The final race in the Sea to Sky Corridor's biggest series of bike races will put Neal Kindree up against Kevin Calhoun for top Hell of a Series honours.
The series will wrap up with JABR (Just Another Bike Race) on Saturday (Aug. 20) in Squamish at Quest University.
Kindree has a narrow lead atop the elite rider standings in the series going into the final race, which is anything but just another race for the riders leading in the various Hell of a Series standings.
Kindree has 755 points from four races going into the mandatory sixth race in the series. Kevin Calhoun is looking to pick up the 200 series points rewarded for a first place finish to add to the 600 points he collected in four previous races.
Kindree is on a winning streak after collecting first place finishes at Orecrusher in Squamish, Nimby Fifty in Pemberton and Squamish's Gearjammer. Kindree placed third at the Test of Metal in June.
Calhoun hasn't bettered any of Kindree's 2011 results at races in the Sea to Sky Corridor. He placed second behind Kindree at Nimby Fifty in May in his closest effort. Calhoun picked up a third place finish at Gearjammer in July, fifth at Orecrusher and sixth at the Test of Metal.
"He's got another gear that guy," Calhoun said of Kindree. "He's definitely a world class talent."
According to Calhoun, Kindree is the favourite to win JABR and take the Hell of a Series title.
"On my best day I can stick with Neal for half the race or three-quarters of the race," said Calhoun.
While Kindree has his eyes on winning JABR and the series his mind is on the next level.
"This'll probably be the last Hell of a Series I do," said Kindree. "I need to start racing for money and racing people who can beat me and being pushed and trying to develop more as an athlete."
Melanie Bernier leads the elite women's standings. Ann Yew, the 2010 Hell of a Series winner, is 45 points behind Bernier. The two riders are uncommitted for JABR and if they don't race this weekend they won't qualify for the series. Bernier, who is a member of Canada's national ski mountaineering team, is in Revelstoke preparing for the ski season. Yew is recovering from a hip injury and she said she would only race if her hip feels ready for competition.
Megan Rose and Joele Guynup share third place in the series standings with 420 points each.
JABR race director Dwayne Kress confirmed that Rose and Guynup wouldn't be participating in JABR.
Three local citizen riders have strong leads in their age categories: Rua Reed, Cathryn Zeglinski and Ted Russo. Each has 800 points from four races. Reed and Zeglinski both have their series wins already locked.
According to Kress, one of the best places for spectators to see the JABR competitors is near the bottom of the long downhill trail called Half Nelson. The trail is located just above Quest University and there is a parking area near the bottom of the trail. He said Perth Drive just below the university is another good viewing area.
"In advance, I'd like to thank drivers for their consideration of the racers on Perth and the Garibaldi Park Road," Kress said.
Kress said the race has been labelled a lap race. It is better described, he said, as a meandering point-to-point event. The route takes competitors from Quest University to the most popular single-track trails in Squamish between the Mamquam River and Alice Lake Provincial Park.
JABR will start at 11 a.m. and a post-race party will take place at the finish line.