BC Provincial Marathon Champs

The morning started off with some cloud and fog around the lake but soon after the sun came out. It was a perfect day for racing with low temperatures and blue skies. We were treated to the opening of some old classic trails in the Stake Lake area outside of Kamloops. We had two 25km loops to total 50km as our BC Marathon Provincials course. 

We also had our future young rippers out in their race. Love seeing when there are kids races at events. I wish I would have had the chance to be on a start line like this growing up. 

Race Results HERE


Shared the podium with friends Carter (left in 2nd) and Craig (right in 3rd)High gives with race organizer Bjorn as I head into the finish

The teenage crop in the BC interior is strong right now!

Honoured to have taken, for the first time in my life, a marathon provincial title and a cross-country provincial title back in June. I’ve only been able to take part in one other provincial championship race in the last 7 years. Thanks for the organizers, the volunteers and everyone involved in making that happen. 

Whistler Canada Cup #6 Recap

It was back to Whistler for round #6 of the Canada Cup Series. This was my first Canada Cup 12 years ago in 2006 and I was won the U17 men’s category. I’ve dreamed of winning the Whistler round as an elite and finally that came true. It also marked the first win of the season for my program and all the supporters. 

The race course had some changes this year and it made the lap quite exciting. As usual, this course has more elevation than the majority of XC races at ~250 meters of climbing per lap. That means lots of descending though, which is right up my alley! Everything went well with good legs, pacing, headspace, and equipment; this allowed me to ride smart and at my own pace, which resulted in over a three minute lead by the end. I came up on Sandra Walter just before we were about to finish and said “Hey, do you want to finish together?” and she said “yes!”. Finishing with the leader of the other elite category is always rare and we took full advantage of crossing the line together. 

Congrats to all the strong riders by everyone out there. It’s a good day to just finish that race. Photos below are all from: Scott Robarts

My girlfriend Brittany jumped into the race for her first Canada Cup in quite some time and snagged 3rd in Elite women! 

Celebrating with elite women’s winner, Sandra Walter

Cooling down with young gun Cody Scott

2018 Elite men Provincial Champion

Elite men podium

Elite women women

Canada Cup | BC Champs XCO. June 23, 2018. Photo By: Scott Robarts

Results 

Canadian Enduro National Champs

This past weekend was the first-ever Canadian National Enduro Championships, which were held in Panorama, BC and run by the Canadian Enduro Series. I love these events and how they bring everyone together for a best day ever. This discipline has really grown the past few years and it was a huge step forward to have a National Championship event. 

This was my fourth enduro race of the season and it went very well. I rode efficient and didn’t risk any self-made mechanicals or crashes. This consistency landed me with one stage win and a third overall. Remi Gauvin won and my buddy Mckay Vezina was second. Both riders are Enduro World Series athletes on pro Enduro teams, so I was pleased to be next up behind them. 

The first time I visited Panorama it was 2004 as a 13 year old, during my first full season of racing BC Cup cross-country races in. Fourteen years later I came back and had my first Senior aged podium (above 23 years old) at a National Championship – that was a long one to finally tick off. It only seems fitting that I finished third on the weekend, as back in ’04 I also finished third. 

There was a lot of smiling racers at the end of the day. It was  massive feat for anyone to finish the 52 km with 3,700 M of descending and 2,300 M of ascending. 

Full event recap HERE

Pre-practice day riding the Lillian Lake trails with this lady. 

Practice day with a stop just below the alpine on this 8 km descent.

Need I say more? Friends, bikes, mountains, and good weather!

Race day pedal up into the alpine for stage 2. 

Top of stage 2 with our crew for the day before dropping in. 

L to R: Myself, Remi, and Mckay 

Photo: James Cattanach

Photo: James Cattanach

Canadian Enduro Series round 2

 


Recap on Pinkbike: https://www.pinkbike.com/news/mec-canadian-enduro-series-gets-boldly-unscripted-in-kamloops.html

Canada Cups 2&3

This marked the 9th year I raced in Mont Tremblant and 6th year racing Baie-St-Paul since 2008. These two races have been staple locations in the Canada Cup national series since long before my racing started. I was chatting with my fellow BC coach Adam Walker on Saturday morning while the early races were happening and he said it was 20 years ago to the weekend that he raced as a junior in Tremblant.  Turned out it 10 years to the weekend that I first raced Tremblant as a junior and punched a ticket to my first World Championships. 

