What a difference between the race conditions at Mansfield and those for the Trek Store Canada Cup held this past weekend at Hardwood Ski and Bike! I’m just finished processing my photos (3,127 not counting iPhone pics and video interviews) and have delivered all the galleries and interviews so I can now spend a little time on this blog again.
I pre-rode the Canada Cup course a little over a week before the race and it was still dry and about as dusty as the Mansfield course was for the Epic 8. That all changed the Friday before race day as a wet front moved in and stuck around for the weekend. It made for more dramatic images, although my cameras didn’t like getting that wet. I had one lens fog up badly come podium time so the shots I took with it are “artsy”. Yet another reason to keep 2 cameras at hand!
The event had two days of activity and festivity with pre-ride clinics and the ever popular autograph session with the Trek Canada team (plus Subaru-Trek racer Emily Batty). Another highlight for this year was the participation of BC native Geoff Kabush who races for Scott – 3 Rox along with Amanda Sin, Cameron Jette and a great bunch of talented racers. Thanks to the wonders of Facebook I’ve seen him at the wheel of a beautiful bay window bus so I asked him to hop into Babe for a photo shoot. It wasn’t until we talked about classic VW buses that I realized that photo was of him in his own ’76 Bulli. Of course that lead to a conversation about repairs, engine rebuilds and the delights of owning one of these classics. Geoff isn’t home enough to get to drive his much, I hope it was a nice distraction to get to sit in one while on the road. He and 4 other team members were “camped” in a large RV which is a great way for a team to travel. More comfort, less character than an old VW though? Here’s a shot of Geoff in Babe:
For contrast here’s a shot of Emily Batty in the latest hot wheels from Subaru (the BRZ). I enjoyed capturing the contrast in vehicles knowing both of these athletes are the high powered engines hooked up to their high tech bikes. The BRZ would certainly take my camper in any sprint…
As for race day it started out reasonably dry for the first two starts and then the skies opened up for the elite races. It reminded me of the first time I got to see Kabush win, the last Bromont World Cup (2008?) was a messy affair and seemed to suit him well. This race saw him start out cautiously, mark all his rivals, and then put the hammer down midway through the race to solo to victory. Batty was marked by all of her rivals from the start and it took her a couple of laps to shed them all. Impressive racing by the top riders, and a great part of the training / lead up to the Olympics for the select few who will be picked. Both Batty and Kabush should be there as part of the Canadian MTB squad. The race was important for a lot of other riders too… one was Sandra Walter who has been dominating the Canada Cup circuit and for her a podium finish was enough to seal the deal on the overall title.
I’ll wrap this post up with a few photos from the race. The full galleries are online at KraikerPhoto.com.
I’ve posted a handful of photos in a few places including Facebook, I’ll put one last shot up here to remind everyone about how challenging Boneshaker is. I think the photo says it all.