Racing downhill in Ontario is about making the most of what you have and with a mere 304 feet of vertical to work with, that is exactly what head course manager Shane Joachim did. The course was well received by racers, parents, fans and the Ontario Cycling Association. The track presented challenges for racers of all ability. Line options were more subtle and the need for distinct A and B lines was negated. Beginner riders were able to easily and safely navigate the course while advanced riders could link trail sections together, increasing speed where desired. Features like the upper rock garden could be comfortably navigated by less experienced racers, or gapped by those who possessed the skill set to do so. The loose, sand-based course settled in nicely over the weekend and as Terry Leimonis shouted out as one of the final racers came down during the race on Sunday: “It’s a track now!” Loose, almost beach-like conditions seen during Saturday’s practice developed into permanent ruts and exposed roots that will define this course as a staple on the circuit for years to come.
This new course was fast and flowy and the general consensus among riders was that the frontrunners would break the one minute mark. Race winner Rob Fraser ( Lapierre POC ) crushed that barrier in a time of 56.990. Kristen Courtney (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels) took the top spot in the All Female category in a blistering time of 1:12.656.
The racing was exciting across all categories. Adam Robbins (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels), the future of our sport, took home the win in Miniee. Colin MacIntosh (Eastside Cycle Racing) took the top spot away from reigning champ Derek Abrams for the first time in the highly competitive Master (30-39) category. In his debut to racing the series, Tyler Skrinek (Bikezone Racing) won the Senior Sport (19-29) class.
There were lots of new faces at the race and everyone was excited for what is shaping up to be an incredible season of racing downhill in Ontario. Riding Feels Good was stoked to be on site for this momentous first race with Tuf Rack at the helm. Thank you to Jon, Shane, Claude and all of the crew at Tuf Rack who built the course and ran the race like clockwork. Big thanks also to Chris, Swatty, Greg and Wyeth from the OCA who came out to help ensure this race ran smoothly. We look forward to seeing everyone at Sir Sams.