Sea to Sky youth mountain bikers continued their assault on Ontario trails last weekend by securing a number of top finishes at the Canadian Cross-Country Championships in the Barrie area.
Squamish's Rhys Verner captured a silver medal, while former Whistler-based rider Felix Burke took the bronze in the U19 national championship race held Saturday, July 19. Verner finished 23 seconds back of winner Marc-André Fortier of Quebec, while Burke was 45 seconds off the winning time. Verner also finished second in the open men's eliminator race on July 17.
Squamish's Luke Di Marzo rode to a solid eighth-place finish, while Whistler's Austin Reith grabbed the final spot in the top 10. Whistler rider Mahon Lamont fought through illness for a 13th-place result.
In junior women's competition, Whistler's Jennifer McTavish finished 10th, just over seven minutes behind the winning pace. She also finished seventh in the open women's eliminator race.
At the cadet (U17) level, Squamish's Sean Fincham rode to a bronze-medal finish, while fellow Sea to Sky rider Ethan Toom finished seventh. Team Whistler's Chloe Cross also travelled to nationals and competed in the elite women's race but did not finish.
Back on the West Coast, results from the B.C. Cup downhill races held at Silver Star last weekend were not available at press time.
HARRIMAN HITS PODIUM
The Whistler Rowing Club's Maureen Harriman was brilliant at yet another edition of the Canadian Masters Rowing Championships, held July 19 and 20 at the Burnaby Lake Rowing Centre.
Harriman finished the event with six medals in all — four gold, one silver and one bronze — in various races, competing in single skull, double and quad.
LOCALS FINISH FONDOS
Several members of the Whistler Cycling Club completed the Prospera GranFondo Axel Merckx Okanagan, a 160-km ride in the Penticton area, on July 13.
Kelly Blunden finished in five hours, 11 minutes, for the top time amongst the group, while Paul O'Mara finished in 5:17. Elizabeth Rogerson was Whistler's top female with a finish time of 5:29.
Mike Rogerson (5:29), Ron Later (5:49) Bob Barnett (5:52) and Dave Davenport (5:59) all broke the six-hour barrier as well. Other Whistler finishers included Ged Hague (6:05), Tom Thomson (6:43) and Patrick McCurdy (8:25).
In the event's 90-km race, Dave Milley finished in 3:01 and Michael Blaxland wrapped up his ride in 3:49.
A few more local riders also took part in the Prospera Valley GranFondo on Sunday, July 20, including pro cyclist Ben Chaddock and father, Ken. They both finished in 4:35, with Ken earning a top-five finish in his 55-64 age group.
Kerry Spearing finished in 5:00, Glen Scutt arrived in 6:51, Glenn Howe clocked in at 6:56, and Susie Howe finished in 7:37.
PHAT RACE GOES TO GARBO
The Phat Wednesday series went up into the Whistler Mountain Bike Park's Garbanzo Zone for the first time on July 16, with more than 160 riders trying out part of the route that makes up Crankworx's famous Garbanzo Downhill.
Chris Kovarik was the only racer to break the five-minute mark, winning the open men's race at four minutes, 54.14 seconds. Dennis Courchesne and Jack Iles were second and third.
Claire Buchar (5:31.22) won yet another women's race by a mile, while Lula Darquier and Christina Chappetta joined her on the podium.
Other category winners last week were Finn Iles (junior men, 5:13.16), Shane Gayton (masters, 5:06.36) and Georgia Astle (junior women, 6:04.87).
The series resumes July 30. The Phat Kidz took over the park on Wednesday, July 23 after press time. Also, the Whip It event, which has entries into Crankworx's Official Whip-Off World Championships, has been moved to Aug. 11.
TRAIL DAY IN PEMBY FRIDAY
The Pemberton Valley Trails Association is teaming up with Ironman athletes on Friday, July 25 for a collaborative trail day in the Spud Valley.
Ironman athletes and local volunteers will be teaming up to work on the new Thuja Plicata kids' trail and make improvements to the Bathtub Trail bridge. The trail day will be followed by a "PVTA Feast" at the Legion in support of local trails. Visit https://www.athletepath.com/pembyproject/2014-07-25 for more details.