October 31, 2012 (Maple Ridge, B.C.) – The sixth annual Pumpkin Cross cyclo-cross race presented by Local Ride Bike Shop haunted Maple Ridge on Sunday as over 150 cyclists took to their bikes on a fun and convoluted course at the North Alouette Greenway adjacent to the Maple Ridge Equi-Sports Centre.
“We had a fantastic turnout for our event,” said race organizer and Local Ride Bike Shop owner Barry Lyster. “So many people dressed up in creative costumes and a very large contingent of beginner and first-time racers showed up, which is exactly what we’re trying to achieve. We want people to realize bike racing is a blast.”
The racing was close and very exciting with leads changing numerous times across the categories. Despite torrential rain the day before the event, skies cleared on race morning and treated riders to a mild, albeit muddy, day.
Andrew Pinfold (Vancouver) snagged the win by a hair at the finish line in the elite men’s competition, just ahead of Kevin Noiles (Vancouver) of Sunday Best Racing. Kevin Calhoun (North Vancouver) of the Rocky Mountain Factory Team picked himself up and crossed the line in third place, after crashing on the barriers just before the finish as he was in second spot. Honourable Mention goes to Bob Welbourn (North Vancouver) of Sunday Best Racing, who finished a strong fourth. Normally Welbourn races in the masters category, but not only did he wear a racy costume, he also braved the elite category and out-rode a lot of young guns.
Brett Wakefield (Maple Ridge) of Local Ride Racing took ninth place wearing a penguin costume, Mike Berkenpas (Maple Ridge) racing for Secret Cycles placed 11th, Local Ride Racing’s Rich Machhein (Port Coquitlam) was 12th after suffering a flat tire, and teammate Steve Devantier (Pitt Meadows) crossed in 14th.
Leah Guloien (Port Moody) of the Colavita-ESPN team came from behind in the elite women’s race to swipe victory ahead of Jean Ann Berkenpas (Maple Ridge), who was flying the Secret Cycles banner. Sandra Walter (Coquitlam), racing for Local Ride/Dr. Vie Superfoods+ powered into third place. Local Ride/Dr. Vie Superfoods+ teammates Sarah Coney (Coquitlam), Steph Roorda (Vancouver) and Laura Brown (Vancouver) finished sixth, eighth, and 10th, respectively.
Kim Steed (North Vancouver) of Steed Cycles handily won the master 40+ men’s race, besting Rick Rodland (Langley) of Norco/Team Alliance and Cory Forrest (Vancouver), in second and third. Ryan Newsome (Port Moody) of Local Ride Racing finished 10th, Pitt Meadows local Brian Griffin of Team Alliance placed 14th, Nick Berry (Maple Ridge) was 20th, and Paul Craig (Pitt Meadows) Local Ride Racing was 23rd.
The intermediate men’s category was the biggest and saw Ben Schmidt (Abbotsford) ride away with the victory, ahead of second place Jason Rhodes (Vancouver) of Todds Racing and third place, Dave Collins (Vancouver). Local Ride Racing’s Ryan Jeans (Port Moody) 25th, with teammate Andrew Kerr (Pitt Meadows) just behind in 28th.
Maple Ridge’s Maggie Coles-Lyster, 13, of the Local Ride/Dr. Vie Superfoods+ squad won the intermediate women’s race, besting Corinne Issel (White Rock). Aja Philip took the third podium spot, while Local Ride/Dr. Vie Superfoods+ racer Rachel Canning competed in her first-ever cyclo-cross event and Local Ride Racing’s Jeanine Ball (Vancouver) finished ninth.
The beginner men’s category saw lots of keeners in costume getting muddy and having fun on their bikes. Shawn Kingerlee took home the victory, followed by Andrew Appleton in second, and Brett Whitehead in third. Pete Whalen (Pitt Meadows) of Local Ride Racing finished 14th.
Fifteen beginner women pedaled, ran, and leapt along the track, with its many corners and obstacles. Susanne Nagy was the winner, beating second place, Emily Weekes, and third place, Karine Duval. Kelsey MacDonald (Maple Ridge) of Local Ride Racing finished fourth in her first cyclo-cross race, while sister Megan MacDonald (Maple Ridge), also of Local Ride Racing, crossed the line seventh in what was her first cyclo-cross competition. The sharks, Sue Weston (Pitt Meadows) and Joanne Kerr (Pitt Meadows) of Local Ride Racing, finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Dressed as a hula girl, Local Ride Racing’s Rozie Krupa (Port Coquitlam) was also among the ranks, and thoroughly enjoyed her first ‘cross race.
“The atmosphere was fantastic,” said Krupa. “As a first-time racer, the experience was exhilarating. I felt the course was very well-rounded and I got a taste of lots of different types of terrain. It was a great course for beginners.”
The U17 race saw Kian Zandi, 14, of Team Devo grab the top spot, while his teammate Quinn Storey finished second. Local brothers Noah and Caleb Dobie (Maple Ridge) of Ridge Meadows BMX pedaled into third and fourth spots, respectively. Allison Merke (Maple Ridge) and Kaelen Coles-Lyster (Maple Ridge) rolled across in fifth and sixth place.
The kid’s race saw about 20 enthusiastic children, most in costume, make their way around a special course.
Arguably the most competitive category of Pumpkin Cross was the costume contest. This year, favourites included an elaborate 80s prom queen, a flamboyant pig, Beauty and the Beast, Catwoman, and various other creatures from caterpillars to monsters. But it was the giant beer keg costume of Paul Craig’s (Pitt Meadows) that proved most popular and won him the adult costume prize. The best part was, Craig even contested the race while wearing the bulky getup. On the kid’s side, it was the little pink bunny suit worn by three-year-old Campbell Coles-Lyster (Maple Ridge) that was voted the winner.
Pumpkin Cross also supported the B.C. Cross Community Collective Effort to raise funds to ensure equal prize money for the top-15 men and women at the UCI cyclo-cross race in South Surrey on November 18. Once that goal has been reached, any additional donations will go towards providing a prize purse at the Canadian Cyclo-cross Championships in South Surrey on November 17. There is currently no prize purse being offered at the championships and many individuals in the B.C. cyclo-cross community believe there should be one. Riders and supporters of Pumpkin Cross donated over $300 to the cause on Sunday.
Thanks to all of the volunteers, participants, Giant Bicycle Canada, Cycles Lambert, Loudenterprise, District of Maple Ridge, Maple Ridge Equi-Sports Centre, and 360 Cycles for helping to make Pumpkin Cross such a howling success.
Results available HERE.