Valley to Peak diversifies distances 

Sports briefs: Iles, Cruz wrap UCI World Cup season in France; Milan signs in Germany

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CLINT TRAHAN/WHISTLER BLACKCOMB - PEAKIN' The North Face Valley to Peak is set to run this Saturday, Sept. 1.
  • Photo by Clint Trahan/Whistler Blackcomb
  • PEAKIN' The North Face Valley to Peak is set to run this Saturday, Sept. 1.

The fourth-annual edition of The North Face Valley to Peak Race is set to run this Saturday, Sept. 1, and attendance is expected to be the highest ever.

Whistler Blackcomb events manager Seb Fremont said that's in part because the event is adding a pair of shorter distances—a three-kilometre loop as well as a one-kilometre kids' race.

"We're trying to be more inclusive," he said. "People will be able to go more for fun."

Meanwhile, the routes for the original 22-km event and 10-km race are remaining as-is.

Fremont said roughly 170 racers have pre-registered as of Aug. 28, though registration will remain open until Aug. 31.

After a month filled with weather issues, Fremont is expecting a beautiful day for the race.

"The trails are looking awesome," he said. "Mother Nature is looking favourable, so that's great as well."

For more information, visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com.

Iles, Cruz wrap UCI World Cup season

Finn Iles completed his first Mercedes-Benz UCI World Cup season in the men's elite division on Aug. 24.

The 19-year-old wrapped the season with a 17th-place finish in La Bresse, France finishing just over seven seconds back of winner Martin Maes of Belgium.

"Happy to have wrapped up the season with such an amazing crowd here in La Bresse, thanks to the French fans for making this race so unreal! The conditions weren't the most favourable but you have to take what you get! I'm happy to have completed my first World Cup season without injury and 15th overall," Iles posted to Instagram on Aug. 26.

In the junior men's event, Pemberton's Lucas Cruz finished eighth, just over six seconds back of champion Thibaut Daprela of France.

"What an awesome race to end the season on! Sickest track, slickest conditions and a rad place to be! Very grateful to have competed in a whole World Cup season and ending up 7th over all! I have learned more about my riding, the sport and the world than I ever expected," Cruz posted to his own Instagram page on Aug. 26.

Both riders are on tap to compete in the UCI World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, from Sept. 5 to 9.

Milan signs in Germany

Whistler hockey player Garrett Milan is heading back to Europe.

The EV Lindau Islanders of the third-tier German Oberliga announced on Aug. 17 that they had signed Milan to a contract for the 2018-19 season.

Milan starred with the Southern Professional Hockey League's Pensacola Ice Flyers in 2017-18, leading the league in assists and making the second-all-star team. He previously played in Hungary and Scotland in his professional career.

Axemen kicking off 2018-19 campaign

The Axemen Rugby Club is getting set for its upcoming season with a preseason contest in Whistler this weekend.

On Sept. 1, the club will play a team scrimmage at noon at a yet-to-be-determined location. There will be a meet-and-greet at the Fitzsimmons Pub in the Upper Village following the contest. Fans are encouraged to keep up with the team on its social platforms on Facebook and Instagram to see the latest.

The games start counting in the BC Rugby Union Division 3 standings the following Saturday, when the Axemen face Langley RFC on the road. The squad will then face the Chilliwack Crusaders at Whistler Secondary School on Sept. 15 at 12:45 p.m.

The full schedule is available at www.bcrugby.com.

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