This past weekend saw the opening race to the Mountain Bike XCO BC Cup kicking off at Bear Mountain Resort on Vancouver Island. The weekends racing was paired with the opening round of the Canada Cup, drawing Canada’s top professional athletes.
Situated in the foothills of Mount Finlayson with breathtaking views of Victoria’s seaside harbour, Bear Mountain Resort is the national training centre for Canada’s mountain bike squad, and offers vistas of the Olympic Mountain Range, the Strait of Georgia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
A dumping of snow just an hour before the race start made for gutsy racing by our youth categories with local Cycling BC and Devo p/b Fortius riders Cam McCallum and Geza Rodgers taking out the U13 category and blazing the path for the day of racing ahead.
Elly Hoskin and Leif Rodgers took the top spots for U15 Women and Men’s categories, while Emilly Johnston and Elliot Jamieson won the U17 Women and Men’s categories respectively. In the Junior Expert Men’s race, Holden Jones came in fourth.
The Women’s Elite race saw multiple title holders and Olympians toe the line with BC’s Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalist Catharine Pendrel showing her intent for the 2017 season coming out strong with a dominating win over Ontario’s Emily Batty in second place and Cannondale rider Emily Huck bringing home 3rd place. BC riders Sandra Walter, Jena Greaser, Jayne Rossworn, and Carey Mark rounded out the top ten.
In the Men’s Elite race, Raphael Gagne took advantage of a strong start to take the win, Gagne commanding the race from the whistle to finish. Local athlete Evan Guthrie looked to have second place wrapped up until a mechanical forced him to run part of the final lap leaving an opportunity for the three-time Olympian Geoff Kabush to come through for second place and Derek Zandstra rounding out the podium in third place.
Full results from the weekend racing available here.
For XCO BC Cup series standings following this first race, visit the XC BC Cup page here.