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Strong fields in Fernie as Canada Cup series nears the end

With just one event remaining in the 2004 Canada Cup Series, the finals at Sun Peaks, the fields are getting bigger and stronger as mountain bikers from across Canada have travelled west to chase national titles.

The cross-country event at Fernie last weekend attracted over 270 riders while the downhill brought out more than 200.

Most Whistler riders opted to skip the 12-hour drive this time, but a few locals did make the trip.

In the senior elite downhill, Squamish rider Shaums March was third with a time of 3:25.98, 4.5 seconds out of the lead. Geoff Pendrel and Brant Lyon took the top two spots with times of 3:22.49 and 3:26.12 respectively.

Whistler’s Michael Jones was eighth in 3:33.08 and Squamish’s Kyle Guay was 14 th .

In the elite women’s downhill, Danika Schroeter destroyed the competition with her time of 3:52.02. Michelle Waechter was second in 4:19.37 and Stephanie Nychka third in 4:22.87.

Squamish’s Kyle Ritche was fourth in the junior expert category with a time of 3:39.64.

In the cross-country race, New Brunswick’s Peter Wedge chalked up another Canada Cup win to advance his lead in the series, completing the course in 2:07:31. Abbotsford rider Ricky Federau was on his heels the whole time, and finished just 14 seconds back. Roddi Lega of Alberta was third in 2:09:04.

In the women’s senior elite bracket Trish Sinclair of Victoria took the top spot in 2:08:03, beating out Victoria’s Catharine Penrel and Canmore’s Mical Dyck, who finished with times of 2:10:42 and 2:10:50 respectively.

The Canada Cup series wraps up this weekend, Aug. 21-22, at Sun Peaks.