Dominic Unterberger and Melanie Bernier emerged as the winners of the Wednesday night race series, as the racers capped off the season with a gruelling ride on old-school trails on Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
The seventh and final race of the summer saw about 30 riders tackle two old trails on Mount Mackenzie that were re-furbished by Revelstoke Mountain Resort for the race.
Faultline and The Big Easy were initially built by the Revelstoke Cycling Association in 1999 for use as a race course. They were decommissioned when RMR was built but trail crews fixed up the trails for the race.
“I really enjoyed riding the old-school trails,” said organizer Bart Jarmula after the race.
The course saw the riders start at the Nelsen Lodge, ride five kilometres up the mountain road to the maintenance shed, circle the Faultline trail, ride past the day lodge, up the steep Sunshine ski run, onto the Big Easy trail, back to Faultline, and then down the lower slopes of RMR.
It was a tough course that challenged most riders, though Jarmula noted the winners finished five minutes faster than expected. The race started with a pack of six racers leading the way up the mountain road. Eventually Brendan Macintosh, Marty Schaffer and Unterberger separated themselves from the rest of the riders as they led the charge up the steep Sunshine Trail.
When they reached the finish line, Macintosh emerged as the winner in a time of 1:04:20, edging out Schaffer by a mere five seconds. Unterberger, 16, finished 30 seconds back. Three minutes later a second group of five racers charged down the mountain almost side-by-side and finished within seconds of each other.
Melanie Bernier won the women’s race, completing her sweep of the seven-race series. Sarah Newton edged out Atsuko Knight for second.
In the overall standings, Unterberger finished on top of the men’s side with 112 points, thanks to his consistently strong results and young age. 14-year-old Kellen Viznaugh finished second with 98 points, followed by Macintosh in third spot.
Bernier won the women’s side thanks not only to her dominant race performances, but also to her role in organizing weekly trail maintenance days. Knight finished second and Newton came in third.
Racers got points for their place in the standings, and younger and older racers got bonus points to help level the playing field. There were also bonus points awarded for taking part in trail maintenance days.