Although the first section of the Riverside Trail resembled rush hour on the Lions Gate Bridge for many of the riders, the usual suspects beat the crowd to the top of the long climb to the entrance of Tunnel Vision on Thursday, May 29.
It was a wet and sometimes wild downhill after that, followed by an after party at Ulis Flipside in Creekside, sponsored by Ulis and ResortQuest.
The top spot once again went to 17-year-old James Crowe, who completed the course in 29 minutes, 47 seconds to win the junior category. He was followed closely by Trevor Hopkins, who passed three riders on the climb to win the mens group with a time of 30:24.
Hopkins has been spending his weekends road racing, finishing seventh in a sprint to the finish at the Victoria Times Colonist Cycling Festival road race, and sixth at the Atomic Road Race in Abbotsford in the mens level four group.
"Its really good cross training for mountain biking," says Hopkins. "Its definitely helped my climbing."
He says he will probably continue to focus on mountain biking, but would like to do more road races in the future.
The Loonie Races are going well for Hopkins, although he says the level of competition is pretty stiff this year.
"Its pretty competitive this year, for sure. It seems that a lot more people are going hard, racing to win. Its definitely a good group to ride with because youre pushing each other the whole way."
Dave Burch was second among men in 30:54, and Matt Bodkin was third in 31:00.
Angela Teng is four for four on the Loonie circuit, finishing in 36:00. She was followed by Ronnie Lister and Jenn Keifer a minute later. Brook Baker was the top junior woman in 48:00.
The Loonie season continues Thursday, June 12, with an event sponsored by Whistler Physio. The race will include Lost Lake trails.
Many of Whistlers top racers will be at the Bear Mountain B.C. Cup race at Mission on June 7.