Iles wins World Cup event in France 

Sports briefs: Gagnon competes at Worlds in Sweden; Granfondo early-bird pricing to end

click to enlarge PHOTO BY REMI FABBREGUE - FINN IN FLIGHT Local downhill rider Finn Iles picked up his first UCI World Cup win in Lourdes, France on the weekend.
  • Photo by Remi Fabbregue
  • FINN IN FLIGHT Local downhill rider Finn Iles picked up his first UCI World Cup win in Lourdes, France on the weekend.

Local downhill phenom Finn Iles marked a major career milestone over the weekend.

The 16-year-old cruised to his first UCI World Cup victory at the season opener in Lourdes, France on Saturday, April 9.

Iles bested Briton Matt Walker by 1.56 seconds to triumph in the junior men's division. Third-place finisher Niklas Nestoroff was over three seconds off the pace.

Iles is currently en route to Australia where he will compete in the second event in Cairns on April 23 and 24.

Gagnon hits world stage

Sofiane Gagnon finished right in the middle in dual moguls in the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Sweden on the weekend.

At the competition in Åre, the Whistler resident placed 17th out of 33 competitors. Japan's Hinako Tomitaka took the victory while France's Lea Bouard and fellow Canadian Berkley Brown rounded out the podium.

Gagnon also competed in the moguls, finishing 27th with a best score of 30.37. Perrine Lafont of France notched the win, followed by American Tess Johnson and Bouard.

GranFondo early-bird pricing ends Friday

Those who hope for a deal on their RBC GranFondo Whistler entry can still get one.

But not for long.

Early-bird pricing for the race ends on Friday, April 15 at noon. At that time, the cost will rise from $230 to $300.

The GranFondo, which takes riders from downtown Vancouver up to Whistler, runs Sept. 10.

The same pricing structure and timeline is in effect for the RBC GranFondo Banff, which runs in Alberta on Aug. 20.

Bike Park passes on sale

Whistler Mountain Bike Park will offer early-bird pricing on its season passes until just after the park's opening date.

The pricing, along with some incentives, will be in effect until May 22. The park is slated to open on May 20.

The early price of a season pass is $619 and will rise to $725 after the deadline. Those who buy early will also get a buddy day to use by June 24 and a Top of the World day.

Other options include five- or 10-day passes, and a twilight pass (unlimited riding after 4:30 p.m.). There is also a Top of the World season pass, which allows riders one lap from the top per day all season. All options include a buddy day. More information is available at www.whistlerblackcomb.com.

Academy Info session slated

Pemberton's Ski, Board and Bike Academy is transitioning from the winter to summer portion of its programming.

But founder Daryl Treadway is looking ahead to next year as well.

The program, run in conjunction with existing Pemberton Secondary School offerings, will hold a parent information night at the school Thursday, April 21 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The academy is open to students in Grades 11 and 12.

For more information, visit skiboardbike.wordpress.com.

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