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Mountain bikers conquer 24 hour race


A group of four local mountain bikers from the Whistler Bike Co. won the four person title at the 24 Hours of Adrenaline mountain bike race last weekend at Silver Star with 28 laps of the course from noon on Saturday until noon on Sunday.

The group included Keith Ray, Luc DeGagne, Todd Kemp and Matt Bodkin, with each rider making approximately seven laps of the 16 km course. A lap included a climb from the village at 1,609 metres to the top of Silver Star Mountain at 1,915 metres, a downhill section, and some rolling hills back to the start.

"It was a really good event, really well run and the weather was nice, at least until 2 a.m. when it started raining, and the gale-force storm that came through at 6 a.m. – it got nice again after that," said Ray, who was in his first ever 24 Hour Relay event.

The Whistler team was chasing one team and just ahead of another throughout the race.

"It was pretty exciting, there was some close competition there," he said. "We were exhausted by the end of it. There was no time to sleep, you would finish your lap, clean your bike, get food, put on some dry clothes and then it would be about time to go out again."

In fact, the team expected to finish second to a team from Vernon, but found out at the awards ceremony that the winning team defaulted when it was discovered on the last lap that one of their riders took a short cut.

"We don’t know if it just happened once, or all the way through the race. They gave us first place, but it wasn’t perfect. We’d like to find the team and beat them legitimately," Ray joked.

In total, the Whistler team finished their 28 th lap in 24 hours, 36 minutes and 59 seconds. That’s approximately 450 kilometres, or more than 112 kilometres per rider.

Kootenay Thunder from Nelson was second with 28 laps in 24:43:00. The next team, Leitner Poma Ski Lifts, finished 27 laps of the course.

The event was also the World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenaline Championships, and featured riders from across North America. Lesley Tomlinson of North Vancouver won the elite female division with 17 laps in 24:30:55. The top solo male was Chris Eatough of Baldwin, Maryland with 19 laps in 23:04:53.