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Pumpkin Cross Attracts Over 200 Cyclists

Photo © Pete Whalen.
Photo © Peter Whalen.

November 3, 2014 (Maple Ridge, BC) – The fields of Maple Ridge were alive with crazy Cyclocross racers garbed in their finest costume attire for the eighth annual Pumpkin Cross race and family cycling event. More than 220 racers took part in this annual cyclocrosser migration to Maple Ridge to compete alongside some of the best riders in B.C. and to do battle for the coveted prize for best costume.


“The day could not have turned out any better,” said event organizer Barry Lyster of Local Ride. “One of the most impressive moments was the field of 30 beginner women, who took part in the event. We have worked hard over the years to support and grow women’s cycling.  With a coordinated effort from the other BC organizers, we are now starting to see the fruits of our labour.”

Photo © Peter Whalen, 2014.
Photo © Peter Whalen, 2014.


Sandra Walter (Liv Canada), who recently won a medal in the Elite category at the Canadian Cyclocross Championships in Winnipeg, led a free novice women’s clinic the day before the race, giving an enthusiastic group of women who are new the sport a sneak peek at the course, as well as sharing lots of useful tips and skills that helped make Pumpkin Cross even more enjoyable for them. Fifteen-year-old Maggie Coles-Lyster (Local Ride Racing), who also won a bronze medal in Winnipeg, but in the Under 17 category, was on hand to share her knowledge as well.


Game day presented the riders with a soggy field, under cloudy skies with the rain holding off for the event. Hundreds of spectators were entertained by great cyclocross racing conditions and crazy costumed antics.


Sandra Walter Photo © Peter Whalen, 2014.
Sandra Walter on her way to winning the Elite Women’s category at Pumpkin Cross 2014.  Photo © Peter Whalen, 2014.

In the Elite women’s category, it was Walter, who ripped up the course in her “Cow” costume, putting the hooves to her competition. Rocky Mountain Factory Team’s Andreane Lanthier-Nadeau came from out-of-province to grab second spot, while Maple Ridge’s very own Coles-Lyster and dressed as “The Princess of Maple Ridge,” bested cyclocross veteran an orange tutu wearing Kelly Jones (Steed Cycles) in a sprint for third.


A scantily clad Craig Ritchey (Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes) continued his domination in the Elite Men’s category by taking the win on Sunday, with crowd favourite Kevin Calhoun (Rocky Mountain) in second, and Team Squamish’s young gun Rhys Verner rounding out the top three.

The event also saw a strong group of youngsters participate in the free kid’s race, plus the Ridge Meadows Child Development Centre held a Specialty Wheel Race for children on adapted bikes, trikes, and chairs, making it truly one of the most inclusive cycling events possible.


With the day winding down, it was time to calculate the votes for the costume contest, one of the toughest categories of the day to call.  Tim Sherstobitoff dressed as “Devo” proudly took the top-step as the men’s winner while “The Cow” Walter took the women’s victory.  A young Werewolf took the kid’s award, and last but not least, the Glotman Simpson Cycling team won the Moosehead Team Award.


Pumpkin Cross would like to thank its generous sponsors: Cycles Lambert, Giant Canada, MEC, Moosehead Beer, Kicking Horse Coffee, Golden Ears Physio, Pedal Magazine, Cycling BC, District of Maple Ridge, Maple Ridge Equi-Sport Centre, New Balance, Local Ride Racing and the Ridge Meadows Child Development Centre.