Province's best MTB riders on display this weekend 

Downhill, cross-country provincial championships take place June 25 and 26

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO - HILL CLIMBER Pemberton's Jaime Hill finished first in the Elite Women's category at last year's BC Cup Provincial Championships. This year's event is scheduled for June 26.
  • file PHOTO
  • HILL CLIMBER Pemberton's Jaime Hill finished first in the Elite Women's category at last year's BC Cup Provincial Championships. This year's event is scheduled for June 26.

Pemberton's Jaime Hill — defending champ in the Elite Women's division of the BC Cup Provincial Downhill Championships — has some advice for the crop of riders vying for her title this year.

"Try different lines, especially if there are adverse weather conditions, smash out lots of laps to get to the point where you know every rock/root, etc," Hill wrote in an email, from Morzine, France.

"Keep it fun — that's why we ride bikes in the first place and if you're having fun, you're usually riding well!"

Hill's been racing abroad in some UCI downhill World Cup events in recent weeks, and won't be back in time to defend her title at this year's provincial DH Championships, taking place in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park on June 26.

The BC Cross Country Mountain Bike Championships take place the day before, on Sat., June 25.

"The competition was amazing (last year)," Hill wrote.

"There's so many great riders where we are that it's always a tough battle. It was really nice to have B.C. champs on a home track — it made training pretty relaxing."

The events attract riders from all over the province, and even as far away as Alberta, said race director Sebastien Fremont.

Organizers are hoping for about 200 riders in the DH event and close to 100 for the XC, he said, with racers divided into categories based on age and experience.

"The people that are racing in the elite categories and so on and so forth, for them it's a serious race. It allows them to essentially try to get that jersey as the provincial champion," Fremont said.

"And for these guys that are up and comers it's a great way to be immersed in the racing scene as well, so you have all ends of the spectrum."

Both the DH and XC championships will be run on new courses this year, Fremont said.

The DH will take place on an old classic called Upper Whistler Downhill, while the XC is slated for a brand new course on Blackcomb.

"It's going to be exciting, and we're looking forward to seeing how the riders play up to the new challenge," Fremont said.

Registration for the event is still open — head to www.bike.whistlerblackcomb.com/events/2016/06/bc-champs for more information or to register.

Registration costs $60 for the Elite and Open Male/Female categories and $50 for Master, Senior and Junior categories.

Pre-registration is mandatory, and requires riders to be licensed through UCI or Cycling BC.

Licenses can be purchased at www.cyclingbc.net or on-site on the day of the event.

Aside from the glory and bragging rights, there will be cash prizes on the line as well.

"It's a great event, and a great way for these guys to compare themselves to all the competitors throughout the province and to see how they're doing," Fremont said.

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