June 10, 2017 (Penticton, B.C.) – Under blue skies and a fresh wind, the 2017 edition of the Hayman Classic opened Friday to rave reviews from cyclists and coaches. The first event, a mass start hill climb, saw the 96 registered riders work their way through 10 kilometres of relatively easy roadway before turning sharply onto a twisting ascent with grades of 15 to 20 per cent over 650 metres (younger riders) and 900 metres (older riders).
Giuseppe Carone, of Hamilton, Ont.-based NCCH, finished first in the U17 category but conceded that he suffered for his victory.
“That hill was pretty tough,” said the 16-year-old from Ancaster, Ont. “At first I was with a few other guys and then the pace went up and my heart rate went through the roof. It was steep.”
Orsler, 13, from Bragg Creek, Alta, can normally be found on a mountain bike, but on Friday she was part of race peloton taking turns at the front. She described the experience as a “bit confusing,” though it ended well and now she’s looking forward to the remainder of the competition.
Still, she was pleased with her team’s performance on only six hours of sleep and was effusive in her praise for the Hayman Classic and its contribution to building young minds and bodies.
“I want people to be healthy. I want people to have goals and I want people to have confidence. So as much as it’s about cycling, it’s about developing the whole person.
Growing up in Peachland, B.C. he said, there were no events like the Hayman Classic to promote the development of young talent.
“It’s pretty inspiring to see this,” he said of Friday’s event. “This looks like a pro race here and this is for kids . . . and hopefully we see a lot of these kids grow up and become the next generation of racers for Canada.”
The Hayman Classic continues through Sunday – for details and full results go to www.haymanclassic.ca.