Canucks to hold camp in Whistler 

Sports Briefs: NHL team returning to Meadow Park Sports Centre in September

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF LOXY - camp coming Kevin Bieksa and the Vancouver Canucks will return to Whistler for this year's training camp between Sept. 19 and 22.
  • Photo courtesy of loxy
  • camp coming Kevin Bieksa and the Vancouver Canucks will return to Whistler for this year's training camp between Sept. 19 and 22.

New Vancouver Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins will run some of his first practices with the team in Whistler this fall, as the Canucks have announced they will hold training camp activities in the resort as they prepare for the 2014-15 season.

The Canucks revealed last week that they'll be taking over the ice at Meadow Park Sports Centre from Sept. 19 to 22.

No schedule has been released yet, but all practice sessions will be open to the public and free to watch.

The Canucks traditionally choose a B.C. community outside the Lower Mainland to do some of their preseason workouts. The team last brought its training camp to Whistler in 2008, spending two days on the Meadow Park rink.

The resort has been a destination for other NHL teams during past seasons as well. The St. Louis Blues were the last to visit, stopping in Whistler in March of 2013. The Dallas Stars and Philadelphia Flyers are among other franchises that have skated and done team-building activities in town.

Pique will provide more training camp details as they become available.

BC BIKE RACE SEEKS VOLUNTEERS

With the BC Bike Race set to begin this weekend, organizers of the event's Whistler leg are seeking volunteers to help out on July 5.

About 20 more volunteers are needed to help ensure a smooth stage for the hundreds of riders who will be participating in the event. There are plenty of perks for donating your time — all vollies will get a T-shirt, coffee mug, BrewHouse gift certificate and lunch from Dups.

Anyone interested in helping out can contact Grant Lamont at grant@whistlerbikeguide.com.

The seven-stage race gets going in North Vancouver on June 29 before heading to Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and Sea to Sky corridor. Squamish will host the penultimate stage on July 4 before the Whistler finale the following day, which will see riders complete their journey when crossing the finish line at Olympic Plaza.

This year's race will also give back to the local trails via a $1,000 donation to WORCA.

Among the Sea to Sky riders confirmed to be participating this year are Whistler's Michael Robinson, who finished fifth in the men's solo epic class in 2013, fellow resort resident Graeme Fitch, who has done all seven previous editions of the BC Bike Race, and Squamish's Peter Reid, the three-time Ironman world champion who is now retired from triathlon.

See www.bcbikerace.com for full details.

KOVARIK BACK ON TOP

Chris Kovarik returned to the Phat Wednesday series in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park for the race held June 18 and quickly returned to the top of the podium, posting the fastest time of the evening overall.

Riding a course that snaked down Fantastic, Crank It Up, Lower Whistler Downhill, B-Line Connector, Afternoon Delight and Detroit Rock City, Kovarik claimed the open men's victory with a time of two minutes, 30.70 seconds. He finished nearly five seconds clear of runner-up Remi Gauvin, while Zander Geddes collected a third-place finish. Remy Metailler had his mini two-race win streak snapped, but he continues to lead the open men's series standings.

Chris Dewar (2:42.81) beat out Adam Billinghurst by just one-hundredth of a second to ride away with the master men's win. Kenny Smith was less than two-tenths back while placing third. Dewar now sits second in the standings behind Shane Gayton.

With a time of 2:50.36, Claire Buchar was the women's winner once again, as she has swept the season's first four Phat races. Christina Chapetta took runner-up honours last week and Lula Darquier was third.

Finn Iles won the junior men's race, his second win this summer, with a top-10 overall time to maintain his series lead. Bracken Camilleri and Alex Auger rounded out the podium. In the junior women's race, Stephanie Denroche took the victory, while Nicola MacDonald was second and Wynnie Tipton finished third.

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