2017 BC Cup at Sun Peaks Resort

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The BC DH Championships and second stop on the BC Cup circuit roared through Sun Peaks Resort this past weekend, bringing with it some of Canada’s fastest riders. With forest fires ablaze throughout the northwest, fortune smiled over the resort on race day with a bright blue sky, mostly clear of smoke. Consistently scorching temps made for a fast and loose track that had racers testing their traction at every turn, right out of the gates.

Racers lined up for their final practice lap, before dropping in for all the marbles.

North Vancouver’s Matt Beer reclaimed his title as fastest man on the mountain, and Provincial Champion, with a white-knuckled five minutes flat, nearly 14 seconds faster than anyone else in his class. Laurie Citynski went home with the Provincial title for her Elite Women category, and Junior Women champ Aleda Toronitz was the talk of this small town for recording the fastest female time of the day.

Matt Beer reclaims the day’s fastest time he earned two years previous as 2015 National Champion, by sending it deep over the rocks of Insanity One.

The fastest female on the mountain today proved to be up-and-coming UCI Junior Women Provincial Champion Aleda Toronitz, hailing from Brentwood Bay.

Owner of the Kamloops Bicycle Café and local race legend, Cheryl Beattie, drops into her winning run for her Open 30+ Women category.

The Sun Peaks DH course’s 600 metre vertical descent starts from the top of the Sunburst chairlift and then drops directly under it, into the rock-face-laden Insanity One, where countless riders have pushed their limits while racing the clock over the past couple decades. This is a trail with infinite opportunities for ingenuity, though, and line choices abound for those creative or courageous enough to try them.

Kamloops contender Jeff Pont dropping into his second place run for the Open 30+ Men category.

No stranger to the podium, Calgary’s Evan Wall doesn’t waste any time sweet-talking the rocks of Insanity One, en route to his second place time in Open 17-29 Men.

Across the ski run and into the deep dark woods of Insanity On. Pedal!

Between the Lupines; Crystal Townsend of nearby Vernon took home the fastest time for her UCI 30+ Master Women.

Emmett Hancock of Kelowna earned himself first place in UCI U17 Sport Men with an impressive 5:41.

From Insanity One the course hangs a right onto the recently sculpted Sticky One, and, although the lower rock faces of the former began resembling rivers of fine silt as the weekend’s traffic wore on, the latter was where things got really loose and the dust barely settled, if at all, between racer intervals.
When asked if anyone was opting for the ride-around on one of the trail’s testier features a local course marshall confirmed, “Just about everyone’s rolling the rock face, a few have launched right into the corner where you can see the tape’s been tied back together. It’s pretty loose and most that go off end up disqualified, it takes them a while to fish their bike out of the woods.”

Trevor Attridge of Victoria BC placed third in UCI Senior Men, rolling the rock face on Sticky One with confidence.

Kevin Bartkowski from Prince George scored second in his UCI 30-39 Master Men category, holding tight through the loose corner, post-drop on Sticky One.

Out of the woods and across the winter season’s Intimidator ski run, the course meets another Sun Peaks classic; Honey Drop. Meeting this double-black about halfway down, the intersection features a large boulder that needs to be mastered before passage is granted.

Gavin Patterson, from deep in the Kootenays, bringing home third place in UCI Junior Men for his hometown of Rossland, BC.

Calgary’s Arden Greanya claimed first in his UCI 40-49 Master Men, navigating clouds of dust around Honey Drop’s initiating boulder.

Squealing brakes and a tidal wave of dust followed everyone lucky enough to stay over the saddle through the technical descent of Honey Drop, and a barrage of out-of-breath colloquialisms emerged from clouds of brown with those not so lucky.

Matthew Coetset, all the way from Airdrie, Alberta, coming in hot from the steeps of Honey Drop.

Piper Allman nipping at the heels of Madison Skrypnek, finishing second and fifth respectively in their UCI Junior Women category.

Adam Woodhouse from Anmore, BC, speeding past the cheering section on Resurrection.

After pinning it from top-to-bottom, the finish line was a welcome sight for body and mind.

Across the finish line beers cracked as bikes were hosed down, along with just about everything else, and results were reviewed with shock and awe as the risks and rewards of gambling each corner were revealed.

Blue skies prevailed throughout the day and racers could be found retreating under well-appointed tents when off-course.

The Cycling BC crew crunching the numbers as the last racers of the day rolled through the finish line.

As the dust settled from the final UCI Elite Men and the most outrageous times were announced, Cycling BC brought everyone around the awards table to take their places on the podium and, for the top spots, receive their Provincial Championship jerseys.

UCI U17 Sport Men winner Emmett Hancock, with runners-up Logan Merringer and Jonathan Schlender.

UCI Junior Women winner Aleda Toronitz; Piper Allman holding down second place and Kyleigh Stewart with bronze.

Open 30+ Women gold medalist Cheryl Beattie, runner-up Karaleen Gioia, and third place Kelly Kozevnikov from just down the road in Heffley Creek.

UCI 50+ Master Men podium toppers Don Van Eesteren, Pete Zablotny, and Michael Mooney. It would be tempting to call this the beer league, if you hadn’t seen their times.

UCI Elite Men winner and Provincial Champion Matt Beer along with his closest competition; Jeremy McDonnell, Daniel Shaw, Jake Innes, and Rhys Ellis.

Full results are available on Cycling British Columbia here. Congratulations to everyone that came out to test their nerves in Sun Peaks and good luck in the Kootenays this weekend, at the Canadian DH Championships in Invermere! Find out more about the Sun Peaks Bike Park here, and plan your next trip to Kamloops’ lift-accessed trail network.

Words and photos by Sam Egan of Cedar Line Creative, photos are available for purchase from a full album at Roots & Rain here.

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