Mahon Lamont didn't win the race, but he did win a race within the race during last weekend's OreCrusher.
The 18-year-old was the top Whistler rider in the annual Squamish mountain bike race held Saturday, May 10, with an 11th-place finish overall.
Lamont reached the finish line in two hours, three minutes, 10.9 seconds, after three laps of the course totalling 40 kilometres. He wound up less than nine minutes off the winning pace set by Sechelt's Kris Sneddon, while hometown racers Quinn Moberg and Greg Day finished second and third, respectively.
"It was a pretty good race," said Lamont. "It's only my second race back. I had a broken arm and was out for six weeks, so it's nice to be racing again.
"I felt pretty good and I felt pretty fast, so that's always a good sign."
Lamont wound up as the runner-up in the men's 14 to 19 age group, finishing behind Squamish's Rhys Verner. But the race also acted as a qualifier for Team B.C., and only the first two laps were considered. Since Lamont was ahead of Verner at that cut-off point, he went into the books as the qualifier's race winner.
With his win at the Sunshine Coaster the weekend before, Lamont has now won two of the first three qualifiers, and won't have to race the third one in Campbell River on May 31.
"I'm pretty happy I don't have to go to Campbell River, and I can do the Nimby Fifty," he said, as he would have had to miss the Pemberton race without winning Saturday's qualifier.
After Lamont, the next Whistler racer to the line was Trevor Hopkins, who was 15th overall at 2:09:26.9 — a pretty impressive result considering it was the Team Whistler rider's first day on a mountain bike this season.
"Last time I'd been on my mountain bike was last December," said Hopkins. "I literally got my new bike on Friday and built it up the night before the race."
Hopkins has been focused on road racing early this season, and he's earned some impressive results, including a third-place finish at the three-leg Maui Stage Race in Hawaii last month.
"I've done 10 road races this year," said Hopkins, adding that the transition back to fat tires was fairly smooth.
"I thought it was going to be (tough), but it wasn't."
In another notable result for Team Whistler, Chloe Cross was the women's runner-up with a time of 2:24:21.0. She was about 15 minutes behind winner Sandra Walter, but was able to overtake fellow Whistler rider Petra Tlamkova late on the final lap for second place.
"There was a small gap and I knew that I could close it, so I just kind of put my head down and it all worked out," said Cross, who was racing her first OreCrusher. "I was super stoked to be second."
Several other Whistler riders posted strong results, including Austin Reith, who was 20th overall and third in the men's junior race. Tony Routley finished 21st, and won the men's 50 to 59 age group handily. Team Whistler's Alex Capon placed 33rd overall, and fellow resort residents Tony Bachler, Michael Boehm, Quentin Emeriau, Jean-Sebastien Lareau and Joshua Stott all notched top-50 results.
Pemberton's Leah Trudeau won the women's 30 to 39 race, finishing as the fifth-fastest woman overall. Jennifer McTavish won the junior women's division in 2:30:57.0, beating out fellow Whistler rider Lisle Stopforth by 70 seconds.
Meanwhile, Verner finished sixth overall, and had two other Squamish riders join him, Day and Moberg in the top 10, as Dwayne Kress was seventh and Eric Goodwin finished ninth.
Visit www.webscorer.com for full results.
ROBINSON WINS SALTY DOG
Whistler's Michael Robinson rode to victory in Salmon Arm's Salty Dog Six-Hour Enduro on Sunday, May 11, winning the event for the second time in three years.
The race sees competitors try to complete as many laps of a course in six hours, with 300 metres of climbing per loop. Robinson finished nine laps and posted a 10-second margin of victory.
"Two years ago, I won it in 10 (laps), but the wet conditions slowed things down," said Robinson, who was ahead by at least four minutes at one point, but started to suffer late in the race.
"Laps 7 and 8 were the hardest and I had to ease off many times on the climb, as I was cramping a bit," he said. "I held on for the win, but only just."