Plaxton, Heisterman take Nimby 

Sylvie Allen, Chris Johnston win Red Bull Downtime race on overnight sensation

click to enlarge PHOTO BY KATE WHITLEY - Sensational Shane  Gayton rips to the bottom of the Overnight Sensation descent, a separately timed race-within-a-race on the NimbyFifty course. Gayton was sixth-fastest on that section.
  • Photo BY Kate Whitley
  • Sensational Shane Gayton rips to the bottom of the Overnight Sensation descent, a separately timed race-within-a-race on the NimbyFifty course. Gayton was sixth-fastest on that section.

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Ricky Federau was third in 2:18:05, while Colin Kerr — the 2010 winner — was fourth in 2:18:06 — one of the most exciting races to the finish for the day.

Michael Robinson was the fastest Whistler rider in sixth overall in 2:19:02.

In the women's race, the expectation was that Catharine Pendrel the current World Champion and the 2010 winner — would cruise into first place, but the first rule of mountain biking is that anything can happen. Pendrel had a double-digit gap at one point and won both primes, but flatted twice.

Brandi Heisterman capitalized and went on to win the race with a time of 2:33:39. Pendrel managed to make it close at the end, however, finishing less than half a minute back in 2:34:08. Third place went to Victoria's Mical Dyck in 2:37:51.

Heisterman said it was a huge surprise to pass Pendrel on the side of the trail.

"Pendrel dropped me like I wasn't moving," wrote Heisterman on her blog, after Pendrel pulled away on the Big Nimby climb.

Heisterman figured the real race was for second place and focused on her battle with Mical Dyck, which she had won by the top of the climb. She held her position all the way through to Moby Dick, one of the last trails on the course.

"I saw Catharine Pendrel pulled over, putting her gloves on," said Heisterman. "Not only did I have a chance to win $1,000, but I could beat Catharine. There were still a few kilometres of pretty loose, rocky, rooty, steep singletrack left. I pinned it. I was grinning so wide that I was eating dirt..."

When Heisterman hit the bottom of the singletrack she knew it was going to be tough to keep up the pace, and recruited some help.

"I still had three kilometres of road to the finish and into a headwind," she wrote. "My legs were shot. I was panicked.... I knew Catharine could bury me on the road. I needed some help.

"Some dude came by on his 29er, like a bat our of hell. I needed him. I missed his wheel. No!. I called to him, '50 bucks if you let me suck your wheel to the finish."

The rider complied and with someone to help her break wind on the final section Heisterman took the win.

Heisterman thanked Pendrel for being a good sport and for making her day — and career.

Jennifer Schulz of Kelowna, the defending champion, was sixth in 2:55:35. Cathryn Zeglinski was the fastest Whistler rider in ninth, finishing in 3:03:24.

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