Local racers were a force at recent mountain bike events

Photo provided.

Downhill mountain bike races including the 2021 Dunbar Summer Series, which hosted combined Canada Cup and BC Cup DH events, and the BC Cup DH Provincial Championships, recently wrapped up with many locals who reached the podium in the various events.

The 2021 Dunbar Summer Series took place July 18 to 25 with stops in Fernie and Invermere, B.C. with two combined Canada Cup and BC Cup DH events and wrapped up with the Canadian National Championship at Kicking Horse Resort outside of Golden, B.C.

Most recently, the BC Cup DH Provincial Championship took place at Big White from Aug. 6 to 8.

It was a rough start in Fernie as Brock Hawes and Drake Walker of Sun Peaks were both unable to finish their races. Hawes’ woe was due to a flat tire and Walker’s a disqualification. 

Mastin Hooper of Heffley Creek finished in a solid 10th place in the Junior Sport Men category and James Eastcott of Whitecroft was unable to complete the race due to mechanical issues.

At Panorama Resort in Invermere, B.C., things improved for the local racers.

Hawes found the top of the podium against the largest group of competitors with an eight second difference between himself and the next racer in the U17 Sport Men category. Meanwhile, Eastcott and Ethan Hooper of Heffley Creek finished 15 seconds apart placing 37th and 38th respectively. 

Fellow Sun Peaks local, Walker, finished in the number two spot of the Sport/Expert Elite Men category with a time of 3 minutes and 25 seconds, only .37 seconds behind the winner Colby Pringle of North Vancouver.

In the 17 to 18 year-old Junior Sport Men category, Mastin Hooper improved on his 10th place finish in Fernie with a ninth place finish in Panorama.

At the Canadian Nationals held at Kicking Horse Resort in Golden, B.C. the men built on their forward momentum.

In the U17 Sport Men category, Hawes continued his dominance with another first place finish, this time snuffing out the competition by a whopping six seconds after overcoming mechanical challenges which took away his practice run.

Eastcott improved on his 37th place finish at Panorama Resort with a 32nd place finish in the U17 Sport Men category.

Walker was also forced to deal with mechanical issues but teamed up with fellow McSporties bike mechanic Hawes to swap out a flat front tire and defective front brake. 

Walker defied the odds and topped the podium after narrowly completing the repair a mere two minutes before the beginning of the race and finished almost ten seconds faster than second place racer Marcus Cant from Kamloops, B.C.

In the BC Cup DH Provincials at Big White this past weekend (Aug. 6 to 8) more podium finishes were claimed by local father and daughter duo.

Kiera Melnechuk secured the silver medal in her race while her father, and Sun Peaks Resort’s Bike Park co-ordinator, Shawn Melnechuk, got the bronze medal in the Men’s 45-55 year-old Sport category.

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