Bearspaw Open Race Report

Provided by The Midweek Mayhem Racing Association of Calgary

Calgary, 08 August 2008 – The inaugural running of the Bearspaw Open, presented with The RCMP – A Career Nowhere Near Ordinary took place yesterday in the NW of Calgary on a challenging new course for the Alberta peloton. The tough course was made just a little bit tougher with temperatures in the low 30’s throughout the day and blistering sun.

As expected, the 1k+ Campione Cycles Climb proved to be the decisive obstacle of the day for all races. On each ascent of the climb the gates would swing open at the back of the pack and a selection made of the strongest and smartest riders. After cresting the top of the Campione Cycles Climb riders then had to cope with a technical trip through the rolling and narrow back half of the course, where many battles were played out for position at the front – crucial for the tough corner leading into the base of the climb after the fast descent down 12 Mile Coulee Road.

The first races of the day were the Alberta U15 M/F Provincial Road Championships. The men’s race saw Samuel Beaudoin from Juventus CC out of Edmonton taking the win over Ben Marquart (Independent, -0:20) and Robert Dunn (Independent, -3:54). The women’s race was taken by Andrea St. Germain (CMC/Bow Cycle) over Zoe Dahl (CMC/Bow Cycle, -0:44). All competitors in these races are to be congratulated on the exceptional sportsmanship observed out on the course. In such tough and hot conditions, and on such a challenging course, it was excellent to see these athletes treat each other with such respect. They set an example that the rest of the peloton should strive to match! Congratulations to all of you!

The next start of the day featured a large combined field of Elite Open B (Categories 4/5), Open Masters Men, and the U17M Alberta Provincial Youth RR Championship, racing 10 laps of the 5.3km course. As expected, it was primarily a race of attrition as several riders would be splintered off the back of the race each time up the Campione Cycles Climb until the race stabilized with a main group of 8-10 riders out of approximately 35 starters. As the main pack settled in Open Masters rider Stephen Kenny (Speed Theory) executed a perfectly timed solo attack, quickly getting down to business and establishing a lead of 30 seconds while the main group tried to figure out how to react. As the race wore on Kenny grew his lead as the chasers were sporadically working together to reel him in. With a couple of laps to go it was pretty clear that Kenny wasn’t coming back barring a mechanical or issues with the heat, and the pack began to race for second place. In the end the Speed Theory rider won by a commanding 1:04 margin, a tremendous feat given the conditions and the length of time he was out on his own.

The U17 Provincial Championship finish was tight with Graham Courtney (Synergy Racing) taking the win over Mac Garvin (CMC/Bow Cycle) and Kris Dahl (CMC/Bow Cycle), all finishing with a time of 1:26:10.

Open Masters, and the overall win for the field, was taken by Stephen Kenny (Speed Theory) after his epic solo move. Blaine Richter (ERTC/Revolution Cycle, -1:56) and Yuri Lipkov (Bicisport, -1:59) rounded out the top 3.

Open B saw Torrian Watson (Bicisport) taking the the win over Christopher McCue (CMC/Bow Cycle) and Tom Charlton (CMC/Bow Cycle).

The Open Women and JR Women Provincial RR Championship combined field was won by the aggressive riding of Nik Volger (Independent) who came all the way from Revelstoke BC to exert her will over the field. Second in the Open Women was Tori Fahey (Deadgoat, -7:09), with third place going to Sandra Yaworski (Speed Theory, -8:20).

The JR Women Provincial Championship saw Samantha Grover (Juventus CC) winning over Jessica Kissel (Bicisport, -3:00) and Lauren Lankester (CMC/Bow Cycle, -6:41). The U17 Women’s Provincial Championship was won by Caeli Barron (Synergy Racing) over Alison Beveridge (Bicisport, -1 lap) and Gina Kissel (Synergy Racing, -1 lap).

The main event of the day was the Elite Open A race (Categories 1/2/3). Alberta’s own Team H&R Block was extremely well represented in the field with 11 riders, and were clearly looking to exert their strength over a field that included strong riders such as Jamie Sparling (Trek Red Truck, p/b Mosaic Homes), Dan and Jon Wood (ERTC/Revolution Cycle), Dan Skinner (Total Restoration), and Shawn Bunnin (Bicisport) to name just a few.

From the start Team H&R Block started sending riders up the road until a break of 3 containing 2 of their own riders (Mark MacDonald and Chris Devries), along with Jamie Sparling (Trek Red Truck, p/b Mosaic Homes). The break hovered at 30-45 seconds for several laps, and looked to be almost getting absorbed more than once until Sparling would move to the front and start riding some strong tempo with MacDonald. As the race came into the final few laps the combination of the heat and difficulty of the repeated trips up the Campione Cycles Climb caught up with MacDonald as he dropped back to the main field. On the final lap it was Dan Wood (ERTC/Revolution Cycle) bridging to the 2 leaders as they headed up the climb. Devries took the sprint out over Sparling and Wood (both S.T.) and the field was led home by Shawn Bunnin (Bicisport) and MacDonald (both at 0:05).

Congratulations to all riders from the Midweek Mayhem Cycling Association! It was a tough course and a tough day, and it was great to see fast, fierce, and safe racing in all events. Thanks also for your cooperation in creating a great impression on the local community; it will really help us in securing this new race course again for next year. Another word of thanks to Campione Cycles ( for sponsoring the Campione Climb, and to the RCMP for providing traffic safety and control services. Their presence on the roads contributed to a safe day. Thanks also to the Olympic Oval Youth Cycling Development Program parents for putting on a fantastic meal for all participants as part of the “Dinner & Bike Race” event. We look forward to seeing you all out there next year!

Check out the full results: bearspawresults


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