By Andrew Mitchell
Sun Peaks hosted the Canadian Mountain Bike Cross Country
Championships this past weekend, hosting the top riders from across the country.
The course itself was short at 5.4 km, but with two big climbs and technical
descents it was a challenge for many riders.
The pro women made four laps of the course, while the men made
The overall women’s title went to Olympic silver medalist Marie-Helene
Premont, who was defending her title. She took the lead early, according to the
report at Canadian Cyclist, then dropped back to fifth when she made a wrong
turn. After that she managed to work her way back to the front by the last lap,
and finished with a three-minute lead on the rest of the field.
Alison Sydor showed her strength and experience, battling
younger riders to the finish and grabbed second place. Kiara Bisaro of
Courtenay placed third.
For the men, Victoria’s Geoff Kabush crashed on the first lap
while in the lead position, and was in 12
when he rejoined the
race. With a minor concussion and a sore shoulder he moved up into fifth by the
halfway point, and by the end of lap four was in second place. On the last lap
he managed to catch Ricky Federau on the climb, despite a 35 second lead, and
defend his title with a strong ride into the finish. Federau was second, and
Squamish’s own Neal Kindree third. Kindree also took the overall Espoir (Under
23) category, ensuring himself a place with Canada’s world championship team.
Neal’s older sister, Meaghan Kindree, also raced, finishing 13
overall among women, and second among Espoir riders. That result guaranteed
Meaghan her own spot with the Canadian team.
Several local riders competed in the age categories, either
following Saturday’s pro races or on Sunday.
In the Under 13 category, Alexander Geddes finished second
behind a rider from Ontario, while Kerry-Anne Hamilton raced unchallenged to
take the women’s Under 13 title.
In the Under 15 Men, Whistler’s Tyler Allison destroyed the
competition on three laps of a shortened course, edging out Dylan Musselman of
Ontario by 1:23 with his time of 27:11. Nicholas Geddes was eighth in that
category, 5:39 back of Allison.
“It was a really fun course, but it could have been a lot
longer. There were lots of passing spots, which was good, and a lot of fun
singletrack,” said Allison.
Not that he needed the passing spots — “I led right
out of the gate. A few riders tried to stay behind me but after the first five
minutes I lost them, as soon as I hit the singletrack.”
Allison may race in the Canada Cup this weekend if organizers
add an Under 15 category, or he may decide to race against juniors as old as
18. He’s also planning to take part in Crankworx races, the Super D and the Air
Downhill, and possibly the Garbanzo Enduro Downhill if he doesn’t go to the
Canada Cup at Mt. Washington.
Trevor Hopkins raced the Master Expert 30 to 39 category,
Bob Allison, Tyler’s Allison’s father, just missed the podium
in the Master Expert 40 to 49 group, coming in fourth.
Tony Routley placed second in the Master 50-Plus group, but was
the top Canadian as first place went to a rider from California.
Many of the riders taking part in the nationals are expected to remain in B.C. to race in Whistler this weekend in a Canada Cup event. The Canada Cup could be more challenging than Sun Peaks, with an 8.5 km loop, and no sustained climbs or flat sections for riders to rest. A course map is available online at www.crankworx.com , as well as registration.