Archive for August, 2010

Alberta Cup Standings Heading in to the Provincial Championship Cross Country MTB Race

Posted in MTB, Racing on August 25, 2010 by bikealberta

Saturday August 28th is the Provincial Championship XC Mountain Bike Race in Hinton Alberta. Hinton hosts a very challenging course boasting long challenging climbs, and relentless punishing down-hills-in my opinion it’s the kind of course where the fittest rider wins, barring crashes and mechanical mishaps–won on the up-hills, and lost on the down-hills. In anticipation of the event, the ABA has finally got around to updating the standings (am I the only one who has been waiting since the end of June?). You can check the standings in detail on the ABA website, but in a nutshell, here is how things look.

In Elite Men, Mike Blennerhassett (Hardcore) has had a breakthrough season and has built a commanding lead in the series-look for him to have a strong race on Saturday, maybe winning the championship race, and almost certainly winning the series. Don’t count out the locals though, as Jasperite enduro racer Cory Wallace (Kona Factory) is likely to put on a workshop as he did last year.

In Elite Women there is a close race in the series, with Chantel Koening (Redbike) leading, but Pepper Harlton (Juventus), Katie Curtis (CMC/Bow Cycle), Kate Ardel (Hardcore), and Kristen Ong (RVC), are all within striking distance. Also look for Bridget Linder (Hardcore) to make things interesting, as she has had a season plagued with mechanicals, and is likely to come into this final race looking for some redemption. The local favourite has to be Loni Klettle (Freeskool) who set the standard on this course last year.

In Expert Men, Peter Knight (Hardcore) leads the Points Race, but won’t be able to defend his lead due to being upgraded to the Elite category after a third place finish at the Summer Solstice Race in Brag Creek earlier this summer. Other likely contenders for a final Expert Podium include Felix Wilberg (Cyclemeisters/Bow Cycle), Robert Hine (CMC/Bow Cycle), Brian Robinson (CMC/Bow Cycle).
There is a tight Points Race in the Expert Women between Amy Barnett (Cyclemeisters/Bow Cycle) and Alyssa Barker (United Cycle). Look for Barnett to dominate if she contests provincials, having bested Alyssa at every meeting this summer.

Sport Men has seen four upgrades this season so far, leaving Kevin Stafford (Juventus) in the best position to take the points series. As far as the final race of season goes, anything can happen in the Sport category. Look for the locals to put in a good effort on a home course.

In the Sport Women Points Race, Shari Clare (Fiera Race Team) leads with Boglarka Gyorfi (Spin Sisters) within striking distance. These two have been trading spots on the podium all season; look for one last battle for the top spot at the Provincial Championships.

There were ten upgrades in Novice Men this season. Look for Sam Amberiadis (Independent), Nathan Smith (The WGB), and Damian Stachura (Pedalhead) to duke it out for a podium finish in Hinton, and top spot in the Points Series.

In Novice Women, Andie Kriets (Red Bike) and Shawna Donaldson (Independent) have the best shot at the points race, while any of Emily Lines (Hardore) and Sabrina Millman (Conchrane BMX), Tanya Hopping (Speed Theory), Julie Kelly (Independent), Sarah Dickey (Hardcore), have a shot for top spot at the final race.

Despite a very wet summer in Alberta, cross country races across the province have had pretty reasonable conditions at most events. The forecast for Saturdays Provincal XC final looks like it could be wet and will likely result in some reluctant starters, but will certainly make for some entertaining spectating; see you at the race.


Alberta MTB XC & Marathon Provincials

Posted in MTB, Racing on August 24, 2010 by bikealberta

XC Provincial Championships

The Provincial XC Championships Mountain Bike Race will be held at the Hinton Nordic Ski Lodge just outside the town of Hinton. The 2010 Provincial XC Championship course will be almost identical to the 2009 Provincial XC race held last August.

Sweet Camping will be available on site for Friday and Saturday nights at $5 per person per night. This small donation will go too a local charity. There are lots of open fields, and wooded places to pitch a tent or pull your van into. Food, outhouses, bonfires and an outrageously good time is going to be had at the Nordic Center this weekend so make sure your staying up there!. Food will be available through Coco’s Café which will be set up on sight for the weekend. They will be doing a big pasta dinner Saturday night for those interested. Bring your own Water!

The Provincial Championships is the race of the year to determine who has bragging rights for the next 12 months!

Marathon Provincial Championships

Muck Yeah! is a new race in Hinton, AB that promises to challenge your lungs, legs, and your ‘wooo-hooos’. This race is open to anyone who’s up for the challenge. It will take place the day after the Provincial XC Championships.

