Test of Metal sees another year, another record 

Registration wraps up in just over 22 minutes

The Test of Metal mountain bike race set a new record for registration this year, beating out last year's time by close to two minutes.

Some 1,000 spots were made available to the public at 6 p.m. on New Year's Day, and by 6:22:47 they were all snapped up - nearly two minutes faster than the previous year. That's on top of the 200 spots that were pre-sold to local riders from the Sea to Sky corridor a few weeks early.

Race director Cliff Miller says it might have been faster, but there are limitations to their web-servers when it comes to handling all the traffic.

"I think the only thing that prevents us from selling out immediately is the limitations of the technology," said Miller. "Our last entrant started logging in to register at 5:58 p.m.

That was Joffre Brondgeest of North Vancouver, who had an issue with his browser crashing. However, he was back up and able to register at 6 p.m. with moments to spare.

"I was a little worried but it didn't slow me down," said the five-time Test of Metal racer.

Brondgeest likes racing in the June race.

"It gets me out riding early in the season, and I get lots of support from my family," he said.

This year the organizers sold 200 additional spots, on top of the early registration for locals for a total of 1,200 registered riders. Roughly 20 per cent don't show up for race day and those newly opened spots are not filled from a waitlist.  There are no refunds either.

Roughly 900 riders should be at the start line this year, including Pro Elite riders who can register right up until the day of the event.

The race itself is a 67-km epic around Squamish trails on June 18, with more than 30-km of single-track riding from start to finish. The top riders take just over two hours to reach the finish, while the average rider crosses the line in three-to-four hours. There are two cut-offs on course, but the slower riders can take as long as six hours to reach the finish line. A course map is available online at www.testofmetal.com.

The Test is part of a three-day mountain bike festival, which includes the Pre-Test Festival on Friday and the Rock Star Invitational Downhill on Sunday.

It's also a non-profit, and in 15 previous years it's raised more than $135,000 for community organizations and trails in Squamish.




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