For the first time since 1997 the Test of Metal Trials competition was held during the Test of Metal Race, with six challenging lines set up around the race finish line in the Loggers Sport grounds. As a result there were lots of spectators out to watch riders negotiate a series of courses that included two lines through the log rolling pond including one Pro line where wet feet were mandatory after a nearly 10 foot wheelie drop into 18 inches of water.
If youve never seen a trials biking competition, the object of the game is to clean a preset route without touching the ground with your feet in two minutes, on two attempts. If your foot dabs the ground, or you go over time then the rider is given points. After five dabs the riders are cut off.
There were four categories in the competition; Pro, Expert, Sport and Beginner, and each category had to tackle a different route through each section with different levels of difficulty.
With a steady drizzle of rain during most of the Test of Metal Trials competition, the riders had to negotiate slick obstacles not something you want to do when youre on a log several feet up from a pool of water.
John Webster from Mill Bay was the top rider of the day in the pro category, racking up just 20 out of 60 points. Webster was the only rider to successfully navigate the sixth line, which involved the 10-foot drop into the pond, and completely cleaned four of six lines.
Websters closest competition was Jeff Anderson, who had a challenging day in racking up 48 points. Anderson did manage to clean two lines perfectly, but had a frustrating time getting on some of the taller obstacles. David Herr was third among the pros with 51 point, and dabs on every section.
In the Expert category Lucas Hamilton completed his comeback from a serious injury with a strong showing 34 points and one cleaned route. Dave Lloyd was a close second with 35 points and one cleaned route, followed by Paul VanVelzen with a score of 41, but three cleaned routes.
The Baia brothers, Steven and Jason, were fourth and seventh respectively. Both riders, still in their teens, have come to Whistler for the last four years to put on displays during mountain bike festivals.
In the Sport category Alex Neely led the way with 34 points and four cleaned routes. Piotr Czajko was third with 38 points and no cleans, and Richard Hendrick was third with 39 points and one clean.
In the Beginner category, Jesse Ellingson was first with 19 points and five cleans, Jerry Knight was second with 20 points and two cleans, and A.J. MacFarlane was third with 28 points and three cleans.
Legendary unicyclist Kris Holm was the only single-wheel entry in the competition managing a score of just six points with an incredible 10 cleans.