Vernon bikers find traction

Interior High School Mountain Bike Series

Pedar Ree of the Seaton Sonics won the Grade 8 title in the Interior High School Mountain Bike Race Series stop Thursday at Ellison Provincial Park.

Keaton Dick of the Kalamalka Lakers secured third place in the same category in the two-lap, 8.6-kilometre race.

“Alex Lane from Sun Country Cycle designed an exciting and fun course that challenged 60 young riders from all over the valley,” said race volunteer Liz Ariano, who assisted Lane.

In the Grade 9 boys division, Cody Wessels of Vernon Christian School Royals landed a podium position in second place. Tye Krause of Kal was fifth and Diego Glanz of Seaton was 10th. The senior grade bikers raced four laps for a total of 17.2-k.

The Grade 10 boys division saw Fulton Maroons’ Erik Urquhart Connor Hansen racing to fifth and sixth respectively. In her first-ever race, Kate Earle of Kal took third in the Grade 10 girls division. For the Grade 11 boys, Julian Hudson of Seaton battled to fifth.

The series opened the week earlier at the Kamloops Bike Ranch on a tough, dusty and unforgiving course with Ree achieving a third in the Grade 8 boys class.

Wessels posted a third in the Grade 9 boys grouping, while Dick netted a fourth in the Grade 8 boys.

Fulton put in a strong showing with Hansen seventh, Urquhart eighth, Owen McKill ninth and Braden Beckley 10th all in the Grade 10 boys.

Krause finished ninth in the Grade 9 boys, while Lynden Rivers raced to 10th in the Grade 10 boys.

Julian Hudson stayed with the top-six racers in the Grade 11/12 boys division but a crash in the second part of the race took him out of contention.

The third race in the series goes Thursday in Salmon Arm and promises to challenge the athletes in an enduro-style format.

“In this type of racing, a series downhill portions are timed while the uphills are not,” said Ariano. “The transfers between the downhill stages are also not timed. The rider with the lowest accumulated downhill time is declared the winner. The hard work our Vernon athletes are undertaking will culminate at the provincial championships being held in Salmon Arm on May 26. This is an all-day affair where the participants will compete in both cross country and enduro style events.”

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