July 13/03 1:11 am - Grouse Mountain World Cup: XC Preliminary Report
Posted by Editoress on 07/13/03
Grouse Mountain World Cup
This report made possible through the sponsorship of Rocky Mountain Bicycles
By Mike Badyk
Old Vancouver Joke - "If you see the mountains it's going to rain. If you can't see the mountains it is raining." Driving up Capilano Road, only the base of Grouse was visible, with just a very light rain. Taking the gondola ride up, the car plunged into the clouds about half way up the mountain. At the top the whole race course is socked in by cloud and it is raining heavily. Any training that was done on the dry dusty conditions of this past week have gone for not. Riders such as Trish Sinclair and Kiara Bisaro, who were on the gondola car with us, had switched to narrow mud tires.
The course is quite different than the last two editions. Instead of going far down the mountain, more of the course is concentrated in the vicinity of the buildings and the lifts. A good description would be somewhat in reverse to the past. From the start, the course climbs around the back of the small mountain to the north east, then loops back toward the Peak Plunge, the rocky drop that has been the crowd favourite over the last two years. There is a cross-over bridge that carries the racers down the hill through some single track, eventually kicking them out on to an access road climb.
Then everything is new. The course loop back towards the main building, before dropping down to Blue Grouse Lake. There are some logs and some planked sections that could be a challenge in the wet. Trish Sinclair felt that if someone falls on the planks that it is going to be very difficult to get around them. The course climbs back up to the finish past the Lumberjack Show. The number of laps at this time are 2 Start Loops and 6 laps for the women and 1 Start Loop and 8 laps for the men. These of course are subject to change due to the weather.
It's going to be an interesting day. We are about 45 minutes away from the women's start. The next Canadian Cyclist report will be at the end of the first full lap.