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BC Mountain Bike Championships Recap

The best riders from across British Columbia and beyond descended on Whistler Blackcomb this weekend for the 2016 Mountain Bike Championships for both downhill and cross-country. Riders were stoked on the two new challenging, technical courses.

On Saturday, riders took to a new XC loop under cloudy skies on Blackcomb Mountain, facing technical descents and daunting climbs. Craig Richey, racing for Trek Red Truck, broke out ahead after his first lap, and was able to keep his lead on second place’s Rhys Verner (Kona Factory Team), reclaiming his provincial championships jersey in the Elite Men’s race:

The course was new and was fun to ride but there was no where to hide out there, the descents were rugged and technical, when you weren’t descending you were slogging up steep climbs. I only did one pre-ride lap and was a little shaky on the descents, Rhys is an amazing technical rider and was putting time on me in the descents on the first lap. I was climbing well and was eventually able to distance myself and found my groove technically to put in consistent lap times. As always Whistler knows how to put on a bike race, excellent course marking and marshals. – Craig Richey

Carey Mark, racing for Steed Cycles, established a lead early on in the Elite Women’s race, pulling further ahead with each lap. Carey eventually finishing almost five minutes ahead of Chloe Cross, who took second place for Team Whistler.  Carey’s husband Justin Mark also took home a provincial championship jersey, winning the Master 40-49 race.

It was incredible to be able to race with the support of my Steed Cycles teammates, and with my family here cheering me on and supporting me. I’m so proud of my husband for winning his race as well, it’s amazing to be able to take home these championship titles together.

On Sunday, racers rode a new DH course under the blazing sun. Claire Buchar, racing for Intense-Kovarik Racing, took the Elite Women’s BC DH championship title. Buchar also currently leads the DH BC Cup as series leader in the Elite Women’s field, going into the Western Open this weekend at Kicking Horse. Buchar finished just ahead of Georgia Astle, who closed out the 2015 season at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, with 4th place in Junior Women.

Claire Buchar made touching tribute to gravity racing legend Stevie Smith throughout the weekend, honouring “The Canadian Chainsaw” with her helmet, emblazoned with the inscription #longlivechainsaw.

In the Elite Men’s DH race, Kirk McDowall of Dunbar Cycles took home the championship jersey, reclaiming the BC Championship title for the second consecutive year. This is the third year running that the Dunbar Cycles team has won the BC DH Elite Men’s championship.


BC Cross-Country Mountain Bike Champions 2016

Elite Women: Carey Mark (Steed Cycles)
Elite Men: Craig Richey (Trek Red Truck)
U19 Women: Julia Long (Cycling BC)
U19 Men: Max McCulloch (Rumble)
U17 Women: Mila Wittenberg
U15 Women: Emilly Johnston (Trail Bicycles)
U15 Men: Nathan Bishop (DEVO pb Fortius)
U13 Women: Kaila Lafreniere
U13 Men: Cam McCallum (DEVO pb Fortius)
Master Women 50-59: Alyssa Myshok
Master Men 30-39: Steve Devantier (Team Giant Vancouver)
Master Men 40-49: Justin Mark
Master Men 50-59: Joseph Maika
Master Men 60+: Tony Routley (Team Whistler)

BC Downhill Mountain Bike Champions 2016

Elite Women: Claire Buchar (Intense-Kovarik Racing)
Elite Men: Kirk McDowall (Dunbar Cycles)
U19 Women: Stephanie Denroche (C4 Rider Training/Norco)
U19 Men: Blake Bunting (C4 Rider Training)
U17 Women: Piper Allman (Intense-Kovarik Racing)
U17 Men: Kael Markle (Cycling BC)
U15 Men: Ethan Shandro
Master 30+ Women: Claire Hinchliffe (Van Isle United)
Master 30-39 Men: Rob Davis
Master 40-49 Men: Trevor Brown
Master 50+ Men: Don Van Eesteren

For full results from the weekend, visit:

For photos of the DH BC Championships events, view our album here.

For photos of the XC BC Championships events, view our album here.

Thanks to Clint Trahan for capturing the action from the weekend.