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Pemberton track leads off Harvest motocross series

Local riders make podium as field doubles in size

The Green River Motocross Park played host to the first event of the fall CMA Golden Harvest series this past weekend, with over 150 riders taking part – more than double last year’s tally.

Riders came from all over the province to take part, training on Saturday and racing Sunday.

Whistler’s Shaun Greenaway, back from a successful nationals in Ontario, was the top local rider, placing second in the MX1 Expert category for big bikes, and winning the Plus-30 age category.

"We had a lot of fun, the track was in great shape with the guys working all week to keep it watered with the drought, and the riders really came out," said Greenaway, who also helps to organize the events with the Green River Riding Club.

Greenaway only returned from the nationals in Ontario the previous Saturday, and had just enough time to put his bike together to race on his home track.

"Quite honestly I didn’t have a whole lot of drive left, there wasn’t much fight in the dog. I’d been racing non-stop the past month… but it was still fun to go out there, take it easy and race the local guys," he said.

Greenaway’s season started badly. After nursing a broken hand for almost a year this spring he had a serious crash where he broke his sternum, collar bone, and ribs, collapsing a lung in the process.

Still, he was back on his dirt bike once he had clearance and kept to his plan of racing and making the nationals.

"It started last month going to Campbell River for the B.C. Championships, and I ended up first overall in Masters, and second overall in the 250cc Intermediate, so that went pretty good. I felt better than I had all season and I was pretty excited for the nationals," he said.

At the nationals, which took place over five days – Aug. 16 to 20 – Greenaway placed well in both Plus-25 and Vet Master categories. In Plus-25, where he raced with pro riders from across the country – "and my best expectation was to be top 10" – Greenaway finished fifth.

In the Vet Master category, where he raced some of the top former pros, he placed fourth overall.

He scrubbed out of a couple points races with a faulty tire, and believes he could have made the podium in both categories without any mechanical problems.

"With my health and setbacks this season my main goal was to try and be competitive at the very least, but I blew myself away. I made a couple of hole shots where there were about 42 guys in the start… and had my best nationals since I’ve been going there for the past four years."

Although Greenaway’s goal is to relax and enjoy the rest of the season, he was surprised how competitive the field is becoming in the provincial series – as well as how advanced local motocross riders are becoming.

"The local guys are keeping up," he said.

Justin Patjas, who lives in Squamish, placed first in the MX1 Intermediate category. Pemberton’s Todd Schumlick was sixth, Don Van Eesteren of Garibaldi Highlands was seventh, and Aaron Breu and Gareth Palmer of Squamish eighth and ninth.

Patjas was also third in the MX2 Intermediate race, while Shane Wiebe of Abbotsford and Whistler placed first overall. Derek Burgen of Whistler was 10 th and Bob Fawcett of Pemberton 13 th .

Pemberton’s Warren Barrow was third in MX1 novice, while Pierre Ringuette placed fifth. Mattieu Baillargeon of Squamish was 10 th .

Chris Scarborough of Garibaldi Highlands was 12 th in MX2 Novice, while Whistler’s Andrew Tacilauskas was 18 th and Squamish’s Paul Rak 20 th .

Brendan Martin of Pemberton was third in the Plus-25 class, followed by Gareth Palmer of Squamish.

In the Plus-30 class, Tom Schumlik picked up third, followed by Don Van Eesteren in fourth, Justin Andiel of Whistler was sixth, Derek Burgen 10 th , Robert Fawcett 11 th , Karl Dempsey 12 th , Paul Rak 14 th and Pierre Ringuette 15 th .

Doug Macfarlane of Pemberton was fourth in the Plus-40 category, while Eric Sinclair was seventh.

There was also a busy women’s race with 12 athletes of all ages and classes in the gate. Squamish rider Jane Thompson grabbed third, Laura Bradley was seventh, Whistler’s Mandy Kinzel was eighth, and Grianna Patjas and Aly Dempsey of Squamish were ninth and 11 th respectively.

In 85 cc Youth, Pemberton’s Kyle Shore was 11 th . In 65 cc, Squamish’s Jonathan Dempsey was ninth, and D’Arcy’s Mitchell Burkett 11 th .

Dawson Amann of Garibaldi Highlands placed third in the 50cc A group, Mitchell Burkett was fourth, and Pemberton’s Jack Fawcett sixth.

The Green River Motocross Track will be hosting a second Golden Harvest series race at the end of September, with organizers expecting a field of over 200 riders.