross Measure, Dan Csokonay and Mike Wallis.

The big air contest followed the bikercross, with athletes judging the tricks. After a couple of jumps, the judges gave top marks to Kurt Voreis of the U.S. for his huge 360s over the gap.

Even Homegran was second, Jordie Lunn third, Ryder Kasperick fourth and Kyle Strait fifth.

When all was said and done, Voreis was named as the Joyride Ruler for 2004. He was seventh in the bikercross, but blew the competition away in the big air.

Results and photos are available at www.pinkbike.com.

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