Although competing CMRC events kept the number of pro riders down, locals and amateurs enjoyed a perfect day of motocross racing at the Green River Riding Clubs track outside of Pemberton on Sunday.
The club was hosting the third event of the Canadian Motorcycle Associations B.C. Championship series, with riders coming from as far away as Hope and Aggasiz, to earn points and get in a few days of training and racing.
"The course conditions were pretty close to excellent," said Shaun Greenaway of the Green River Riding Club. "There was a little dust in the afternoon when the sun dried things out a little, but it was really well groomed."
This was only the second event that the track has hosted, but Greenaway said it wont be the last.
"This was a great club event, we got a lot of spectators out and a lot of support from the community," he said.
"One member of the club with a backhoe was out there from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday getting everything ready. We had volunteers on the training day and race day.
"I think every time we host were going to get a little better, and the words already getting out that we have a pretty good track up in Pemberton. Together with the (stock car) racing oval next door, theres a lot going on in this area."
The race everyone was watching was in the A Main category. Adam Robarts of Burnaby, one of the top riders on the tour, was untouchable right from the start line, but there was a spirited battle for second place.
Fourteen year old Shane Wiebe of Abbotsford, whose parents have a place in Whistler, was third in his first race, while Pembertons Jody Dean was sitting second after the first race. Whichever rider won the second race would finish in second overall.
Dean had the edge on Wiebe at the start, but the 14-year-old rider stayed within a few bike lengths of Dean for the 20-minute race. Small and light, Wiebe would catch up in the rhythm section, one jump and a banked turn away from the finish line.
On the last lap Wiebe made his move, going inside on Dean on a banked turn. Dean put on the brakes, but clipped Wiebes back wheel. Wiebe went down while Dean went on to claim second place.
Wiebe then had trouble restarting his bike, allowing James Moran and Ian Tindal of Bradner to pass.
"He finished in fifth, but Shane was still really excited about the whole thing," said Grenway.
"He wasnt even worried about finishing fifth, he was so excited that he came so close to finishing first."
Injuries held back a lot of the top local riders. Greenaway himself, a national level competitor, was forced to sit on the sidelines with a broken hand. Sylvie Allen had a knee injury and couldnt compete in the womens event, and Justin Patjas raced but is still recovering from a serious injury from earlier in the season.
"I think that definitely had an effect on the number of locals who came out and raced," said Greenaway. "The more locals in the field, the more comfortable other locals are. If you havent raced it can be pretty intimidating, so sometimes it helps to know a few people at the start line."
The GRRC will host another event towards the end of the season, one of five events in the CMAs Harvest Motocross Series. Other clinics will likely be held during the season to get more local riders into riding and racing, and the club will continue to host informal races on Wednesday night. Ladies Night is on Tuesday.
For more information about the Green River Riding Club, visit www.grrc.ca .
1. Adam Robarts, Burnaby
2. Jody Dean, Pemberton
3. James Moran, Surrey
5. Shane Wiebe, Abbotsford
7. Justin Patjas, Squamish
8. Don Van Eesteren, Garibaldi Highlands
1. Clay Crawford, Surrey
2. Aaron Breu, Garibaldi Highlands
3. Chris Good Burnaby
5. Jason McGaw, Whistler
6. Mark Hamilton, Whistler
9. Derek Burgen, Whistler
1. Desi Sansalone, Abbotsford
2. Robert Fawcett, Pemberton
3. Patrick Rouillard, Pemberton
6. Pierre Ringuette, Pemberton
9. Brendan Martin, Pemberton
1. Clinton Wall, Chilliwack
2. Scott Louttit, Mission
3. Brenden Atkinson, Aldergrove
4. Will Black, Pemberton
1. Missy Hackett, Chilliwack
2. Kaylee Strobel, Surrey
3. Kristi Thomas, Pemberton
1. Tyler Quigley, Maple Ridge
2. Nikki Walker, Hope
1. Max Creighton, Nanaimo
2. Wyatt Uzick, Chilliwack
3. Mitchell Burkett, DArcy
4. Alex McKay, Whistler
5. Dawson Amann, Garibaldi Highlands