Local riders impress at championships

Kim Krahulec picks up a first place win in the DH Championships. Photo courtesy Sun Peaks Resort.
Kim Krahulec picks up a first place win in the DH Championships. Photo courtesy Sun Peaks Resort.

More than 200 of Canada’s best riders descended on the Sun Peaks Bike Park to test their skills in the 2015 Canadian Downhill Championships from July 10 to 12.

While the big news was reigning champion Steve Smith being dethroned by North Vancouver’s Matthew Beer, local riders also put on a strong show.

Kim Krahulec (04:59.42 Open 17-29 Women) and Kelly Kozevnikov (05:06.03 UCI 30+ Master Women) picked up top spots in their categories, while Owen O’Brien (04:38.56 Open 13-16 Men) and Mike Reid (04:08.69 Open 17-29 Men) also found themselves on the podium, both securing second place in their divisions.

Aidan Kelly, director of sales and marketing for Sun Peaks Resort LLP, praised all the competitors in the event.

“It was great to see a number of local riders represented, and to have that opportunity to compete alongside top level athletes like Steve Smith. We’ve got some super talented local racers here,” Kelly said.

A total of 217 riders hit the course, which took them down sections of DH, Holy Rollers and Arm Pump trails.

“We’ve had some really good feedback from (race organizers) Cycling Canada. They tell us we’re one of the best venues in the country to work with from an organizational standpoint.

“Competitors were also really positive about the course and the changes that we made this year. There were a couple of new sections which changed the dynamic of the course.”

One of those new sections, towards the bottom of DH, unseated last year’s champion allowing for Beer to claim the title.

Kelly said other alterations to the course, such as moving the finishing line closer to Bento’s Day Lodge, were also well received.

“It created a real bike expo feel outside Bento’s and provided a great visual from the village.”

The Canadian Downhill Championships will return to Sun Peaks for the third year in a row in July 2016.

For full results from the weekend click here.