Canmore Canada Cup Race Report

July 5, 2008 – Albertan’s Rule at Home!

Thirty Five Elite Men & fifteen Elite Women competed in near perfect conditions at the 2008 Ziggy Gnarley Canmore Canada Cup. Many racers from Eastern Canada did not make the trip out west to compete on arguably the best Canada Cup course as Nationals are in Quebec in two weeks – they missed an awesome race!

The Alberta MTB Cup race that was held the morning of the Canada Cup saw large fields in most categories – a throw back to the good ol’ days of MTB racing in Alberta.

The Expert and Master Expert men completed 3 laps of the 7 km course that included such infamous sections as The Oven, The Coal Chutes, & Georgetown climb. Expert Men winner Anthony Steinburgen took an early lead and didn’t look back as he rode away from the rest of the Expert field. The Master Expert race with a field of over 30 athletes, was won by Alberta legend Nick Christopherson. Nick took the lead half way up the opening climb and he kept the pace high enough that chasers Mike Blennerhasset and Devin Erfle could not make back any ground. A highlite of the wave of racers was Peter Yez, who on a rigid single speed managed to plant his whole body, face first into the coal and for the rest of the race looked like a dirty miner. Nicely done Peter!

For the Elite race, Tim Heemskerk (United Cycle), fueled with adrenalin as he was not given a deserved call up to the start line, took charge up the climb and opened an early gap.

After one lap, Heemskerk had a 30 second lead over chasers Stef Widmer (Rocky Mountain/K-Capitol Source), Marty Lazaski (Rocky Mountain/K-Capitol Source), and Raph Gagne (Rocky Mountain). Alberta Enduro Series Leader Dallas Morris (Team H&R Block) impressively raced in 5th place for ½ of the race but the effort was a little much as he catastrophically blew. Morris has been working hard in preparation for the 24hrs of Adrenalin Solo World Championships so the anaerobic effort of the Canada Cup race was a little too much to hold. [Editiors Note – Dallas’ posistion during the 1st two laps is still to be confirmed from any source other than DalRock himself…]

Each lap, Heemskerk pushed hard on the climbs and minimized his time loss on the down hills (Heemskerk was on a hardtail while all of the chase group were rippin’ fullies). Lap by lap Heemskerk’s lead grew by 30 seconds and he headed into the final lap with a minute and a half advantage. The two chasing Rocky Mountain riders were betting that Heemskerk would eventually drop back to their group because that is what happened the previous week in Kamloops, however Heemskerk had different plans.

On the final lap, Lazarski went to the front of the chase and pushed hard but was only able to close back 45 seconds finishing second to Heemskerk. Tim put his hardtail threw a beating to stay in front of his chasers. Step Widmer rounded out the Elite Men’s podium.

Mical Dyck (Trek) showed exactly why she is one of the top women riders in North America as she powered to an impressive win on the Canmore course for a second year in a row. Mical’s closes rival, Melanie McQuaid (BMC) was never in Mical’s sight during the race. Canada Cup overall winner Jean Ann McKirdy (Rocky Mountain) was 3rd.

Pepper Harlton (Juventus) road a consistent race however could not quite match the pace of some of the top women. A coal rub wasn’t helping Harlton’s situation either as she laid her Mom’s brand new Titanium Bianchi down during one of the passes down the Coal Chute – sorry Mom.

Justin Middleton (Team Alberta) has an awesome race as he finished a hair off the podium in 4th place in the Junior Men’s race.

Justin Middleton

Full results can be viewed [here]

Photos from the day taken by Lungsnot and Ryan Hopping can be viewed [here] and [here]

Next up in the strong Alberta MTB Calendar is the Devon Dust Up XC and provincial Single Speed Championships. Visit http://www.hardcore.ca for details of the race.

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2 Responses to “Canmore Canada Cup Race Report”

  1. This was great race, and I would do it again tomorrow. Thanks to all of the event organizers.

  2. hmmm ya…I couldn’t tell?. Did Pepper crash?…

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