Joyride not worried about turnout 

The cancellation of the World Cup downhill and 4-Cross events at Grouse Mountain July 5-7 might slow down Joyride 2002 Bikercross competition this year, but organizers are still looking on the bright side.

Chris Winter and Paddy Kaye of Joyride Productions scheduled their bikercross for July 3, in between World Cup races at Mont-Sainte-Anne and Grouse Mountain, because many of the top downhillers will be in the area. With the Grouse World Cup events scaled down to a cross-country race because of the unusually heavy and stubborn snowpack, fewer pro riders will be making the trip out West.

"It's going to hurt the turnout we expected," said Kaye. "I've talked to a few of the riders on the tour and they're disappointed about Grouse and Joyride.

"Some of them are still planning to be here. The word is out that this is a great place to train, that it's a good scene. Not everyone thinks that the West Coast has nothing to offer but rain."

The Joyride bikercross will take place on the course at the base of Whistler Mountain, featuring berms, hip jumps, gap jumps, rhythm sections and tabletops.

While the pro riders would have kicked the level of competition up a notch, Kaye says that last year's event showed that you don't have to be a pro to win. For example, only one of the four finalists in last year's men's event was currently active on the World Cup circuit.

"Anyone who wants it can win," Kaye said.

The qualifiers begin at 3 p.m. and the main event will run from 6 p.m. onward. More than 2,000 people turned out for the first Joyride bikercross last year.

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