Trail crews revive Mount Mac Challenge course
By Bart Jarmula/Revelstoke Cycling Association
The Arrow Helicopters Wednesday Night XC race series is winding down for the season, with only one more remaining. The final race takes place at the old Mt. Mac Challenge course, which is being revamped for the race.
At the fifth of six races on Aug. 1, 24 racers challenged themselves on a course that included a large section of Flowdown, as well as sections of Dusty Beaver and Berm Donor.
Unfortunately, it seemed like a lot of the usual suspects that hang out at the front of the field were missing in action and subsequently Brendan Macintosh comfortably led the way to his third win of the season. Jeff Ferguson made his first appearance on the podium this season finishing second while Tim Auger put in a hard effort for third.
This course featured a race within the race as the downhill section of Flowdown was timed. Despite starting the race 10 minutes late, Dominic Unterberger clawed his way back to 7th, had the fastest lap time and won the gravity enduro section with a time of 7:25. Callum McLeary was second by just one second. He may have had the sanest approach of any racer as he took his time on the ascents and railed the timed descent.
Female riders accounted for almost half the racers. Mel Bernier again led from start to finish (with the fastest gravity enduro time as well) to win her sixth race of the season. Annie Gornall pulled away from Sarah Newton on the second lap to finish in front of her for third.
With only one race left in the series the overall standings are quite tight. On the men’s side Kellen Viznaugh and Dominic Unterberger are tied in first place. Dominic does have on race in hand but Kellen is still in line for bonus points for taking part in every race so the last race will be decisive. Brendan Macintosh and Don Roberston also have a race in hand and could also conceivably take over the lead should the two leaders falter.
Mel Bernier is leading the women’s standings. Though Atsuko Knight is only six points behind her passing Mel will be almost impossible if Mel shows up for the last race. Liz Kozak has snuck into third place but Sarah Newton still has a chance to pass her.
The last race of the season will be held at Revelstoke Mountain Resort on Aug. 15. The RCA built trails up there many years ago for the original local XC mountain bike race called the Mount Mac Challenge.
During the ski hill expansion the trails suffered some damage but thanks to the efforts of the RMR trail crew they have been brought back into riding shape again. Details of the race will be posted shortly but make sure you circle your calendar and save the date. Even if you don’t plan to race join us on the Rockford patio afterwards for the series awards.