Downhillers descend on Silver Star course
Host to a World Cup in 1994 and multiple B.C. and Canada Cup races through the late 1990s, it’s been 11 years since Silver Star Mountain Resort held a major mountain bike race.
All of that changed last weekend as 334 racers challenged the gnarly Dag’s downhill course in a Momentum B.C. Cup Downhill Race Sunday.
“This is the biggest turnout to a B.C. Cup event this summer,” said summer business manager Ian Galbraith. “People who had raced here in the past were itching to get back and the hype around Silver Star’s amazing trails brought tons of young racers as well.”
The nearly perfect weather and electrifying atmosphere generated by the announcer and exhibitors also drew a strong contingent of recreational riders to the park, and the resort set a record for visitation on Saturday with a total of 730 mountain bikers enjoying the 18 trails in the park.
Racers and their families traveled from all over B.C. and Alberta with an small contingent from Switzerland who had planned their holidays around the event.
Peachland’s Barb Haley, former national DH champion crowned at Silver Star back in the day, was the only competitor to race on a hardtail and finished in four minutes, 51 seconds.
The races went off with only one small hitch as a thunderstorm rolled in on the mountain and poured rain on the last 10 racers of the day competing in the Men’s Elite category.
Tara Mowat of Vancouver ruled the Elite Women in three minutes, 44 seconds. Katherine Short of Halfmoon Bay, B.C. was second in 3:58, followed by Lindsay Trimble of Burnaby, in 4:04.
Fastest woman of the day was Harriet Eve Harper of Nelson, New Zealand, racing in the 30+ Citizen category, in three minutes, 41 seconds.
Kiwi Boyd Grinstead ruled the 30+ Citizen Men’s class, in 3:22.76, edging Coldstream’s A.J. Cleary (3:22.93).
Peter Sorey of Vernon placed 10th in 3:58.11, while Rod Shigeoka was 15th in 4:16 and Michael Giesbrecht 17th in 4:19 to round out the locals.
Vernon’s Eric Price topped the 19-29 Citizen Men Division in 3:20, while Vernon riders Terence Giesbrecht and Brad Miller finished ninth and 14th respectively.
The Junior Expert Men (17-18 year olds) title went to Mark Wallace of Duncan, who posted the fastest time of the day at 3:05. McKay Vezina of Newbury Park, Calif. struck silver in 3:09, while Forrest Riesco of Gibsons bagged bronze in 3:10. Jayson Giorio of Vernon was 10th in 3:29.
Nicholas Geddes of Whistler topped the Elite Men in 3:10, ahead of Coquitlam’s Ken Faubert in 3:13 and Cory Brunelle of 150 Mile House in 3:14. Vernon’s Regan Hogelie was 17th in 3:23.
Wyatt Kellin of Drayton Valley, Alta. won the U17 Expert Men crown in 3:28, while D’Arcy O’Connor of Burnaby ruled the Master 30-39 Men class in 3:33 and Patrik Kuster of Zurich ruled the Senior Men category in 3:18.
Dylan Hoover of Vernon placed 11th in the U17 Expert Men in 3:41.
Kyle Stinn of Vernon was 14th in the U17 Sport Men class in 3:47 and Garnet Atonyk of Vernon 37th in 4:29, while Samantha Hoover was second in Junior Women (15-18 years) in 5:09.
The next big mountain bike event to hit the trails at Silver Star is the Freeride Festival on Aug. 25-26 featuring the Camp of Champions Air Bag, Norco Demo Tent, and the Jump Jam.
The Star’s next non-biking event is the 3D Archery Nationals, Aug. 3-5. The resort expects more than 300 competitors to attend from all over the country for this unique event.