The latest stop on the cycling Challenge Cup circuit was racing in the Mile Zero City yesterday for two events. The morning contest was the Ark Time Trial at 20km and the afternoon event was a road race of 22km or 40km.
Sixteen riders took part in the Ark TT. The annual “Bear” Mountain TT usually held at this time, had to be re-located as there has been an aggressive bear on the course in the last week. This is the first time a race has had to be moved for such a reason.
Warm weather greeted the riders as did a moderate wind, but that did not slow the times in the least. Robin Baillie with a 31:31 was the fastest man of the day followed by Colter Young with 32:34 and Robert Lavigne third at 33:38. The top three spots were all captured by Fort St. John Blizzard riders.
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In his first Challenge Cup race, Chains rookie Patrick Hopkins was a close fourth place in a time of 36:32 while veteran and legend Pat Ferris was fifth in 36:49.
The women time trailers were led by Blizzards Sandra McDonald in 39:02, second was Barb Polehoykie while 3rd was DC Greasy Chains Sara Kolkea and 4th local favourite Jan Schmidt.
The afternoon featured the first ever Garbage Road Race that was held on the Bessborough and Mason Roads. Tired riders from the morning TT had to face some challenging winds and a rolling course.
At the photo finish, the victor of the 40km race was Colter Young edging out mentor Robin Baillie, both with a time of 1:08. Patrick Hopkins was an impressive 3rd in 1:13 followed closely by Robert Lavigne of FSJ, Pat Ferris was 5th in 1:14. 6th was James Hopkins at 1:15, 7th Gary Hilderman of the Blizzard, 8th Dave Jaeger of GP, 9th FSJ’s Richard Wood, 10th Jamie Maxwell, 11th Wheelers David Kayand 12th Gord Harris. Other men finishers were 16th Derek Meyers, 17th Francis Plum and 18th in a longer than expected course Owen Giebelhaus.
Women racers were led by Catherine Fairweather, Sandra McDonald and Barb Polehoykie all of the Blizzard.
In the 22km event Marie Young of Fort St. John led the way over Jan Schmidt.
The Blizzard won the day with 108 points, while the Chains earned 50 to the Wheelers 24.
Special thanks to our race officials Rob Jones and Rod Friesen for making our event a safe, fun and expertly timed race. Also, thank you to Sara Kolkea and Jan Schmidt for their work on race course preparation!
Next week the Challenge Cup offers 2 time trial events in Fort St. John, an individual and team TT.
Although this photo is a little blurry…it shows just how close it was between Colter Young and Robin Baillie
Photo: Submitted – Blizzard Bike Club