Local racers holding fund-raiser Sept. 7
The Canadian Cycling Association has released the final list of 49 cross country, downhill and dual slalom competitors heading to Vail, Colorado to take part in the Mountain Bike World Championships from Sept. 8 to 16.
Incredibly, five of those competitors are Whistler locals; two downhillers and three cross country riders.
On the cross country side, the Whistler contingent is led by Chad Miles, who is third on the Canada Cup circuit this year, second in the B.C. Cup standings (although he missed several events), and the 2000 national champion.
Will Routley and Tyler West will be competing in the Junior Expert Division. Routley won the bronze medal in the Canada Games last month, won almost every B.C. Cup race he entered, a finished fourth overall on the Canada Cup circuit. West, who has only been riding for three years, won the bronze in the nationals, edging past Routley by just 10 seconds. He also has a number of Canada and B.C. Cup wins to his credit.
Whistlers Sylvie Allen, the top ranked Canadian woman on the World Cup downhill circuit, will lead the pro womens downhill team. She finished 28 th overall, despite the fact that she only entered three out of eight World Cup competitions in 2001. She rides for Rocky Mountain Bicycles, and Fanatyk Co. in Whistler.
"Im basically living in the mountain bike park until I fly out," says Allen of her pre-race preparations. "Im on my bike a lot, but Im more trying to have fun and relax rather than riding so much that I cant hold onto my bike anymore. Ive done that before in previous competitions, and I learned my lesson."
When she gets to Vail, Allen says her plan of attack is to study the course as much as possible before the race.
The other downhiller is Junior Expert racer Jeff Beatty, the national champion in his age group for the second year in a row and a fixture on junior podiums at the national and provincial level. He races for the Single Track Off Road Mountain Bike Club of B.C. (STORMBC), Specialized and Oakley, his first sponsor two years ago.
"Its a big thing just to make it into the worlds," he says. "Yeah, Im going there to race, but Im also going for the experience."
To prepare for his race, Beatty is focusing his training time on getting out of the gates faster, and sprinting on wide open sections of track. "Im also doing a lot of mental training, trying not to get psyched out. Its different from anything Ive ever done.