Moustache’d MTB’rs Rip Up Hinton Singletrack!

photos by Craig van der Valk

Under the hot sunny sky of Hinton, Alberta, 40 racers battled the heat and competed in the 2008 Moustache Madness XC race. The course was an awesome 9.5 kms in length, which included a super fast & long singletrack decent and pizza oven hot climbs. Right from the gun, riders had to bear down and grind out a grueling climb straight up the foothill, stretching the mass start field out into single file.

In typical fashion, the Elite Men’s winner, Tim Heemskerk (United Cycle) took charge up the singletrack climb after Plate #1 Evan Sherman (United Cycle) eased off his blistering pace up the opening climb. Cody Canning ripped it to 2nd while Mike Bidniak rounded out the podium in 3rd.

The story for the Elite Women was Pepper Harlton (Juventus) who survived her 2 lap race on her ‘cross bike. When asked if she was a little crazy for racing the ‘cross bike, Harlton said “nah, it’s lots of fun!”

The Expert Men’s race was won by Mike Sarnecki (Team ING) finishing ahead of Eckehart Marenholtz (Pedalhead) and Mark Rumsey (Hardcore) earning an upgrade back to Elite. “I had really good legs as I felt like I could always push a harder gear on the climbs. On the last lap, I could see Cody Canning (ERTC) [2nd in Elite] at the top of the steap start climb, but once he looked back and saw me coming so he put on the jets and opened the gap to me on the decents.”

Krystyn Ong (Juventus) proved why she deserves to race in Elite as she took the win by over 5 mins over Judy Harlton (Juventus) and Shantel Koenig (Independent).

Local boy Glen Allen (Hinton MTB Association) took the Sport Men’s race over Darcy Kuss (Pedalhead) with Derek Anderson in third. The Novice men teared up 1 lap of the heat challenged course as Kim Liss beat out Jeannot Desaulniers & Gary Piller.

Tori Fahey (Dead Goat) still had strong legs to tackle the long climbs of the Moustache course and race to 1st place in the Sport Women’s category. This after driving all the way from Fernie to Hinton (659 kms) as she watched the finish of Trans Rockies the day before. Now that is being committed to MTB racing! Rounding out the poduim was Kendra Middleton (Juventus) and 1st time racer Debbie Mucha (Hinton MTB Association).

The most significant win(s) of the day came in the Moustache Competition, in which Stu Hutchings (United Cycle) and Pepper Harlton (Juventus) took the “judged by applause” Best Moustache titles in this fiercely contested contest.

Trevor Pombert (United Cycle) was a last minute competitor as he quickly converted his goatee into a fine handlebar moustache via a borrowed electric razor. “I should have received special credit for using the United Van mirror!” protested Pombert.

More photos from Craig can be viewed [here]

Results from the Moustache Madness XC Race in Hinton, Alberta can be found [here].

Next up is the 2008 Provincial XC Championships in Terwillegar Park – Edmonton, Alberta.

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