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Vancouver Island rider rules Trialsworx

click to enlarge Over the Top Former national trails champion John Webster pops his bike onto a four foot rock in the Village Plaza on Saturday
  • Over the Top Former national trails champion John Webster pops his bike onto a four foot rock in the Village Plaza on Saturday

Proving that two wheels are sometimes better than two feet, some of the leading trials riders in Canada put on a show this past weekend at Trialsworx. Two of the six sections were in the village — one in the waterfall outside the Village 8 movie theatre, and one on the rocks around Mountain Plaza beside the gazebo ­— and four lines were on the rocks around Fitzsimmons Creek and Ross Rebagliati Park.

The goal was to complete each section in a set time limit, usually two minutes, without touching your feet to the ground. Each foot touch, or dab, was scored one point, and riders had a maximum of five dabs for any section. The rider with the lowest score at the end of the day in each category won, and each category had different line difficulties, ranging from novice to elite.

Mill Bay’s John Webster was the man to beat, finishing with the low score of just seven dabs after competing each section twice. That’s about 0.6 dabs on each section. Webster walked away with the Trialsworx title.

By way of comparison, Jeff Anderson and Dave Herr each scored 19 on the course, averaging 1.5 dabs per section.

A former national champion, everyone expected Webster to do well but he admitted he hasn’t been spending as much time competing as usual.

“It was a good day, I haven’t been riding too much lately and I haven’t competed in a year and a half,” he said. “I took over my dad’s business, and I’ve been riding motorbike trials. I went to compete in Japan in 2004 and haven’t been back since, but I do want to go around the world if I can, money-wise. More or less it’s just me and my dad — I ride the bike, and he supports me.”

Webster’s best and worst sections were in the Fitzsimmons Creek area. “Line four was really nice, it was the longest section and pretty challenging but you could go from rock to rock pretty easily once you knew the line,” he said. “It got me pretty good the first time, but I cleaned it the second time. The hardest section was not that bad, but it was shorter so you had a shorter time limit to get to the end and it was really close.”

The organizers of Trialsworx are hoping to make next year’s event a World Cup test, and the head of the international federation was in Whistler to check out the venue. Webster says he would definitely come back to compete in that event.

“I want to do the biggest events that I can, try some world events and see what happens — play around in local competitions, and next year try to take this more seriously,” he said.

Getting to be the national champion took a lot of practice, although Webster doesn’t ride as much as he used to.

“When I was younger, like 14 to 17, it was a big deal if I didn’t get out and ride my bike every single day. I remember one time it was snowing, and I wanted to ride so badly that I sat inside half the day to build snow tires then rode for about an hour. Now I try to get out at least once a week on my bike, and do motocross trials a few times a week. The balance transfers over pretty well so that works out.”

Alex Le won the Expert category with a low score of 13, followed by Aaron Dobler with 16 dabs, and Philip Lucero with 19.

In Master, Jeff Lenosky blew away the competition with a low score of 10, including just four dabs on his second lap. Ian Johansen was second in 41, and Morley Wilkins third with 48.

In Sport, the rider to beat was John Goodwin with 11, followed by Jesse Ellingson with a 20 and Cameron Rinkes with a 23.

In the Poussin category, Kolt Hoyle was first with 14 dabs, followed by Danielito Chernetski with 15 and Bendigo Stager with 19.

In Novice, Alex Walton was nearly perfect with a low score of three, followed by Jonny Huchison with 29 and Carter Krasny with a 51.

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