Young mountain bikers from across B.C. will soon have the opportunity to test their mettle on Cumberland’s legendary ‘all killer and no filler’ trail network, as the 2017 B.C. High School Mountain Biking Championships descends on ‘Dodge City’ May 27.
“This is always a great event,” says Chris Armstrong, an SD71 teacher and coach of the G.P. Vanier mountain biking team. “But 2017 is especially exciting. Cumberland is the unofficial epicentre of Van Isle mountain biking culture and it boasts some of the best race conditions in the province. Great trails, great riders and great fun – there’s no better way to showcase our local talent.”
At last year’s B.C. High School MTB Championships in Coquitlam, a strong showing from Comox Valley athletes ended with the Grade 9 boys sweeping their division.
“It’s really an exceptional way to highlight what the Comox Valley has to offer,” says Armstrong. “We’re working with the local expertise of UROC (the United Riders of Cumberland) in setting up the courses, and the entire village of Cumberland is rallying together for this event – from sponsorship to contributions from local businesses – in order to make the 2017 championships the best year yet.”
The championship is open to all B.C. high school mountain biking teams. Divisions include Grade 8, Grades 9/10 and Grades 11/12, with XC and enduro categories offered for each age group.
“This event wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our sponsors,” says Armstrong. “We have some incredible sponsors this year – The Village of Cumberland, TimberWest, UROC, the Island Cup MTB Race Series, RP Copywriting and Sew What, I Sew. Darkside Chocolates has handcrafted the awards out of their signature Dodge City chocolate, BiblioTaco is catering the coaches’ dinner and Sew What, I Sew has designed some tricked-out hats for the event. Our kids appreciate the support.”
Pre-race registration opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 26 at the Riding Fool Hostel on Dunsmuir Avenue, with the first race beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 27. The Championship wraps up with UROC’s famous post-race barbecue, plus the award presentation, at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Village Park in Cumberland.
Coaches must register each racer individually, and schools will be billed $15 per student registered, which includes entry fee and lunch. To register, follow the links on http://bchsmtnbikingchampionships.weebly.com.