Whistler riders on top of B.C. Cup race 

Crowes, Semenuk, Baker finish strong in provincial series

The fifth and final event on the B.C. Cup calendar took place at Mount Washington last weekend, with cross-country, downhill and four-cross events taking place in some of the worst weather competitors had seen all summer.

For many riders the Island Triple Crown was the last chance to earn points towards the overall B.C. Cup standings, and after the races champions were crowned in each of the competitive categories.

Three Whistler riders made the champion’s list this year with strong performances in the last race of the season – Under 15 cross-country athlete Brandon Semenuk, Master 40 and Over Expert cross-country rider Eric Crowe, Junior Expert rider James Crowe, and Senior Elite downhiller Brook Baker.

Brandon Semenuk, 13, finished second out of 11 riders in the Under 15 race, just four seconds back of 15-year-old Sean Stanhope.

He was ahead of Stanhope in the overall standings heading into the finals but with only four out of five results counting in the standings – and the results of several competitors in the Under 15 category not counting in the standings because the riders weren’t carded – Stanhope was able to pull even with Semenuk in the final race. With both riders tied for points at the end, the edge went to Stanhope for winning the B.C. Cup finals.

Still, Semenuk was positive about his race, given the muddy conditions, the short course, and the fact that he had a rock lodged in his cleat from the start line and his foot kept popping off the pedal.

"It was pretty good. It was a pretty close race, and it was fun chasing Sean around," said Semenuk.

According to Brandon’s dad, Mark Semenuk, Stanhope was physically sick after the race because he had to work so hard to hold off Brandon.

"Brandon really put it to him for the entire race, and I think if he had a chance to pass Sean he would have, but coming into the finish it was Brandon who was really setting the pace out there," Mark said.

If Brandon had the race again, he says he would have done a few things differently.

"I would have tried to pass Sean earlier, before we got onto the single track. It was really hard to pass on the single-track section, and I tried a couple of times to get by him but there wasn’t room. The single-track section also basically went to the finish, so there wasn’t a good chance to really pull ahead."

Eric Crowe was in the same position as Semenuk heading into the final race of the season, tied for the lead with another rider. Crowe came out strong, winning the race by a margin of more than two and a half minutes to claim his second consecutive provincial title.

His son James Crowe also had a strong season against some tough competition in the Junior Expert category, finishing fifth on Saturday and third in the overall standings.

Jodie Hopkins raced in the Master 30 and Over expert women’s final, finishing sixth in her category.

Trevor Hopkins was sixth in the men’s Master Expert 30-39 group, Tyler Dumont was 10 th , and Craig Hill 11 th .

Mike Charuk was fourth in the Master Expert 40 and Over category.

Joining Semenuk in the Under 15 category were members of STORMBC (Single Track Off Road Mountain Bike Club). Tyler Allison was fourth, Nicholas Geddes seventh, Frazer McGaw ninth and Colin Westeinde 11 th .

In the Under 15 women’s race, Calindy Ramsden of STORMBC was third.

In a long and muddy downhill race on Sunday, Whistler’s Brook Baker finished eight seconds back of Adrienne Miller in the Elite category to once again claim the overall provincial title.

This was Baker’s first year racing in the elite category, although she did win the Junior Expert title for the previous two years.

In the men’s Elite race Whistler’s Chris Dewar finished third overall. Adam Billinghurst was seventh.

Squamish rider Ryan Vanderham continued to dominate the Under 15 category, but STORMBC riders pulled in some solid results as well. Tyler Allison was eighth, Nicholas Geddes 10 th , Colin Westeinde 15 th and Frazer McGaw 17 th .

The B.C. Cup title is no longer the official provincial championship title. Those titles were awarded earlier this summer at a downhill event in Whistler and a cross country race in Squamish. Brandon Semenuk, Eric Crowe, Brook Baker, Tyler Morland and John Blok are the official provincial champions in their respective categories.

For complete B.C. Cup results, visit www.myresults.com.

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