Manuel Fehlmann won the 10th annual Mount Revelstoke Steamer Hill Climb on Sunday morning, topping the field of 52 racers up the Meadows in the Sky Parkway.
Fehlmann finished the 25 kilometre hill climb in a time of 1:07:17, just under a minute faster than Devon Moonie, who finished second in 1:08:14.
The women’s race was topped by Edmonton’s Marg Fedyna, who at the age of 51 was more than three minutes faster than the next fastest woman, and 17th overall. Her winning time was 1:20:24. Alesha Miller was the second woman over the finish line in a time of 1:23:38.
The race started on Aug. 7 at 7 a.m., with riders starting one minute apart for the gruelling climb up the freshly paved parkway.
In an unexpected development late Saturday, rhe race had to be shortened at the last minute from its usual 26-kilometre length to the end of the parkway due to grizzly bear activity in the summit area of Mount Revelstoke National Park. Instead, it finished at the Balsam Lake parking lot — one kilometre and one tough climb short of the true summit.
Because of the move, the $200 prize for beating the course record was withdrawn and held over until next year, tough Jordan Cheyne’s record of 1:06:59 was not threatened by any riders.
Kellen Viznaugh, 19, was the top local, finishing in fourth place in a time of 1:10:28. Not far behind him was Eric Worman, a 15-year-old who reached the finish line in 1:11:54.
The oldest racer was 69-year-old Ken Sidney from Canmore, who finished the race in 1:36:10, good for 35th overall. The youngest entrant was Joel Worman, 13, who crossed the line after only 1:27:08, good for a very impressive 24th place finish.
The race was organized by Bart Jarmula and Stuart Smith of the Revelstoke Cycling Association. Turnout was up significantly from last year, with many cyclists coming from out-of-town to test themselves on Canada’s longest hill climb.
Jarmula thanked the title race sponsors the 112 Restaurant and Parks Canada, as well as the volunteers that helped out and the businesses that donated prizes. He said the RCA is hoping to build on this year’s successful running of the Steamer by solidifying the early August date in the riding calendar, and by offering increased prizing.