Pinfold, Guloien win sprint finishes to GranFondo 

Tough racing, good organization win praise from riders


After 122 km of hard racing the first RBC GranFondo from downtown Vancouver to Whistler came down to a sprint to the finish.

Andrew Pinfold, riding with United Healthcare presented by Maxxis team, had the legs for the last attack and made it to the line with arms raised at three hours, 14 minutes and 29 seconds to take the Giro category. To put that into perspective, Pinfold and the lead group averaged a speed of just over 37.6. km/h the entire distance, with 2,400 metres in climbing and a net gain of 650 metres in elevation from start to finish.

Nic Hamilton of Trek Red Truck Racing and Tim Abercrombie of Garneau Evolution were second and third with identical times of 3:14:29, with less than a bike length separating them. Jamie Sparling, Marvin Guzman, Sebastian Salas and Morgan Schmitt were also with that lead group - with Schmitt placing first among riders in Category 3 and Guzman first in Category 2.

The top local rider was Team Whistler's Trevor Hopkins who finished 60 th in 3:30:40. He was followed by teammate Josh Stott two seconds later.

Stott managed to keep up with the lead group as far as Squamish before he was dropped.

"I buried myself," he said. "I don't think I've ever been in the same race with guys of that calibre. I tried to stay with them, but they put the hurt on me through Squamish and I was dropped.

"Myself and another guy were riding together when we were caught by another train, and I was like 'sweet.' Dwayne Kress (of Squamish) and Trevor (Hopkins) were with that group and we rode together pretty much to the end.

"What was really impressive was seeing the pros like Andrew Pinfold, just hanging back relaxed until they were ready to make their move - then moving their way up to the front of the pack like everyone was standing still."

Stott says he would do the race again, but would definitely train more to be able to keep up with the lead group. A mountain biker, he said he doesn't get as much time on his road bike and was feeling it for the last part of the ride.

Next up was Otta Kamstra with Team Whistler. He completed the ride in 3:33:17 in Category 3, 71 st overall. He managed to stick with the lead group until Furry Creek.

"After that I settled in with a group of around 12 through Squamish, although we split up around Alice Lake when another group came up," said Kamstra. "Jason Shorter was in that group, so I switched teams and we all rode the rest of the way at a nice pace and shared the work."

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