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Youth get Gnarly in Canmore

Local bikers were big winners at the Ziggy Gnarly mountain bike races, taking home 19 golds and 40 medals on July 16-17 at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

CANMORE – Local bikers were big winners at the Ziggy Gnarly mountain bike races, taking home 19 golds and 40 medals on July 16-17 at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

Also serving as the provincial championships, the Ziggy Gnarly’s cross-country (XCO) course was 5.7 kilometres course for adults and 4.3 km course for youth with a preset number of laps; the U13 Little Ziggy Trailblazer race; the Gnarly Enduro Provincial Championships, a six-stage race through downhill trails at the nordic centre; and the marathon races, completed individually and in teams.

Among the golden winners was Canmore’s Caden Wallis, who went and had a three-peat.

Competing in the U13 male category, Wallis, who bikes as often as he can, won the individual enduro and XCO races, and, he and teammate Varden Borggard claimed top prize in the three-hour team marathon.

“Living in Canmore, I get to ride these trails all of the time so it helps in the races and I pre-rode the courses with my Dad,” said Wallis. “In the enduro race, I knew I should go slower in between the stages to save energy for the downhill.

“The enduro course was long this year since an extra stage was added for the U13 kids and we had to go all the way from the top to the bottom of Odyssey and then climb back up a long way to get to the top of FYI. The marathon course was fun because I got to do the race with a friend.”

In the XCO provincials, U13 boys Oliver Robins was second (25:25.55) and Reid MacIntosh was fifth (26:06.27).

Canmore’s Charlie Pittard was first overall for the U13 females. She crossed the finish line at 28:19.66.

Canmore girls Vera Heal was fourth (31:59.87), and Poppy Wheelhouse (32:50.71), Greta Dove (33:29.19) and Keira Wallis (35:59.82) were sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.

“The XCO was a lot of fun and all the girls from all over Alberta were super supportive of each other,” said Pittard, who also won gold in the three-hour marathon with teammate Sophie Chubey. “I’m excited to go back next year and see them all again.”

In U15 male, Canmore’s Larix Hallett took top prize by more than three minutes, clocking in at 19:59.87. Banff’s Samuel Magee-Dumoulin was sixth (27:55.20).

In the open women, local Eva Poidevin finished and won the title in the four lap race at 1:26:42.29.

In enduro, Canmore swept the podium in U13 boys with Wallis, Aidan Wright and Robins finishing first, second and third, respectively.

In the U13 girls, Banff’s Lillie Magee-Dumoulin took silver, and Canmore’s Zara Ridgely was third.

Local boys Seth Sands and Samuel Magee-Dumoulin bolted to first and second, respectively, in U15. Canmore’s Blake MacLean took silver in U15 girls.

Canmore’s Lydia Ridgley claimed top spot for U17 girls.

In the open category, local speedsters Clara Bown won in female, and Baptiste Caïs took second in male.

In the inaugural Gromduro, an introductory enduro course for young riders, Canmore’s Eric Hosford, Conrad MacPherson, and Ella Eidsvik each won in their categories.

“I had so much fun racing with my friends and can’t wait to race again,” said MacPherson. “My favourite part of the race was the first stage, going down FYI [because it’s fast and flowy].”

In the marathon team races, local U15s Larix Hallet and Nova Borggard won the mixed category three hour marathon, and Alloya Guest and Ella Eidsvik claimed top spot in the girls. Canmore’s Darren Freeman and Eric Magee won the six hour men’s marathon.

In the solo marathons, Canmore’s Steff O’Brien won the six-hour women’s race.

For full results, visit

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

An award-winning reporter, Jordan Small has covered sports, the arts, and news in the Bow Valley since 2014. Originally from Barrie, Ont., Jordan has lived in Alberta since 2013.
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