Bouchar crowned Queen of the mountain 

Until last weekend Claire Buchar had not raced this season in dry heat but the conditions could not stop her from winning the award for the best female athlete.

"Every race I’ve done this year has been wet and really narly," said Buchar after finishing the bikercross event in 35-degree heat.

"It’s so beautiful but the heat, with all the gear, on takes a lot out of you," she said.

"I’ve been trying to drink a lot — water, gatorade, even tea — but we’re all dealing with the same conditions."

Buchar grew up in North Vancouver but has lived in Whistler for five years.

She has improved during the past few seasons and while she is not always the most aggressive rider, she is fast, consistent and always finishes the race.

Bouchar started the meet with a third in the Air Downhill and then finished second in the bikercross behind Jill Kintner after world No.1 Sabrina Jonnier crashed on the whoops.

"I was tailing them (Jill and Sabrina) because I know how hard these girls ride.

"Jill and Sabrina are the top women in the world and I knew they would be battling.

"I was in third and I just tried to stay close in case something happened and it did and I finished second but I hope Jill’s okay."

Bouchar clinched the overall women’s title after another strong performance last Saturday.

She finished fourth in the Garbanzo Downhill with a time of 18.54, which was just over a minute behind the winner Katie Pruitt.

The most encouraging aspect of Bouchar’s efforts last weekend is that she feels she still has a lot of room for improvement.

"Some of these girls, I know I’m not at their level yet.

"I’ve still got a lot more to learn, but I think that’s a good thing to know you can improve."

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