Going back to the previous weekend in Baie-St-Paul (BSP) we showed up for round two of the Canada Cup series. On my way to the race I stopped in with my sponsor On the Edge Canada (distributor for Pivot Cycles in Canada) to visit with everyone and see a new special bike. On the day I arrived it was also the release for Pivot’s new Trail429 bike and OTE had it in the office. 

Pivot anyone?

For the majority of my trips to BSP there is a special farmhouse that is dear my old  teammates and I. This year it was back to the farmhouse. With such a lean in the house that you can roll a ball from one side to the other, it makes for a cozy feeling. Weather was holding nice and the course was rugged and hard as ever. BSP always hosts a top-notch event and keeps an old school feel to the course. 

Morning bike prep in proper attire. Photo by Fred Webster

On top of the cross-country main event, there was short track race on the Saturday evening. The juniors and elites were combined for this and it gave a good chance for those juniors to prove how fast they really are. Our race was exciting with a “big” climb for a short track, where fireworks went off every lap it was everything I had just to stay in the group. There was a little chaotic scenario and almost crash about 17 minutes into the ~25 minute race. I came to a stop on the hill and works to get back on the next lap and lit my final matches there. Rode solo in for 10th. Not stellar but hoped it would open the legs for Sunday’s race. Holden Jones and Carter Woods of BC went 1-2 and they’re juniors! Stellar riding. 

Front of the race at the start. Photo by Fred Webster

Back of the pack after the start. Photo by Fred Webster

Photo by Fred Webster

Sunday came around I spent the morning in the pits as my girlfriend Brittany raced early before she was on coaching duty in the afternoon. After all the years of racing and people supporting me in the pits, it was nice to help support there. 

She also won

I stopped in to drop to my bottles later in the day during the Junior race before mine and just happened to be there when one of the Alberta juniors had a chain come off and wrap around it self. I was luckily able to untangle it and get him back on the bike. Quite the exciting pre-race warm up for me! Photo by Fred Webster

The pace was furious from a 1/4 lap in when eventual winner Felix Burke threw in some spicy attacks. After following his first few I once again burned my few matches and paid the price. Something felt off but I had a pretty solid sustainable effort to fall back on. I floated around for the next four laps in 2nd place and was caught buy three riders in the final lap and they climbed a lot stronger than I was able to ride. Tough day but hit the podium still in 5th. Felix took over the Canada Cup overall series and I trailed in second. 

Photo by Fred Webster

We spent that evening enjoying some delicious food and watching some of the Rundle Mountain Cycling Club riders race a lawnmower around the yard. Tuesday was a trip through Old Quebec City for lunch and coffee before moving north of Montreal to Mont-Tremblant.

This is a spot that also produces a great event every year. For 2018 they created a weekend festival called CrossRoads. It combines all cycling events amount every discipline. A good step forward for this event. Throughout the week we rode the course and trained in the beautiful area of Mont-Tremblant. 

I spent Thursday pre-riding with the Cycling BC Provincial Team around the course.

This weekend the cross-country was Saturday and the downhill Canada Cup was Sunday. I spent the morning in the pits again with my longtime racing pal – Evan Mcneely. Both of girlfriends were racing at the same time we were able to have coffee and catch up there.

Morning spins are always a highlight when you get to ride with friends. L to R: Andrew Watson, Jenn Jackson, and Peter Glassford. 

Morning pit duty with my long time racing pal Evan Mcneely. 

Later in the day I was again watching the junior race about 5 minutes before I was about to warm up and I saw Logan Sadesky of the Rundle Mountain Cycling Club running through the lap with a snapped chain. I sprinted up to the pits and got ready to fix it with his coach Brittany Webster. It was a snapped link so we had to break that link out and put in a new quick link. Mike Charuk was nearby and helped as well. I’m wasn’t as quick as I hoped fixing this but we got Logan out again. This was probably the highlight of my day being there to help someone else out. I’ve had so many great mechanics and coaches over the years fix some major bike issues for me and it was an honour to be there for someone else. 

It was then to warm up before our late 4 PM start. Once again Felix Burke took off and left us to fight behind. US cyclo-cross star Stephen Hyde was out and rode solidly in the 2nd while a few of traded positions between 3-5 until the final lap. I rested a lot this week, as last week I felt a deep fatigue in the body, but that didn’t seem to help much for this weekend other than a higher heart rate. I didn’t fade quite as hard this week but still not sharp. No excuses again for this weekend. I need to go home and do some homework now. I finished 5th again on the podium but not how I hoped to feel or how I hoped to race. Historically my seasons have always started slowly and gotten better throughout the year, so I’m confident that the page will turn.  Next up: Canadian Enduro Series race in Kamloops this coming weekend. 

