The first ever Kananaskiker mountain bike race lived up to its namesake, however, several local racers performed admirably during the grueling two-day event at the Canmore Nordic Centre.
The event combined a 50-kilometre cross-country race, a time trial and hill climb from the downtown core to the Nordic Centre.
Leighton Poidevin, a multiple winner of the 24 Hours of Adrenalin event, tied for third place in the men’s open division, behind Roddi Lega (Pedalhead Racing) and Brian Cooke (Café Racers). Accustomed to distance races, he appreciated the rest between events.
“I liked the two-day format of the race. It gave everyone a chance to make up for mistakes on the first day. Everything was in great shape,” he said.
Poidevin said he didn’t really have a strategy going into the race.
“I pretty much have one speed. To get third was pretty great,” Poidevin said.
Margie Smith won the open women’s race, followed by cross-country skier Brittany Webster and Trish Grajczyk (Deadgoat Racing).
Webster broke her leg four years ago mountain biking, so the race was her first solo competition since then. The Canadian National Ski Champ said the leg held up.
“The leg was good. I’m not used to racing for over an hour and a half, so after that my legs just blew up. But the next day they were feeling better,” Webster said.
Still learning the technical side of the sport, she was happy with the second place finish.
“I was super happy with it. I just wanted it to be fun,” Webster said.
She’s taking a leave from the Alberta World Cup Acadamy, so she can focus on more bike races this summer, including the Canadian mountain bike nationals and Alberta Cup races.
“I really like mountain biking, so much so I’ll try to enter quite a few races,” Webster said.
In the sport category, Sam Amberiadis (Onyerleft) took top spot over Simon Dove (RMCC) and Brent Rosvold (Café Racers)
Top Gear racer Ian Auld won the men’s 40+ category, followed by Alaric Fish (Rundle Mountain Cycling Club) and Darren Freeman. Lisa Le Poole (Terrascape Racing) was the only entrant in the women’s 40+ category.
The race kicks off a busy season at the Nordic Centre, which will host the Iron Maiden Mini Mountain Bike Race on June 11 and the Organ Grinder Enduro Mountain Bike Race on June 12.