Local riders held their own against the best in Canada last weekend at the third Canada Cup event of the season at Mont Tremblant, Quebec.
In the cross-country event, Tyler West and Will Routley finished in the middle of the pack in the Elite category, finishing 27 th and 30 th respectively, 20 minutes back of the pace set by Peter Wedge of New Brunswick.
More amazing was the fact that more than 20 starters did not even finish the competition.
"Its was a tough race," said Routley, who participated in three Canada Cup events over four weeks, plus an Ontario Cup event on his off-weekend. "At the beginning of the race they couldnt decide whether to make it a four or a five lap event for the men, and they went with five laps. With half an hour for a lap, thats a long race."
Routley said all of the Canada Cup events were longer than usual, with the top racers taking more than two hours to finish.
Routley hoped to do better, but consoled himself with the fact that none of the racers who participated in the previous two Canada Cup events at Hardwood Hills in Ontario and Bromont in Quebec did well at Tremblant either. It was also tough with racers in Canada from the U.S., Mexico and New Zealand competing for UCI points.
"Its a different kind of racing. Out here (West Coast), there is usually a long climb followed by a long downhill. Over there (Eastern Canada), the races are more constant, up and down, so you dont get a chance to rest at all, you have to ride hard the whole way," Routley said.
Routley started the day well with the lead pack, but as a result of the humidity and other factors, he started to feel drained. He slipped back into 30 th place.
The result only dropped him a few positions in the overall Canada Cup rankings as the series moves out West at the end of June. Meanwhile, Routley will focus on provincial road championships this weekend, followed by the Squamish Test of Metal. July features a World Cup at Grouse Mountain, and the Tim Hortons Canadian Mountain Bike Nationals in Whistler.
Routley currently rides for the Rocky Mountain/Crystal Decisions team, and is sponsored by Whistler Lodging Co., Flash-5 and Ryders.
Wills father Tony Routley came close in the Master Expert 40 to 49 race, finishing seventh out of more than 50 riders. He was five minutes behind the race winner.
In the downhill events, Whistlers Claire Buchar finished third overall in the Elite category, six seconds back of second place and 14 seconds back of the winning pace set by B.C.s Danika Schroeter.