Whistler bikers continue to shine at Mount Tremblant 

Miles, Routley on the cross country podium

In the second cross country race of the season at Mont Tremblant – and for the second weekend in a row – Whistler’s Chad Miles had to settle for a silver medal in Canada Cup mountain bike competition.

Victoria’s Andreas Hestler, an Olympic competitor, got off to an early lead on the extremely technical course, but couldn’t keep up the pace – although the weather report called for rain, by the time the gun went off it was sunny and well over 30 degrees.

Miles and Geoff Kabush, another Olympic racer from Victoria, took over at the head of the pack and steadily outdistanced the competition. Kabush took the lead and crossed the finish line of the 38.4 kilometre race in 1 hour 50 minutes 46 seconds. Miles crossed the line just 40 seconds back. Second place in two events was good enough to give Miles a good lead in the overall Pro Elite standings.

Quebec’s Eric Tourville was third, almost three minutes back of Kabush, New Brunswick’s Peter Wedge was fourth by almost four minutes, and Hestler was fifth by over five minutes.

Whistler’s Tony Routley also came away with his second silver medal of the season racing in the 19.2 km Master Expert 40 to 49 race. Pierre Harvey, won Olympic medals in speed skating and also competed in the Summer Olympics in road cycling in the 1980s, won the race on his home course in 1:05:58, just 1 minute 42 seconds ahead of Routley.

Lisa Dickson, another Whistler racer, finished fourth in the 28.8 km pro-elite women’s race. Victoria’s Trish Sinclair and Claire Townsend of Victoria were first and third, and Marie-Helene Premont of Quebec was second.

Will Routley had mechanical problems in the junior expert category, but managed to finish the afternoon in 10th place behind a field of riders from Quebec and Ontario. Benjamin Sigston was the lone B.C. rider on the leader board in second place. Frederic Bussierres of Quebec, second the previous week, won the 28.8 km race by more than two and a half minutes. Jeremy Trudel of Quebec was third.

In the downhill races on the following day, B.C. riders swept both male and female pro elite categories. In the women’s race, Barb Haley of West Vancouver beat out North Shore rider Elladee Brown and Andrea Kraft of the Sunshine Coast. In the men’s race, North Vancouver’s Andrew Shandro beat David Watson of Coquitlam and Whistler’s Chad Onyschuk to the finish line.

The next Canada Cup cross country and downhill racers are scheduled for July 14 and 15 in Fernie, B.C.

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