May 01, 2013 (Maple Ridge, B.C.) – The 12th Annual Race the Ridge road cycling stage race presented by Local Ride Bike Shop was held in Ridge Meadows this past weekend and saw 150 riders from across the province contest three challenging competitions on the scenic roads of the community that is renowned for its excellent road cycling opportunities.
“It was great to see 150 of some of the strongest riders come and brave our event. Race the Ridge is the only timed stage race in the province. What makes it even more unique is that it has one of the only closed downtown criterium courses left in the province. We are very lucky to have such great cycling terrain out here in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows,” said race organizer and Local Ride Bike Shop owner Barry Lyster.
Maple Ridge’s Maggie Coles-Lyster, 14, of the Local Ride Racing Team, finished second overall behind the Cat 3/4 women’s winner, Victoria’s Anika Todd (Triple Shot Cycling Team), 23, who picked up the grand prize RBC GranFondo Whistler ride entry. Coles-Lyster placed third in the Thorn Hill road race, third in the Pitt-Polder time trial, and second in the Town Core Criterium. Coles-Lyster was ranked third after the first two stages and was able to secure time bonuses in prime sprints during the final stage criterium to secure second place.
“The criterium was like a track race,” said Coles-Lyster who also trains and competes on the Burnaby Velodrome indoor cycling track. “It was really fast and aggressive. I was really happy with how I raced, but I felt bad for Gillian [Ellsay] when she crashed.”
Ellsay (Trail Bikes) from Courtenay was attempting to defend her second place in the standings when she crashed. Despite her fall, she finished 12th in the criterium and third overall.
Race the Ridge marked the first road stage race for Pitt Meadows riders Kelsey MacDonald, 16, and Megan MacDonald, 19, of the Local Ride Racing Team. The promising sisters finished sixth and 14th, respectively in the overall Cat 3/4 women’s standings. Teammate Melanie Von Stetten of Vancouver finished seventh.
Overall Cat 3/4 women’s winner Todd escaped from the pack early on the stage one road race and finished nearly 10 minutes ahead of second place, and criterium champ, Katie Rushton (Oak Bay Bikes). Todd also won the time trial and finished third in the criterium, despite multiple attempts to break away solo. Her aggressive racing earned her the $100 Jeremy Storie Most Aggressive Rider Award, which was inspired by late cycling coach, team director, and passionate fan of the sport, Jeremy Storie.
In the Cat 1/2/3 women’s competition, it was Maple Ridge’s Jean Ann Berkenpas, racing for the Xprezo Factory Team, who stole the show and earned the biggest cheers from her hometown crowd. The 29-year-old was the clear winner of the Jeremy Storie Most Aggressive Rider Award for her category when she repeatedly attacked the field in the road race and finally escaped with time trial champ and eventual overall general classification winner Kristine Brynjolfson (Trek Red Truck p/b Mosaic Homes) of Vancouver to score the victory.
To the delight of the cycling fans who lined the course in the Maple Ridge downtown core on Sunday, Berkenpas animated the race and sprinted away with all three primes and the stage three criterium victory to cinch second in the overall standings. Her efforts were particularly remarkable, because she was riding without the support of teammates. Sarah Coney (Trek Red Truck Racing presented by Mosaic Homes) of Coquitlam finished third overall.
Local Ride Racing’s Meghan Grant of Tsawwassen and Sandra Walter of Coquitlam finished fifth and sixth overall, respectively, in the Cat 1/2/3 contest, highlighting the races with some attacks and breakaways.
The Cat 1/2 Men’s competition was heated with David Gerth (Triple Crown Racing) of Vancouver securing the overall victory. It all came down to his solo win in the 10-lap, 98km road race on stage one. Gerth and his team successfully defended the lead, despite Curtis Deardon (Russ Hayes Racing presented by Accent Inns) of Victoria’s blistering time trial win in which he covered the course’s 11.6km in 13 minutes, 53 seconds.
Jeff Werner (Russ Hayes Racing presented by Accent Inns) of Victoria got all of the cheers on the final stage Town Core Criterium as he held off the chasing pack in a solo breakaway for much of the hour-long race on the fast and furious 800m course in downtown Maple Ridge, beating the group to the finish by a single second. Gerth finished sixth on the final stage, with Deardon right behind in seventh. In the end, Gerth won the overall stage race by only 33 seconds. Craig Richey (Trek Red Truck Racing presented by Mosaic Homes) of Victoria placed third in the general classification. Local Ride Racing’s Richard Machhein of Port Coquitlam finished 12th and teammate Julian Base of Vancouver ranked 20th overall.
The Cat 3 Men’s race saw a strong showing of Local Ride Racing’s colours with representation from Brett Wakefield (Maple Ridge), Jackson Pickell (Port Coquitlam), Adam Reddy (Aldergrove), Steve Devantier (Pitt Meadows), Ryan Newsome (Port Moody), Carsten Ivany (Abbotsford), and Kevin Friesen (Vancouver). The squad led out an aggressive Thorn Hill Road race in the rain, setting up 16-year-old Pickell for a third-place finish behind Joel Taylor (VAC/Pro City Racing) of Victoria with Wakefield finishing fifth. Taylor took the win in the time trial as well to secure the overall and the coveted RBC GranFondo Whistler entry, while Wakefield logged Local Ride Racing’s result with a seventh place ride, followed by Pickell in eighth. Wakefield maintained his top five overall standing after a sixth place in the final stage, won by Jake Howe (Todd’s Racing) of Vancouver. Pickell wound up sixth in the general classification.
Robert Hargrove of New Westminster grabbed victory in the Cat 4 men’s competition, after finishing fifth in the road race, first in the time trial, and third in the criterium. Jon Bula (Fulgas) of Vancouver won the road race and Graham Tutti (Trek Red Truck Racing presented by Mosaic Homes) of North Vancouver sprinted to win the criterium. Roy McBeth (Experience Cycling) of Maple Ridge was the top local finisher in ninth place overall. Nick Berry of Maple Ridge finished 17th.
The U17 race saw nine young up-and-comers contesting in an epic battle that saw Isaac van der Vliet (Trail Bikes) of Courtenay go home with top Race the Ridge honours. Margaret Ovenall (Escape Velocity/dEVo) of Vancouver was the top U17 woman.
The kid’s race in Memorial Peace Park on Sunday was a big hit with participants and spectators alike as young riders on bikes of all types and sizes garnered encouragement all along the course.
Golden Ears Physiotherapy, sponsor of the Local Ride Racing Team, was on site in Memorial Peace Park in the midst of the racing action on Sunday, offering athletes free pre- and- post-race treatments and physiological assessments.
“Putting on fantastic events like this in our community would not be possible without the support of our dedicated volunteers and sponsors,” said Lyster. “They are truly making valuable contributions to the sport and to the community.”
Other organizations who helped make the event possible include Local Ride Bike Shop, Superior Glass, Power2Max, GranFondo Canada, Ramada Inn Pitt Meadows, Kicking Horse Coffee, BBB, Cycles Lambert, Cycling BC, District of Maple Ridge, City of Pitt Meadows, and Panago Pizza.