Thanks to the marathon format, we are able to use all sorts of new trails plus all the trails used in the XC course the day before. Come try the best trails in Alberta you’ve never ridden – complete with sweet berms, super fast flowing singletrack, spectacular views of the Rockies, descents that you never want to end, and those unavoidable climbs that make you want to cry.

More information can be found at and

To register for these events, please go to

Speed Theory Presents the Jason Lapierre Memorial Cycling Weekend

Posted in Racing, Road on August 19, 2010 by bikealberta

On August 21, the Speed Theory Race time is hosting Calgary’s first ever downtown criterium.  The first group starts at 4:30 pm, and the final one starts at 8:10pm.  The event is part of the Jason Lapierre Memorial Cycle Weekend.  For a detailed schedule check the SpeedTheory Blog.


Mike & Mike Do TransRockies 2010

Posted in Cycling Bloggers, MTB, Racing on August 7, 2010 by bikealberta

BikeAlberta’s own Mike Sarnecki (yup that’s me) has teamed up with Mike Blennerhassett of Hardcore Racing to compete at Team Pedal at the 2010 TransRockies.  (Okay, no more referring to myself in the third person – I’m not Jimmy!)

So Mike & I are officially covering the TR by racing and writing as Team Pedal.  The official Pedal coverage website is [here]. We will be reporting on each day’s stage and you need to follow along for all of our in depth, behind the scenes, investigative reporting.

For the unofficial report, well to read more about how Mike & I are doing specifically, well, you can check it out here on BikeAlberta.

Here’s our bios:

TR 10 – Team Pedal

Mike Blennerhassett
Home: Edmonton, AB
Occupation: High School Woodworking Teacher
Specialties: Climbing, looking good, being fast, smelling niceThis is Mike’s first TransRockies and boy is he pumped. With a successful XC racing season almost drawing to a close the TransRockies is the perfect finish. As part of Team Pedal with Mike Sarnecki, Mike B looks to have a consistent race a finish strong. The duo will be racing on the laser like Titus Xs and will be looking to make some heads turn especially when the going gets tough. Blennerhassett has been racing for about six years and has competed in national and provincial events for road, cyclocross with his focus being the mountain bike. Mike is also the club president of Hardcore Cycling and he organizes races locally in Edmonton.

When Blennerhassett is not out riding the awesome Edmonton single track he can be found honing his woodworking skills, cooking on the BBQ (year round) or deciding which bike to get next.

Mike Sarnecki
AKA: Sarns
Home: Champion City, Alberta
Occupation: Insurance by day, crime fighter by night
Specialties: Shredding singletrack, busting kneecap, finding an app for that.This is the first entry into MTB epic stage racing for Sarnecki after racing competitively for the last 10 years focusing on provincial MTB and cyclocross events. Coming off a serious injury in early 2009 where Mike shattered his kneecap playing hockey, he is now back to 100% and is ready for the challenge ahead.

Not only does Sarnecki work full time and train for racing, but he is heavily involved in the Alberta and Canadian cycling scenes. Mike is a major part of the club which organizes the Edmonton Canada Cup and as a board member of the Canadian Cycling Association, Sarnecki has spearheaded the Race Clean Own Your Victory anti-doping campaign, while at the same time, assisted in managing the insurance needs of the CCA.

The TransRockies is returning to its origins in 2010 with a brand new route from Fernie to Canmore via the most spectacular scenery and single track in the west. “With the TransRockies returning to Alberta I figured I had no excuse not to race this year as I’m super excited to tear it up on these sweet trails in my home province of Alberta. That, and I hear the riding in Fernie isn’t too shabby either”.

When not on the bike or doing something related to cycling, Mike spends his time hanging out with his wife Liesje and two little white dogs Berkley and Bella.

Day zero and we’re bunker’d down in the Raging Elk Hostel w/ buddies Josh & Todd (Team 1ohr Battery) getting ready for the big bang of tomorrow’s Time Trial stage.  Due to the nature of the sweet singletrack, teams and TR3 soloists will go off in one minute intervals in order to avoid any bottlenecking.  Should be good.  Solid 500m climb greats us only a few clicks into the stage.
Thanks to my excellent co-worker Scotty Mac for shuttling us down to Fernie for our start.  Hopefully he made it back to Edmont0n in one piece.  It’s a lot of driving and we all (Mike, Josh, Todd & I) appreciate his help.
Now the stress of packing the single duffel bag is gone now that the great boys at United Cycle are helping me out with my packing problem and are willing to transport around an extra bag or two for me.
Weather is good.  Course is good.  We are good to go.
Later Skaters,
P.S. Brad Chisholm needs to buy dog food for his dog so someone please by his XTR’d Norco.