Whistler riders top Canada Cup downhill 

After taking a break for World Cup competitions

After taking a break for World Cup competitions, the Canada Cup mountain bike series continued last weekend with cross-country and downhill events at the Calgary Olympic Park.

The downhill course was short but challenging, with high-speed sections, rock gardens, tight tree sections and big jumps.

Mike Jones, who recently moved to Whistler, was the top male in the downhill, burning through the course in one minute, 45.40 seconds.

Geoff Pendrel was second in 1:46.44 and Luke Kitzanuk third in 1:47.25. Shaums March of Squamish was 14 th in 1:51.62.

In the Senior Elite Women’s race, Whistler’s Brook Baker finished third with a time of 2:03.58, two one-hundredths of a second back of Stephanie Nychka, who took the silver medal. Vancouver’s Danika Schroeter placed first overall in 2:00.60.

In the Junior Expert Category, Squamish rider Kyle Ritchie was second in 1:52.95, 3.26 seconds out of first place.

In the cross country race, Peter Wedge of New Brunswick took the gold in 1:53:13, edging out Ricky Federau of Abbotsford by just two seconds. Mike Northcott was third in 1:55:02.

Quebec’s Marie-Helene Premont, who left for the Olympics in Athens after the race, won the women’s Senior Elite Women’s race in 1:47:43. She finished almost eight minutes ahead of Catherine Pendrel and Wendy Simms, who were second and third with their respective times of 1:55:29 and 1:55:35.

The Canada Cup series continues this weekend in Fernie, Aug. 14-15, and should have a higher Whistler content. The organizers are expecting more than 400 riders to take part in the cross-country and criterium on Saturday and the downhill on Sunday.

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