Moustache Madness Provincial XC Championships

Provided by Race Organizer & Provincial XC Champ Cory Wallace

Last Sunday the Alberta Provincial XC Championships took place out in the wild hills surrounding the town of Hinton AB.  Not only a race, this was also a wildlife tour as riders pre-riding the course were seeing grizzly, moose and a black bear with cubs.  The organizers were hoping to put out jars of honey to attract more spectators for the Sunday race but the higher ups shot down the idea.


With close to a hundred racers/spectators camping onsite a game of glow in the dark frizzbie broke out late at night with Crazy Larry from Banff leading the charge.  After a bonfire with riders trash talking each other, things were finally put to rest as everybody wanted to save a little extra juice in case one of the bears out on course got hungry on race day.

Sunday morning racers awoke to sun and blue skies with the temp reaching a high of 28 for the race.  After the youth raced around a 6 km technical course in the morning the Elites lined up at 12:30 to tackle the single-track dominant 9.7 km course.  The tough course was designed by Nathan Froehler back in 2001 when he hosted Provincials, and it had been grown over, but with a bit of work it was ready to go on race day and was sure to cause a lot of suffering.  With fast flowy single track descents including a 6 minute arm burner and then a fast 16 minute quad path/single-track climb back to the start the course was rough on the riders as only 200 meters by the start/finish area was flat.  


With a case of Big Rock on the line for the winner’s of the 1 km prologue loop the game plans for a couple racers changed as Jon Nutbrown decided he would give up his chance of a provincial medal and instead emptied the tank to claim his case while Pepper Harlton would out sprint Loni Klettle (Freewheel Cycle) to claim the Women’s case.   After the prologue sprint the Elite men would settle in for 4 laps on the pure mountain biker’s course. Cory Wallace (Freewheel Cycle) rode away on the first climb with Cody Canning (ERTC) staying close for a couple laps before succumbing to the relentless course and eventually coming in 4 minutes behind Wallace to claim Provincial Silver.  Roddi Lega (Pedal head) and Brian Bain (Bow Cycle) would duke it out for the final podium spot with Lega using his diesel engine dump truck to gap Bain on the final lap.

In the Women’s race local rider from Jasper, Loni Klettle (Freewheel Cycle) would out battle last year’s winner Pepper Harlton (Juventus) to take the Gold medal. Harlton, who is well known for her cyclocross riding was already preparing for this year’s season by riding her cyclocross bike in the race.  Apparently the rough course took its toll on Harlton as Klettle was able to gap her enough on the descents to hold her off on the long climbs and came in over 10 minutes ahead.  Claiming Bronze in the race was Shantel Koenig (Redbike) who was having a blast ripping down the endless descents while being able to work on her tan lines on the long climbs.


After the race riders were awarded their Provincial medals and then the annual Moustache competition took place, awarding the best male and female staches in the Alberta mountain biking community.  With the winners walking away with jumbo sized cans of Heineken all the other riders were jealous and already talking about starting to grow there staches for next year’s event… which apparently may expand to include a night crit and marathon race.

Overall the race weekend was a great success thanks in large part to announcer and volunteer extraordinaire Crazy Larry who made sure every racer coming across the line had a smile on there face thanks to one of his smirky comments. Crazy Larry who is well known for announcing at the 24 hrs of Adrenaline races in Canmore kept the racers going throughout the day and singlehandly transformed a peaceful wilderness race into an ongoing high energy comedy show.  After the race he was seen heading out with his backpack cycling back to Banff through the night.


Special thanks to Kona, Freewheel Cycle, Lakeview Inn and Suits, IGA, Coco’s Cafe and Morad communications for making this weekend happen!

Elite Results:


Gold-  Cory Wallace (Freewheel/Kona) 2:15:16

Silver- Cody Canning (ERTC)               2:19:22

Bronze- Roddi Lega (Pedalhead)           2:26:49



 Gold-  Loni Klettle (Freewheel Jasper)  2:09:07

Silver- Pepper Harlton (Juventus)          2:19:18

Bronze- Shantel Koenig (Red Bike)      2:21:04

Full results can be viewed here: hintonprovincials09results1


One Response to “Moustache Madness Provincial XC Championships”

  1. Great race guys! Thanks!
    And great photos. Are there any more posted anywhere?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: