A strong core of World Cup riders joined the fifth cross-country event of the B.C. Cup series last Saturday, Aug. 2, in Squamish for the Gear Jammers race, taking the top positions in the Elite races. Still, Whistler locals held their own in the sweltering heat and dust to take a few podiums at the elite level.
This was the first year that a B.C. Cup event had been held in Squamish. The course included a sprint down a gravel road, followed by a climb up Farside, a rolling descent down Root 99, a speed descent of S&M, and sections of Seven Stitches and Endo in reverse.
Angela Teng led the way for Whistler locals in the Elite womens category, following up her seventh place finish at the nationals in Whistler with a second place result at Squamish.
She trailed Eron Chorney at the finish by one minute and 40 seconds in the long race with a time of 2:10:59.
Will Routley finished third in the Elite category behind World Cup racer and Rocky Mountain/Crystal Decisions teammate Andreas Hestler. Hestlers time of 2:10:37 gave him a 2:18 lead over Andrew Kyle, the winner of the Squamish Test of Metal. Routley was third in 2:15:49.
Also from Whistler, Trevor Hopkins was ninth in 2:32:35. Tyler West was a DNF.
Elsewhere in the standings, Whistlers Brandon Semenuk was fifth in the Mens Under 15 race in 1:13:19. Jesse Melamed was second in 1:22:29. Max Horner was 11 th in 1:50:34.
James Crowe lost a nailbiter in the Under 17 Expert Mens category, finishing just one second back of Squamish local Neal Kindree with a time of 1:23:41. Crowe and Kindree were more than eight minutes faster than the other competitors.
In the combined U17/Juner Expert Womens race, Brook Baker was a close second to another Kindree, Meghan, just 2:16 off the lead time of 1:49:31.
Jodie Hopkins was third among Senior Sport Women, with a time of 1:22:39.
Chris McKnight was eighth among the Senior Expert Men in 2:23:16.
Michael Boehm took Whistlers only gold medal of the weekend, with a first place finish in the 30 to 39 Expert Mens race. His time of 1:50:40 was almost seven minutes faster than the next finisher. Matt Bodkin was ninth in 2:07:08.
Tony Routley took the silver medal in the 40 and Over Expert Mens division with a time of 1:26:39, 19 seconds back of the leaders. Eric Crowe was fourth in 1:27:54, and Bart Nakano fifth in 1:30:53.
The Canada Cup finals are scheduled to take place this weekend at Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops, if the forest fires in the area are under control.
The B.C. Cup finals take place in Agassiz at Hemlock Valley Resort on Aug. 23 to 24. Visit www.hemlockmountainbikefestival.com for details.