The road to a new subdivision off of Alta Lake Road in the Beaver Lake area enabled racers to shave up to four minutes off their race time in the ninth annual Westside Wheel Up Sept. 8.
The event attracted 102 riders, and the course included the old Millar Creek Road from Function Junction to Alta Lake Road, Lower Sproat, Beaver Pass, Rebob and A River Runs Through It.
After two years on top, Whistlers Matt Bodkin had to settle for a close third place with a time of one hour four minutes 11 seconds, four minutes and 25 seconds faster than last year.
Local Lucas Curran took the checkered flag at 1:04:00, just four seconds ahead of Ryan Watts. Bodkin finished seven seconds back of Watts.
Surprising everyone including his father 14 year old racer James "Crunch" Crowe, finished seventh overall with a time of 1:07:37. The Under 15 national and provincial champion, the lone junior in the race, came within15 seconds of sixth place, and a minute of fifth. He beat his father, Eric Crowe, by almost three minutes.
Other junior racers, Brendon Edgar and Tyler West, racing in the mens division, finished 17th and 20 th respectively.
Ronni Lister was the top woman once again, finishing 29 th overall with a time of 1:22:40 almost 17 minutes faster than last year. Lisa Dickson was a close second at 1:27:58 and downhiller Sylvie Allen was third at 1:33:35.
The time saving road was built on a section of the Beaver Pass trail, and although the area is closed to cyclists until a bypass trail can be built for next year, the developers Duane Jackson and Bill Kunzweiler gave the race organizers permission to pass through.
"It was a good race, and an excellent turnout," says organizer Phil Chew. "And we raised a couple thousand (dollars) for disabled skiers and the disabled ski team." All proceeds from the Wheel Up went towards the Disabled Ski Association of B.C.
Racer Dan Raymond won the Fairmont Chateau Whistler weekend for two, and race volunteer Kelly-Lee Richards won the 2001-2002 dual mountain pass from Whistler-Blackcomb.