Whistlers Will Routley took the ninth annual West Side Wheel Up last Saturday, Sept. 7, by a margin of just eight seconds.
Routley rode Lower Sproatt, Beaver Pass, ReBob and all four sections of A River Runs Through It in one hour, three minutes and 40 seconds.
"I felt pretty good out there considering all the travel and everything," said Routley, who represented Canada in the Espoir Under 23 category at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Austria the previous weekend.
It appeared that Routley was in second place until it was determined that the first rider through the gates missed a loop on River.
"There was a time when I had the lead and took a wrong turn, so this was some redemption for me," said Routley. "Its cool to have my name on that trophy, that was good to see."
Routley says he is wrapping up his competitive season, and isnt racing to win either the Samurai of Singeltrack or the Cheakamus Challenge over the next two Saturdays. "Im pretty much just winding down and enjoying myself," he said. "At the same time Im going to be riding my hardest, but there is no pressure."
Chris Clark finished second in a 1:03:48.
Matt Bodkin, a two-time Wheel Up champion, was third in 1:04:13.
James Crowe was the top junior male, finishing 14 th overall in 1:13:41. Chris Romeskie was on his tail, finishing 17 th overall and second among juniors in 1:14:24. Nathan Fowler was the third junior.
Ronnie Lister was the top female racer in 1:23:01. She was followed closely by Tanya Reck in 1:23:43. Caroline Lamont was third among women in 1:34:08.
According to event organizer Phil Chew, the West Side Wheel Up raised over $2,000 for the B.C. Disabled Ski Association. If a grant application to the 2010 Olympic Bids LegaciesNow program goes through, they will match donations to the team.
"Hopefully we can leverage this little event and end up raising up to $6,000 for the disabled ski team," said Chew, who is both president and coach for the BCDSA.
The Grocery Store, Nesters Market and Food Plus provided the aprés race snacks for the event, and a list of 28 local businesses provided draw prizes and support. The donated Whistler-Blackcomb seasons pass, worth over $1,500 went to Roger Moxley.
Other supporters include the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Barneys Automotive, Blacks Pub, Centra Gas, Corsa Cycles, Evolution, Gone Bakery Glacier Shop, Hozs, Katmandu, Kaytering Whistler, Little Mountain Bakery, McCoos, Rim Rock, SMD Automotive, the Southside Deli, SportStop, Surefoot, Sushi Village, Tantalus Bike Shop, Tapleys Pub, Toad Hall Studios, Whistler Bike Co., Whistler Creek Athletic Club, Whistler Office Services and Wild Willies.