 


I was fortunate to have this one around for the trip. Brittany provided some top-notch race support the last two weekends. 

Sea Otter Classic

The day after Moab Rocks finished on April 17th I travelled back up to Salt Lake City with Geoff and flew over to Oakland, California. Picked up the mini-van rental and pointed south to Monterey for the Sea Otter Classic. 

Sea Otter’s DH course was stage 1 for the Enduro

As a kid into cycling, like any other, I read all about Sea Otter growing up and it was a pipe dream of my father and I to attend the event together one day. We still haven’t been together but I plan to do it one day. This year marked my 6th visit in a row after a getting a late cycling “career” start to the event.

The slalom course was the fourth and final stage for the enduro. 

Every year slowly progressed better and better, until my little childhood dream of standing of on a podium at Sea Otter with some legends of the cycling world finally happened. On top of that I stood beside one of my best buds – Mckay Vezina. It was a special day. 

Post-race reviewing with the guys

Back to the beginning of the week after travelling post-Moab Rocks I had one “rest day” before pre-riding the endure course on the Wednesday and getting all the registration packages for my little over zealously planned three days of racing at Sea Otter – Enduro, short track cross-country, and olympic-distance cross-country. The fields were quite as deep this year as last but the front end of the fields were stacked with heavy hitters. 

Podium L to R: Mckay, Josh, Jared, Kurtis, and myself.

Day 1 for the enduro you may know guys like Jared Graves (multi time, multi discipline world champ), Kurtis Keene, Josh Carlson and Mckay Vezina. All top EWS racers and the fella’s I got to pre-ride with on Wednesday. We joked, we rode, we made fun of each other and we also all stood on the podium together the following day with Jared winning, Kurtis second, Josh third, myself fourth, and Mckay fifth. Mission accomplished on day 1 – to get that elusive Sea Otter podium after finishing 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th, and 12th in previous years’ events. 

Photos below by Chris Vezina

Day 2 of racing was the short track. It’s a fast and furious short course that really comes down to having that fresh, top-end followed with a bit of luck from the start to get in the lead group. After being the lead group three of the last four years I figured out it’s quite a lot easier to fight upfront than it is to fight for ~15th.

Luck was not on my side as I got boxed in from two riders right at the start and the rider in front of me was slower to get into his and my very quick hesitation to slow down my momentum meant I was swarmed from both sides and back outside the top-20. Not long after the start there are  bunch of turns through an uphill sand pit and I watched the front group ride away while coming to stop back in the pack. Tried fighting to move up the gap was too much for my abilities on the day. Next year. 

Day 2 of racing was the hardest of the weekend; the cross-country race that took us around 8 short laps inside the famous Laguna Seca raceway that had nothing technical about it, just open climbs, steep climbs, a few turns and a  brutally fast pace. Much like the short track it’s important to have a good first lap to make that front group.

I was smarter than day and was into the 10-15th ish range by the end of the first lap and was pretty tapped out while sticking onto the back of this group while we went into these sand pits again and of course I came to a stop again and watched the group ride away. I was missing that little bit of zip needed to jump back onto the group but it also seemed like playing in a sand pit might need to be added into training for next years event! I just never could make it back up and as the front group split into many little groups I was caught by a group behind me and spent the majority of the race there and when it came to the final lap that group of 5 had more than I did on the final climb and they danced away.

I was trying to dance but couldn’t quite make those salsa moves turn into anything. 20th place there and nothing to write home about but after three days of racing I couldn’t have left anything more out there. 

It was great to see most of my sponsors, catch up with friends, and meet new people. Sea Otter is a unique event and one that I’ve already had great memories come from. The racing isn’t the usual courses we’re used to but fast riders on the line always make a hard race. 

It’s worth mentioning that I used the same bike for all three races: Pivot Mach 429SL with FOX’s new 34 120mm step cast fork, RaceFace Next SL cockpit, cranks, wheels, and Schwalbe tires (Nobby Nic’s for Enduro, Thunder Burt rear and Racing Ralph front for short track and cross-country). 

 

 

Photo: Kenny Wehn

Photo: Kenny Wehn

Moab Rocks Recap

Evan Guthrie took 4th in Stage 3 in the Open Men’s category and finished 5th overall in the GC. – Photo: John Gibson

We’ve finished the three-day stage race and now head over to California for the Sea Otter Classic where I am attempting the “triple” and racing Enduro, Short track cross-country, and Olympic-distance cross-country. 

