Squamish's Neal Kindree had over five-and-a-half minutes on Kris Sneddon at the finish line of the Pemberton Nimby Fifty, regaining the title he lost to World Cup racer Max Plaxton last season.
His total time was 2:03:21, which is technically a course record even though the course is a little different; organizers replaced a section of dirt road with two new singletrack sections that Kindree said probably added a minute or a minute-and-a-half to the total.
Kris Sneddon finished in 2:08:53, while Ricky Federau placed third in 2:09:34.
The top prize in the event was $1,000 for the top male and female, with another $250 for second and $150 for third. Kindree walked away with $1,100 after winning the race and the second prime at the top of the Big NIMBY climb. Squamish's Quinn Moberg got an early break behind the pace car to take the first prime at the top of the Radio Tower climb. For the women, Mical Dyck also walked away with $1,200.
The top Whistler rider was Michael Robinson in ninth place in 2:16:12, while Matt Bodkin was 16th in 2:27:13.
Kindree said the field broke up quickly.
"By the top of the first fire road we had a pretty good group, about 10 strong guys were all hanging in, but there were guys down from California that I didn't really know... and after the first descent they were gone," he said. "By the bottom of the first descent there were four of us, Kris Sneddon, Quinn Moberg, Ricky Federau and myself, and heading up Big NIMBY I got the hole shot."
Kindree explained that it's not always an advantage to be first on a climbing section because the rider behind can watch your line choice. As a result he wanted to keep Sneddon, in second at that point, at least 30 metres back while conserving his energy. They kept it up over 11 kilometres and 101 switchbacks to the next descent, leading into the Overnight Sensation descent.
Kindree was at the bottom of that trail when he realized he was riding alone. He found out later that Sneddon had a flat tire, and by the time he passed the aid station a second time he learned that he had close to six minutes to his credit.
"I rode the rest of the race knowing that if I didn't flat, crash or do anything stupid it was $1,000 in the bank, so I toned things down quite a bit," he said. "I'm stoked to win, and way more stoked that I did it in the time that I wanted."
Kindree is staying close to home until he defends his title in the Test of Metal on June 15, and will defend his 2012 title in the BC Bike Race late June/early July. He has now won two of four Nimby Fifty races, having won the event in 2011.
The top pro/elite female rider was Mical Dyck, who placed 20th overall. She finished the course in 2:30:35, less than two minutes ahead of Squamish's Brandi Heisterman, the winner from 2012. Heisterman's time was 2:32:54 while Gairin Cesar was third in 2:38:42.
Whistler's Austin Reith was the top junior racer, placing 22nd overall and winning the boys' 14 to 19 category in 2:30:40. Simon Szoke was second in that group in 2:41:00, followed by James Panozzo in 2:51:07.
The race included a separately timed downhill section called Red Bull Downtime, clocking riders on the challenging Overnight Sensation descent. Whistler's Dave Burch was the top male, breaking the six-minute mark in 5:49.5 to win $250. He was followed by Mitch Forbes in 6:06.9 and Kevin Phelps in 6:10.7.
Forbes also won the special hardtail category sponsored by Chromag bikes, earning $250 for his efforts.
On the women's side, Micayla Gatto was top female downhiller in 7:29.7, followed by Heisterman in 7:45.2 and Sylvie Allen in 7:51.7.
Some 61 racers did not finish the event, which takes place on a challenging mix of trails in Pemberton. The event came close to selling out with 410 entries.
Note: This story has been updated online. The original story had the wrong results for the women in the Red Bull Downtime.
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