July 21/02 12:47 pm - Mountain Bike Nationals
Posted by Editoress on 07/21/02
Mountain Bike Nationals - Dual & Downhill Story
This report made possible by Snowcovers and Rocky Mountain
Kamloops, BC - British Columbia riders took top honours at the Canadian National Downhill Mountain Bike Championships on Saturday, with local favourite Dustin Adams repeating as the men's champion, and Whistler's Sylvie Allen taking her first women's title.
Held at the Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops, the 4 kilometre race against the clock pitted the riders against an extremely difficult and dusty course (see course description posted yesterday). Adams was the favourite, having finished fourth one week earlier at a World Cup race in Telluride, Colorado. The 22 year old was fastest in qualifying, and then finished an astonishing 11 seconds ahead of Brant Lyon, in a sport where the difference is usually measured in tenths or hundredths of seconds. American Shaums March finished third in the men's event. March, who was one of a number of riders who missed their seeding run, started at the front of the category, laying down a fast time of 5:18.87. His time would hold up through over 60 riders until Lyon came down fourth from the end, to squeak in front by 5:16.30 seconds. Lyon barely had a chance to get used to being in front before Adams' incredible ride. A number of other strong contenders, including Trevor Porter, had mechanical difficulty or flats on their runs.
Dustin Adams came oh-so-close to quitting the sport last year. "I almost quit last fall; I was really burned out. But my sponsor, Giant Canada, put together a really good deal to support me and made a push to get me onto the international (Giant) team. I owe everything to my team. I've managed to stay injury free, and I'm riding a lot smarter."
Sylvie Allen is a perennial favourite on the Canadian circuit in the women's category, but has never managed a clean run at the national championships in past years. Defending champion Cassandra Boon (Wasa, B.C.) was the fastest in qualifying, ten seconds ahead of third place Allen, but flatted halfway down the course, taking her out of contention. Claire Buchar (Whistler) finished 1.84 seconds behind Allen, and Michelle Dumaresq (North Vancouver), a controversial transgendered athlete was third, after dropping her chain halfway down.
Allen seemed shocked afterwards by her victory "I've always wanted to do well at Nationals, but it just seemed that something would go screwy every time in the past. This year I just stayed in B.C. to race, and changed my attitude. I came in feeling very positive, and just decided to race for fun."
The Dual was held later in the evening, in a one run elimination format. Claire Buchar moving from silver in the women's downhill to gold, ahead of Katrina Strand. Buchar, a former freerider, is racing in only her 6th competition at the elite level. Tony Pejril, the local course designer, took the men's title with comparative ease, ahead of Cory Banks