Joyride gearing up for Sun Peaks 

Lots of enthusiasm for event in Kamloops mountain bike community

The Joyride freeride mountain bike series is enjoying its new home at Sun Peaks Resort after three successful years in Whistler.

With the full support of Sun Peaks and the local mountain bike community, the July 10 event is already attracting the top sponsors and riders. Having $15,000 in prize money up for grabs this year hasn’t hurt either, with $10,000 going to top finishers in the bikercross and $5,000 to the dirt jump competitors.

A new bikercross track is being build for this event, and World Cup riders Cedric Gracia and Brian Lopes, both past winners of Joyride, have already confirmed their participation in this event. There will be male pro, male amateur, female, and junior categories.

The invitational dirt jump event is also shaping up well with Darren Berrecloth, the winner of the Joyride Slopestyle in Whistler last summer, already confirmed.

In addition, invitations have been extended to all of the downhill and four-cross riders racing in the UCI World Cup in Calgary the previous weekend, and so far the response has been good. The organizers also expect strong local and provincial participation.

In addition to the main events, Joyride will also feature an all-weekend mountain bike expo with demo bikes and rides for the public, a barbecue, a film premiere by The Collective, and a party on the Saturday night.

"It’s been tremendous," said event organizer Paddy Kaye. "(Joyride) is getting a large amount of support, and a strong backing from Sun Peaks. I’ve totally been embraced by the crew there, the trail crew has been hard at work, the local bike shops have kicked in with volunteers, everybody seems to want to make this a great event."

Kaye helped to design and build the bikercross course at the base of the mountain and says that it is a lot more technical than the course at Whistler.

"It’s going to take some pretty good riding skills to advance in the heats and progress to the finals," he said.

The course uses the natural terrain with a lot of ups and downs. There are eight major berms, jumps in and out of the berms, a hip jump, and a couple of rhythm sections. It will also be a permanent track, Kaye says, which allowed crews to build bigger features.

Sun Peaks liked the bikercross course so much that they have commissioned Kaye to build a couple of trails in the local mountain bike park, which has about 2,200 vertical feet and has been in operation for the past eight years. Some of the runs take half an hour or more to complete, even at full speed.

Although he doesn’t expect the event to be as big as when it was in Whistler because of the smaller market – previous Joyride events have attracted over 5,000 spectators – Kaye says there is a strong mountain bike community in Kamloops, as well as a huge network of trails. Events like Joyride will help to get the word out, and establish Kamloops as a premiere mountain bike destination.

Training for both Joyride events will take place on Thursday and Friday, July 8-9, followed by the qualifier on Saturday starting at noon. The bikercross takes place at 4 p.m., and will be followed by the Dirt Jump contest at 7 p.m.

For more information on Joyride, or to register for the bikercross, visit www.worldfreeride.com.

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