November 15, 2013, Nanaimo, BC (ISN) – The Kona Kup on November 10th doubled this year as BC Provincials Cyclocross Championships, and Bowen Park in Nanaimo has been a popular stop for the Cross on the Rock race series since 2009. It has the distinction of being our 2nd biggest event ever for it’s 2012 race, but also one of the toughest scoring 3rd and 9th for our toughest events in our 50 race history.
Perhaps the most challenging iteration of this legendary course (and incredible park), riders on this warm and overcast day were treated to a mix of pavement, singletrack, switchbacks, quick drops, steep, short ascents, twisty and/or off-camber grass and not one but two patches of wheel-sucking, gravity-inducing sand. Lastly the epic, leg-draining set of 50 stairs. A true “Championship” worthy course.
220 from far and wide signed up to race their bikes to 15 hard-fought Provincial Champ titles, including several Youth age-groups not previously awarded (and which we hope to see at the National Championships – 55 of our racers were U19!), along with near full gender equality amongst categories.
3 U13 girls lined up for the Kona Kup in our youngest category, ready to brave 3 laps of the Bowen Park course, and they gave it their best! Emilly Johnston (Trail Bikes) got a good start on her competition, and rode her way into the Provincial Championship Jersey! Great riding from Lilly Ujfalusi (dEVo) and Talia Hill (Tripleshot) as well!
On the boys side, we saw 8 young men take on the course, and Cody Scott (dEVo) from the mainland earned the top step on the podium, as well as our youngest male BC Cyclocross Champ! Local racer Tayden De Pol and Evan McBeath (dEVo) from the mainland rounded out the podium. Great racing, boys!!
The U5 girls were also well-represented, and it was a pretty close contest, but Victoria racer Sarah Van Dam (Tripleshot) apparently had the best mix of fitness and cyclocross skills, and is our first-ever U15 Champ! Elizabeth Gin (dEVo) and Jacqueline Cowley (dEVo) represented the mainland well, with Silver and Bronze.
There were 10 U15 boys who were eager to become the first ever BC Champ in their category, and Cameron Paul (Tripleshot) and Isaac Van Der Vliet very nearly were the ones, but Conor Martin (Chainline Cycle) was the first to rip around the course three times, and claimed the jersey!
The U17 girls field was small, with just Sidney McGill (Juventus) and Holly Simonson (Pro City Racing-VAC) dueling for top honors, but after 3 speedy laps, Sidney was first across the line but being from Edmonton meant that Holly is the B.C. Champ!
On the boys side, things were fierce! James Grant (VIPYRS) took an early lead, but a lap-in was spotted running with his bike to the line, missing a chain! A mysterious Kona bike appeared for him, and he was off again, chasing down his nemesis John Willcox (Pro City Racing-VAC). On the second lap, James had to stop again, to adjust the seat height, and he was off once again after John with just one lap to go! It was a sprint finish between the two, but James took it by a hair! Earning the Bronze medal, and bearing witness to the chaos was Kenji Yukinaga-Paradis
Three U19 females took up the challenge at the Kona Kup, and off like a rocket was Tarryn Cote (Pro City Racing-VAC), claiming the first lap! Right with her was Maggie Coles-Lyster (Local Ride Racing), who then started to pull away, and two laps later claimed another Provincial Championship title for herself! Kia Van Der Vliet (Trail Bikes) chased hard but had to settle for the third podium step. Impressive riding from all three!
Facing 5 laps, eleven U19 males charged out of the starting gates, but it was clear from early on that Rhys Verner (Team Squamish) would be the one to beat….and none were quite able to, as he finished the race in style. After a rough start, Joel Taylor (Pro City Racing-VAC) was closing the gap, and a 6th lap might have told another story! Fergus Horrobin (dEVo) was no slouch either, and rounded out the podium.
On the women’s side, we were surprised only rolled up to the start line, but Jen Erlendson (Pro City Racing), who’s one of the most consistent Cross on the Rockers, raced her way to perhaps the most impressive title of her riding career, as the BC Provincial Cyclocross Champ! Congrat Jen!! And a well-earned second-place to another COTR supporter, Charlene Hay (MIVA) – we love seeing you out there!!
The men’s side was the polar opposite, being the biggest field of the day, with a huge crowd of 39 who heard their names at the call-up. There was a lot happening in the race, but at the front Vincent Marcotte (Nordica) lead on the first lap, with Bob Welbourn (Cannondale) and Justin Mark (Steed Cycles) in tow, but after that, Bob took the lead, and held it by just 20 seconds at the line! Vincent and Justin exchanged places a few times over the 7 laps, but Vincent was just able to give it just a bit more gas, and took Silver from Justin in this exciting race-long duel.
