Riders endure challenging relay

Course completion takes a concerted effort from the likes of Mike Pollock during gruelling Maple Mountain relay. - Don Bodger
Course completion takes a concerted effort from the likes of Mike Pollock during gruelling Maple Mountain relay.
— image credit: Don Bodger

Entering one of Cowichan Cycles’ Robin Dutton’s events isn’t for the faint of heart.

That’s just what the doctor ordered for high-level mountain bikers who were quick to sign up for Dutton’s six-hour relay Sunday at Maple Mountain.

“I’m fairly well-known for putting on challenging events,’’ Dutton chuckled. “This was no exception.’’

It was extremely well-attended for a first-year event, he said, and the sun even came out to make it more pleasurable. Adding it to the Island Cup race marathon series helped attract a following.

Mountain bikers competed on two- and three-member teams or completed the whole thing solo.

Each lap was nine kilometres in distance, with 1,500 feet of climbing, Dutton indicated.

The first three solo finishers all did their eight laps quicker than the top three teams.

Tom Skinner of Victoria was first in 6:20 followed by Justin Mark of Nanaimo in 6:24 and Raphael Lalumiere of Victoria in 6:34.

Mark’s time was remarkable since he endured four flat tires during the competition.

The top team was Cowichan Cycles’ own Dutton and Mike Pollock in 6:36.

Second was the Gas team of Geoff Large and Simon Norris in 6:38.

Dutton is now turning his attention to the June 8 Mount Prevost downhill race, also  part of the Island Cup downhill series.

It promises to be even bigger and better than before with a new course and sponsors.

The course will run from the top of Prevost where the views are fantastic.

There’s also some significant sponsorship, with AFD Petroleum putting up prize money and Island Return-It Depot covering the cost of shuttle service.

Registration for the event is on-line through Results and timing will also be handled by Race Day Timing.

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