Whistler riders provincial champions 

The B.C. Cup racing series wrapped up with cross-country and downhill events at the finals at Crystal Mountain on Aug. 17 and 18.

The series included six cross-country, six downhill and five dual slalom events, with competitors earning points based on how they placed.

Among the series’ champions and top finishers are a number of Whistler riders in a wide range of age and skill categories.

In the Under 17 Expert Women category, Whistler’s Brook Baker finished a close second to Jessica Anderson. Going into the finals Baker had a total of 285 points from three events, including back-to-back wins at the Bear Mountain Challenge in Mission and the Mad Trapper at Panorama Mountain Village. Each win was worth 100 points. She also finished second at the first event, Hammerfest 2002 in Parksville, earning another 85 points.

Baker won the final event of the season, earning 100 points. Anderson, who had 355 points going in the finals from four events – one more appearance than Baker, was a close second, earning 95 points and the provincial title.

Whistler’s James "Crunch" Crowe, who was competing in the Under 17 Expert Men category at the age of 15, finished second at Crystal Mountain, but first overall in the provincial rankings.

He ended the series with 582 out of a possible 600 racing points, winning four of six events on the race calendar and finishing second in the other two.

"I didn’t expect to do as well as I did," said Crowe, who was both the Under 15 Canadian and provincial champion the year before.

"After the first race I realized I had a good chance, so I relaxed a bit. I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself to win, it just turned out that way,"

For the rest of the season, Crowe is looking forward to participating in local fun races like the Cheakamus Challenge, West Side Wheel Up and Samurai of Singletrack, and riding with his friends.

With another provincial title under his belt, Crowe plans on taking his riding to the next level next season. "My main focus was to do well on the B.C. Cup circuit, and next year kind of expand into different circuits with a higher level of riding." His goal is to make the national junior team in the next few years.

He is currently self-trained and largely self-motivated, although Crowe says that will likely change as more and more training is required down the road.

Tyler West also finished second at Crystal Mountain in the Junior Expert 17 to 18 category, crossing the line just 45 seconds back of the lead. Combined with his 230 racing points from three previous B.C. Cup outings, West finished third overall in the standings.

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