Nanaimo’s Ben Leslie makes it around the track fast at the Red Bull Pump Track World Championship series race at Stevie Smith Bike Park on Saturday. Leslie won the race. GREG McRAE photo

Nanaimo riders sweep podium at international pump track bike race

Ben Leslie tops a field of 67 riders in men's pro division at Stevie Smith Bike Park

Nanaimo has a world-class pump track, and also world-class riders.

That was proven Saturday as a Red Bull Pump Track World Championship series race was held at Nanaimo’s Stevie Smith Bike Park and local riders swept the men’s pro division.

Ben Leslie won the first-ever international event at the track, earning first in a huge field of 67 competitors. Dillon Butcher placed second and Nate Berkheimer was third.

In the women’s division, Harriet Burbidge-Smith of Canberra, Australia, finished first with Karsen Tielen of Langley second and Erin Kinnie of Burnaby third.

Nanaimo was the only series stop in Canada. The world championship race will be Oct. 13 in Springdale, Ark.

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