Glenowyn Carlson (Oak Bay Bikes – Victoria Wheelers), despite a lingering hip injury, put her skills to the trails, and claimed the first-ever M45-54 Women’s BC Cyclocross Provincial Champion’s title!! It wasn’t handed to her on a platter however, and she had to beat out five other women, including Shannon Baerg (Pro City Racing) and Donna Bartel (Escape Velocity), who joined her on the podium.
The men, who are old, but not the oldest, saw Shawn Pederson (Steed Cycles) with a gap on the first lap, but was unable to hold it. Normon Thibault (Frontrunners-Splashes) was the next to head to the front at the end of lap2. Our beloved Cross on the Rock founder and organizer could not fend off Dale Plant (KONA), who demonstrated how a Kona ‘Kross bike is meant to be ridden. Unfortunately for him, however, he’s an out-of-province racer. While he took top race honours, Norm was crowned the BC Champ, who’s collecting this title in as many race categories as is possible. Given that, Shawn was the Silver medalist, and we must also highlight 4th place Steve Bachop (IRC p/b Robert Cameron Law), who’s been gunning for this jersey as well, but rolled a tire and will have to try again next year!
Masters Men 55+
Seven starters in this age group. We were proud to see someone that works so hard with cycling-youth come out on top, and prove his ‘cross credo – congrats to Lister Farrar (Tripleshot), our 55+ Provincial Champ!!! Making him work for it were 70 year old Derek Steel and Derrill Shuttleworth, who also regularly make people half their ages sweat – great riding!!
13 women dared take up the challenge in the Elite field, and it was an exciting race! On the first lap, Catharine Pendrel (Luna) and Sandra Walter (Liv/giant Canada) opened up a gap on Wendy Simms (KONA). And from there Catharine exerted her dominance – soon she was catching Elite men, and nearly caught most of them!! Sandra and Wendy were never far behind, and rounded out the Podium, with honorable mentions to Carey Mark (Steed Cycles), Andrea Bunnin (Deadgoat Racing) and the rest of the women, who kept this race tight.
The Elite men’s field had 28 starters, and Aaron Schooler (Team H&R BLOCK) and Drew MacKenzie (Marin-Shimano) were soon away from the field, and exchanging the lead over several laps, but Drew succumbed to “gotnothingleftitist” and was seen no more, leaving Schooler out front to win his second Provincial Championship event of the month. Given that he is already the Alberta champ, the BC title couldn’t be awarded to him. The fight for 2nd was the big prize, and Thomas Skinner (Sponsor Connected/VOMax) worked on reeling in Aaron, and the Victoria resident riding his way into the title of Elite Men’s BC Cyclocross Champion! Andre Sutton (Hardcore Cycling Club) chased hard, as did Richard Machhein (Local Ride Racing), who round out our medal contenders. Just behind them was Parker Bloom (Stuckylife), who gets the unrecognized distinction of SingleSpeed Elite Champ, but also 5th overall, and 4th in the Province.
It was an incredible day.
A big thank-you to our event organizers, volunteers, supporters, sponsors and racers for making this the biggest Cyclocross Provincial Championships B.C. has had and we hope to see most return for the Cross on the Rock Series Finale at Shawnigan Lake on November 24th, and the National Championships in Surrey on November 30th – you won’t want to miss ‘em!
Additional thanks to:
- Hillary Grant for managing the finish line.
- Dan and Kevin for doing the food.
- The Buzz Coffee for coffee and hot chocolate.
- Cheryl Morch who is becoming the “Hillary” of registration.
- Paul Thompson, Shepard Stewart, Derek Steel, Christine Lynch, Matt Dawes, Jamie Steele, Kevin Brown, Dan Curtis and Ron Hewitson for set up.
- Mike Pollock and Terry from Gabriola for keeping a close eye on the course in the day.
- The City of Nanaimo for letting us use the park and the Cross on the Rock series for being so organized and making it easy!
- Also all the people who helped with tear down.
- Phillips Brewery
- Pearl Izumi
- Saltspring Coffee
- Cycles Lambert
- Oak Bay Bikes
- Naked Bikes
- Zed Wheels
- Orange Sport Supply
- Action Motorcycles
- Zed Wheels
- Nutcase Helmets
- The Howard Johnston