March 17, 2016 (Victoria, BC) – Cycling Canada recently held a #rio2016 fundraiser gala in support of the Canadian MTB program, hosted by team sponsor and training centre, Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria, BC. Most of Canada’s top riders were in attendance to celebrate the start of the season after they had competed in the first Canada MTB Cup of 2016 at the resort’s on-site Bear Mountain Bike Park earlier that same day. A dozen national team riders, who had spent the previous two weeks at Bear Mountain for the squad’s annual elite training camp, were all hand as well.
Key guests included the race day’s two elite winners, two-time World Champion Catharine Pendrel (BC) Luna Pro Team and Pan Am Games Champion Raphael Gagne (QC) Cannondale 360fly p/b Sugoi, as well as second place finisher and women’s 2015 Pan Am Games gold medalist Emily Batty (ON) Trek Factory Racing, along with U23 Canadian Champion and first-year elite rider Haley Smith (ON) Norco Factory Team, who finished an impressive fourth in the Canada Cup (results here).
The proceeds from the 160+ plates sold, and the silent and live auctions went directly to Cycling Canada’s MTB team programs, including the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Games. The crowd was comprised largely of members of Victoria’s vibrant cycling community from folks in the industry to avid riders.
The evening featured a live panel interview by Chek TV’s Sports Director Jeff King with Pendrel, Batty, and Smith that included questions from the crowd. Guests were treated to a delicious hors d’oeuvres in the initial mingling portion of the evening, followed by a stunning three-course meal prepared by the resort’s Executive Chef Mark Wadsworth and team.
The Co-owner of Canadian MTB sponsor ECOASIS (Bear Mountain Resort’s parent company) Dan Matthews and Bear Mountain’s Cycling Director Rob Fawcett were also in attendance, along with Canadian Mountain Bike Team Head Coach Dan Proulx.
Bear Mountain Resort and Spa is centered around a five-star Westin hotel and two full golf courses. It is quickly becoming recognized as a world-class mountain biking destination with new trails being built on site to complement the area’s huge network of singletrack. Bear Mountain is also partnered with Golf Canada, Rugby Canada, and Tennis Canada, with eight clay courts – four of them covered – currently being constructed.