Sports » Features

Kabush sets new course record at Test of Metal

Whistler riders on the podium



Twelve years after his first win in 1998, Geoff Kabush of Courtney ripped to the finish line first on Saturday to set a new record in the 15 th annual Squamish Test of Metal.

Kabush's time of two hours, 29 minutes and 25 seconds broke the record set by Max Plaxton last year by 45 seconds. Plaxton himself was a DNF this year, one of many.

"Yeah, I won in the last century," Kabush joked, "but today was a pretty smooth race and it feels good."

He said he had put in more practice this year and even though it had been a decade since he last participated, the 67-kilometre track didn't hold a lot of surprises for him.

Test riders have been setting the bar quite high in the last few years. Plaxton's 2009 record broke his own record from 2008, which in turn broke the record time set back in 2000 by Whistler's Chad Miles.

On the women's side Catharine Pendrel of Kamloops defended her 2009 title with a time of 2:51:53. She was followed by Sandra Walter and Catherine Vipond. Pendrel set the women's record in 2009 - 2:50:44 - but came just short of the mark this year.

Kabush built a lead of 2:25 over second-place finisher Kris Sneddon, who completed the race in 2:31:25 - four minutes faster than his time last year.

"I was hoping to be in the first five," Sneddon said. "There are a lot of fast guys here."

Sneddon said that Powerhouse Plunge was a rough part of the race for him, but he knew what to expect and how to deal with it.

"It's a taxing descent and so is Crumpit Woods, but that's where you have to keep everything together," he said.

In third place was Marty Lazarski, who is having one of his best seasons. It was payback for last year when he ended up in 30 th place. He said this time he was more focused and had better training. He had to ride about 20 minutes on a flat tire but said he kept relaxed and tried to focus on the track ahead.

"At the Nine Mile Hill I got separated from the group but I kept myself relaxed and rode my bike quite comfortably," he said.

As for Pendrel, she was just glad the course was mostly dry despite some rain the day before. She said the course was smooth and fast.

"It felt really good and I had fun out there today," she said.