Whistler downhill series on despite rocky start 

Although the first event out of four on the Whistler Downhill Series was cancelled due to the availability of patrollers, the remaining three events will take place as scheduled on July 24, Aug. 14 and Aug. 28.

"We’ve sorted out all the safety concerns and we’re ready to go ahead," said downhill series organizer Paul Fournier.

The downhill events are open to everybody, with categories for men and women, juniors and hard-tails. The cost is $15 for pro riders and $10 for amateurs.

While it’s an unsanctioned event, UCI rules will apply, which means competitors have to wear armour on their arms and legs to compete.

A number of sponsors have also come on board since the series was announced, including prize sponsors for athletes and services for volunteers.

Whistler-Blackcomb is providing the venue, discounted lift tickets, plus some equipment and first aid necessary for the race. They are also donating bike park passes for downhill volunteers that show up all three events – vollies will get the pass after the first event, which will be renewed as they show up to subsequent races.

Black’s Ristorante has also chipped in with deals for competitors and meals for volunteers. They are also looking into the possibility of recruiting a beer sponsor.

Roach, Kona and Razor Rock Racing have also signed on as sponsors, kicking in prizes for the competitors.

Seventh Season Apparel is chipping in a set of leaders jerseys for the top racers, plus jerseys for the patrollers.

Glacier Shop, which is already contributing team support for the race, is also kicking in prizes as well.

Avalanche Pizza is providing 100 slices of pizza for the volunteers and participants.

"The way it’s looking, we’ll give out prizes at the end of season party. Our sponsors have been really generous with us to the point where almost everybody will walk away with something," says Fournier.

Registration for each stop of the event is limited to 100 racers, and pre-registration at Guest Relations at the base of Whistler is advisable.

If you’re interested in volunteering for the downhill series, call Fournier at 932-2300.

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