The Coal Town Classic cross-country mountain bike endurance race returned to Cumberland May 25, after a more than a 10-year absence.
Organized by the United Riders of Cumberland, the event featured both a 30km and 50km event on the same course that will be featured in the Cumberland stage of this year’s B.C. Bike Race.
Nearly 100 riders turned out, with a strong Comox Valley contingent joined by others from Texada Island, Victoria, Powell River, North Vancouver, Port Alberni, Campbell River, Nanaimo, West Vancouver, Squamish and even a few from Alberta.
In the 30km race, the overall and female U18 winner was Emily Johnston (Comox-Trail Bicycles) with a time of 2:21:33.9. Darryl Anderson (Victoria) was tops in the female 18-39 age division in 2:25.49.3 and fourth overall.
Gary MacGregor (Comox) was top male and 40+ rider in 2:23:05.1, good enough for second overall. Adam Christensen (Courtenay-Trail Bicycles) won the male 18-39 group in 2:26.58.0 and was fifth overall while Breckin Nowak (Comox-Trail Bicycles) won U18 in 2:23.52.3 and was third overall.
The 50km overall and male open/expert winner was Greg Day (Squamish) in 2:47:35.3. Greg Macdonald (Cumberland-Dodge City Cycles/UROC) was the top local, finishing 11th overall in 3:08:14.9.
Steve Lan (Comox) topped the male 18-39 age group in 3:09:58.5 and was 14th overall while John Fokkema (Victoria) took 40+ honours with a time of 3:02:25.3 and finished eighth overall.
Top female and open/expert winner was Wendy Simms (Nanaimo) in 3:09:26.6, good enough for 13th overall. Heidi Manicke (Lacombe, Alta.) won the female 18-39 age division in 3:51.54.6 and was 44th overall while Laurie Kalf (Errington) won the 40+ group in 4:14:20.4 and was 58th overall.
The next big event on the race calendar is the 11th annual Twelve Hours of Cumberland on June 21.