I wrote up a recap from the event for Pinkbike and you can check out this link below:

Pinkbike Article HERE

Evan Guthrie took 4th in Stage 3 in the Open Men’s category and finished 5th overall in the GC. – Photo: John Gibson

Moab Rocks Stage 2

Stage 2 took place at Klondike Bluffs, which ascended 948 meters over 41 km. Tomorrow we head into the third and final stage of Moab Rocks where riders get one last shot to pick up time and enjoy what these trails have been offering us racers. That is before afternoon and evening celebrations amongst the racers, volunteers and TranksRockies crew.

This stage had significantly less climbing than yesterday, but it was more relentless with the short, punchy climbs. Riders faced sand, dirt, slick rock, and wind within the loop. It was a tough day no doubt, and that is what makes a stage race like this so rewarding. We’re 2/3 of the way through and ready for the last stage tomorrow!

Today’s stage had some shake ups in the overall, while some categories had no changes at the head of the pack. In the Men’s 50+ Gary Sutton once again took the stage and extended his lead to over 7 minutes. In the Women’s 40+ there was a shuffle from yesterday’s second place finisher – Caroline Colanna – moving into the lead and Amy Thomas slipping down to second.

The men’s 40+ race was fast and had the first four finishes within 1 minute today. Daniel Mahlum doubled up on stages and leads the overall ahead of Pascal Bonaventure.

The open women’s category had some changes between second and third place riders from yesterday trading positions. Jennifer Smith moved up to second and Marlee Dixon down to third while Sparky Moir Sears took the stage win and extended her overall lead going into the final day.

The open men’s category had some changes but Geoff Kabush once ahead won the stage in a sprint and extended his overall but Payson McElveen moved into second, only 9 sec behind in the overall now. Last year’s runner up Justine Lindine slotted into third on the day and the overall as well.

Stage Results

Trailforks map of the stage

All photos by John Gibson and Jean McAllister

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s final stage!

-Evan

Moab Rocks Stage 1

Our future riders are learning young. 

After a couple weird days of weather leading into the race, riders and the event team were treated to a beautiful sunny morning. It was still chilly but that beat the 50 + km winds on Thursday. Stage 1 was Porcupine Rim which covered a distance of 40.4 km  and ascended: 1231 meters

https://www.trailforks.com/route/2018-moab-rocks-stage-1-porcupine-rim/

It just so happened to be Geoff Kabush’s birthday. 

At 8:30 AM the start corral was full of excited, nervous, chilly, and motivated riders ready to tackle the 22 km climb up to Porcupine Rim. The race was then transition from gravel road to the rugged descent. This was a very unique stage that had a long fire road climb from town that ascended over one thousand meters before dropping into a rough, yet stunning, descent down the edges of cliffs, over slabs, through rocky patches, and down some 4X4 jeep roads. Riders who dared to use a hardtail should be given a pat on the back. Those who chose a larger trail back would have suffered on the way up but would have had a more enjoyable descent.

Rider’s prepare for day 1.

In the Open Men’s field the 2017 overall winner, Geoff Kabush, took charge and won the stage on his birthday. The top 3 men were separated by only 7 seconds. In the Open Women’s field it was Sparky Moir Sears who took a commanding stage win over Marlee Dixon.

Rider: Justine Lindine

In the 40+ women the battle was tight with only 27 seconds separating first and second after over 2.5 hours of racing. Amy Thomas came out on top and was followed by Caroline Colonna.

Some might not have been aware, but you didn’t want to venture too far of the trails. 

In the 40+ men Daniel Mahlum heads into day 2 as the leader with Pascal Bonaventure hot on his heels. Gary Sutton was the 50+ men’s winner today and will have 26 rider field chasing him down tomorrow!

Some riders race from start to finish and some go for the full experience. 

Times ranged from the fastest at 1:38:53 to the final finisher at 5:10:14. We all now rest up and prepare for day 2 on the Klondike Bluff trails.

It was hard not to enjoy the landscape while racing out there.

You can check out stage 1 results and overall standings on HERE

I suffered out there but with a smile and full enjoyment. The “cool down” after the stage had views like this over 20 more minutes of beautiful singletrack.

At the end of the day everyone is proud of each other and ready to fight another day.

All photos by John Gibson and Jean McAllister.

Moab Rocks Preview

Here’s a little write up that made it onto Pinkbike before we kick off the three day Moab Rocks stage race. 

Photo by John Gibon

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/preview-of-the-3-day-moab-rocks-xc-mtb-stage-race.html

 

Photo by John Gibson