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Record setting Test of Metal

Plaxton, Simms shatter previous course records, Whistler’s Matt Ryan fourth

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Ryan’s next challenge is the B.C. Bike Race, a seven-day mountain bike race that gets underway on June 28 on Vancouver Island and finishes in Whistler on July 4.

Ryan was impressed by a lot of riders on course, but was blown away by junior Tyler Allison. Allison was ahead of him at one point, but got caught up on a rock in the Powerhouse Plunge long enough for Ryan to pull ahead.

For his part, Allison stayed in the hunt and passed two riders on the last section of singletrack to rank seventh overall at one point and first in the junior expert category by a wide margin. In the Smoke Bluffs section, just a few kilometres from the finish, disaster struck. Allison was in his big ring, and threw his chain. When he tried to pedal it back on it got sucked into his chainrings and he broke his rear derailleur. He ran the rest of the way to the finish.

“I was having such a good race, in one point I was right in front of Dre (Andreas Hestler) and I really wanted to beat him in this race,” he said. “I just passed a couple of riders coming down the last piece of singletrack and was feeling pretty good when my derailleur broke. Dre passed me while I was running along the gravel trail.

“It kind of sucks, I have to get a new derailleur and drive train before (the B.C. Cup in Kamloops) and I was having a really great ride. Next year.”

Allison,16, still cracked the three-hour mark in 2:53:20, placing second in the Under 19 category to Eric Emsky’s time of 2:52:52.

Another Whistler rider having a great day was Tony Routley, who placed first in the Male 50-54 race in 2:58:58, almost 20 minutes faster than the next rider in his age group. Although it wasn’t his first category win in the Test, it was the first time he has broken the three-hour mark.

“It was just a walk in the park,” joked Routley at the finish line. “I’ve always wanted to get under three hours, that was my goal, and this was my best ever. Maybe the older I get the faster I get.”

Finishing right behind Routley were Trevor Hopkins and Josh Stott, his teammates on Team Whistler. Both riders also broke the three-hour mark with times of 2:59:15 and 2:59:27 respectively, with Hopkins placing second in the men’s 35-39 age category and Stott 19 th in Elite. Although they ride together it was a coincidence that they finished together.

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