May 5, 2010 (Maple Ridge, BC) – The eighth annual Race the Ridge cycling race presented by Local Ride Bike Shop last weekend in beautiful Maple Ridge, BC was a huge success with the province’s top racers battling over three challenging stages in pursuit of the overall victory, awarded to the rider with the lowest cumulative time. Saturday saw competitors contest the Thornhill Road Race, followed by the gorgeous, but brutal Golden Ears individual time trial, while Sunday’s final stage, the exciting, fast paced Town Core criterium course, determined the overall victors. The event also included a free kid’s race and a full youth stage race.
“I’m extremely happy with the weekend,” said Race Organizer Barry Lyster. “Race the Ridge always promises challenging world-class courses, quality racing, and great prizes, and we delivered on every count. We were also proud to offer our first full youth stage race, which is an important step towards developing Canada’s future cycling champions.”
The weekend kicked off early Saturday morning with the Thornhill road race. The course wound through the hills and quiet farm roads of Maple Ridge. Marcel Aarden (Total Restoration Cycling Team) won the 100km Cat 1/2 men’s race only six seconds ahead of an eight-man chase group. Nick Hamilton (Trek Red Truck) won the bunch sprint for second, and Jamie Sparling (Total Restoration Cycling Team) took third.
The 70km Cat 1/2 women’s race was decided in an uphill pack sprint, with Jenny Lehman (Mighty Riders) nipping Maple Ridge’s Jean Ann McKirdy (Local Ride Racing) at the line for the win. Jasmin Glaesser was a close third.
Local Ride Racing’s Zach Young and David Stephens (Team Coastal) broke away early in the 70km Cat 3/4 men’s race, and worked together to finish with an advantage of nearly three minutes. Young out-sprinted Stephens in the end, and Keith Jones (Garneau Evolution) bested the pack for third. Virginia Sellars (Balance Point Racing), dominated the 40km women’s Cat 3/4 race, soloing away from the rest of the group early in the race.
Competitors had to recover quickly to be ready for the rolling 21.5km race against the clock that was the Golden Ears individual time trial. The weather cleared up, for a stunning evening of racing through the cedar and hemlock forest of Golden Ears Provincial Park, and even a curious black bear wandered near the course to check out the action. The Kelowna-based Total Restoration Cycling Team dominated the time trial in both the Cat 1/2 men’s and women’s categories. Sparling set a new course record of 28:49 for the men, and Laura Brown won the women’s race by just over a minute, with a time of 33:00, putting her comfortably in the overall lead. In the Cat 3/4 men’s race Stephens won with a time of 29:48, 2:24 ahead of second place. Sellars took another win in the Cat 3/4 women’s race, and further solidified her overall lead.
The weekend’s highlight, the Town Core Criterium, closed down the Maple Ridge Downtown Core for an exciting set of high action criterium races that ultimately decided the overall winners of Race the Ridge 2010. A deejay, race announcer, enthusiastic spectators, and great races made for a successful day. In the Cat 1/2 men’s race, seven riders jumped into a breakaway midway through the multi-lap race and stayed out of reach of their chasers. Tyler Trace (Trek Red Truck) put his savvy and sprinting skills to work to take the win over Cody Campbell (Trek-Livestrong) and Dylan Sebel (Team Coastal), who finished second and third, respectively.
In the Cat 1/2 women’s race, Local Ride Racing’s McKirdy aggressively broke away from the field early on, after which she was joined one at a time by three other racers. In the end, McKirdy initiated the sprint early, and just managed to hold off a hard charging Claire Cameron (Mighty Riders) for the win. Andrea Bunnin (Devo-Escape Velocity) finshed third. Garneau Evolution’s Jones and Jennifer Gerth (Westwood Cycle/Cannondale/ p/b Visions) won the Cat 3/4 men’s and women’s races, respectively.
In the overall general classification, Matthew Bell (Trek Red Truck) won the Cat 1/2 men’s title, followed by Sparling in second and Hamilton in third. Brown came out on top in the Cat 1/2 women’s overall, followed by Jasmin Glasser in second, and Kristine Brynjolfson (Westwood Cycle/Cannondale) in third. Team Coastal’s Stephens won the Cat 3/4 men’s stage race, ahead of Local Ride Racing’s Young in second, and Nigel Ellsay (Trail Bikes-Eatmore Sprouts) in third. Sellars handily won the 3/4 women’s event.
The U17 races were a hit, and very competitive. Gord Minaker (Fresh Air Experience) won the overall due to his excellent time trial. Thomas Andrew (Comox Valley Cycling Club) finished second and Scott Harrhy (Fresh Air Experience), who won both the road race and the criterium, placed third. Maggie Coles Lyster (Local Ride Racing) clinched the overall U17 girl’s event.
As is tradition in all events organized by Local Ride Bike Shop, equal cash purse and prizing were given to all men’s and women’s winners on the weekend. Huge thanks go out to all of the sponsors, volunteers, and racers who made Race the Ridge a success.
Full results here.
Thanks to official Race the Ridge sponsors: Pedal Magazine, Kicking Horse Coffee, Giant Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, BBB, Lezyne, Panago Pizza, Ramada Inn, Louis Garneau, Cycling BC, City of Maple Ridge, City of Pitt Meadows.