Bear Mountain Bike Festival to open 2017 Canada CupPosted on January 25, 2017
From: Canadian Cycling Magazine
January 23rd, 2017 by Rob Sturney
Victoria, BC is usually a little ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to the end of winter, and this means that the 2017 Canada Cup mountain bike series can launch in early March at Bear Mountain resort. The Bear Mountain Bike Festival will offer plenty for the fat tire crowd on March 4 and 5.
Reigning champions Raphaël Gagné and Catharine Pendrel, Olympic Games bronze medal winner, will be back to defend their titles on a longer, more technical course.
Bear Mountain Cycling Manager Jon Watkin said in a press release, “At 6km long and 141 meters of elevation gain per lap, the course will be more of a challenge this year. It will also have more single-track but with lots of descending and passing opportunities as well. We want to showcase as much of our trail system as possible so that racers are given lots of variety.”
Other riders traveling to Victoria are Emily Batty, who finished just off the Olympic Games podium, Canada Cup champions Haley Smith and Andrew L’Esperance, and national champ Derek Zandstra. Geoff Kabush, who missed last year, is back for 2017.
Kabush commented, “After being sidelined with injury last year I’m really looking forward to finally racing at Bear Mountain. I spent years living and training in Victoria and it was always a dream to have an international calibre race so close to home. With the National MTB Team based and training at Bear Mountain it’s a fantastic opportunity and way to start the season for all the riders.”
There’s more than just pro cross-country racing at the festival. The elite riders skirmish on Saturday, March 4, which is also the first day of a bike expo and beer garden. Sunday, March 5 sees Trek Tykes Bike Ride with Champions, a free event in partnership with the South Island Mountain Bike Society that offers guided rides by age group with special appearances by some of Canada’s champions, along with the Rocky Mountain Enduro and the Corporate Cycling Challenge.
People can check out the event and register for all the events here