Dave Burch takes 20th West Side Wheel Up 

Robin O'Neill fends off Sarah Olner at final big 2013 mountain bike race

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOHN FRENCH - West Side Winner Event organizer Phil Chew and men's winner Dave Burch at the finish line of the 20th annual West Side Wheel Up.
  • Photo by John French
  • West Side Winner Event organizer Phil Chew and men's winner Dave Burch at the finish line of the 20th annual West Side Wheel Up.

In his 15th year of racing the Westside Wheel Up, Dave Burch clinched his second victory at the season-ending mountain bike event.

As he climbed off his bike at the finish he joked that it was lucky the race wasn't any longer or his leg cramps might have slowed him down as he made his final push on A River Runs Through It.

Burch plans to hang up his race plate beside one from early in the season.

"I won that Red Bull descent in the Nimby at the very start of the season so it's nice to bookend the season," said Burch.

Everything came together for him on Saturday on the Westside trails.

"I just felt good on the climbs and slowly reeled (Chris Clark) Clarky in over the Beaver Pass and then I never looked behind me," he said.

"I haven't won a Loonie Race this year. I've been second four times, I've had 10 top five finishes so its one of those things where Chris (Clark) beat me a couple times."

Second place finisher, Clark, gave Burch a good run for his money. Mahon Lamont, 16, finished in third place behind Clark and was the top junior.

The first woman across the finish line was Robin O'Neill. Sarah Olner finished in second place a few seconds behind O'Neill.

"It is such a nice course and it is such a good cause," said O'Neill as her number plate was being removed by a race volunteer.

Olner had hoped to get out of the gate a little quicker.

"I was hoping to go out a bit faster at the start but it just wasn't there," she said at the finish line. "It was a good course — long for sure."

Lamont, the youngest racer to mount the podium this year, also said he got off to a tough start.

"I felt sick (that) morning and I felt pretty bad at the start, but once I got onto the trails I just hammered," said Lamont adding that his competitors blew him up at the start. He also rode smart to avoid any crashes or flat tires, he said.

Race organizer Phil Chew is already thinking ahead to next year. He uses the race each year as a fundraiser for the B.C. Disabled Ski Team.

A total of 104 people rode in the race this year, down slightly from the record number of 124 competitors.

Chew said the course was a little tougher this year and he's happy with that because he wants the event to be known as a challenging race. He noted that 53 random draw prizes were given away after the race.

"Hopefully in the future we can do better and hopefully (attract) more people," said Chew.

A total of $5,000 was raised for the disabled ski team through the race this year. The amount is a thousand dollars more than what was brought in last year, said Chew.



1. Dave Burch — 1:15:27

2. Chris Clark — 1:16:59

2. Mike Boehm — 1:21:37


1. Robin O'Neil — 1:40:22

2. Sarah Olner — 1:40:33

3. Jenna Fox — 1:46:38


1. Mahon Lamont — 1:19:00

2. Austin Reith — 1:21:59

3. Max Berkowitz — 1:45:35

Complete results at Webscorer.com.



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