By Mitch Thornton,
The 2009Alberta provincials are now in the books! All the
anticipation that has built up over the past few weeks is now gone,
Saturday practice went quite well. Many riders were beginning to find their flow on the downhill track. High lines were starting to form above roots and ruts, pretty typical for a soft track I suppose. Conditions were super tacky during practice, as Blairmore received tons of rain throughout the week preceding the event. The dirt was damp and loose, which made for great traction at speed, not to mention great roosting!
Saturday night brought tons of rain with it. The track we had practiced on Saturday was now a distant memory… High lines now had exposed soaking wet cross-roots, where traction seriously became an issue, rock gardens had become slippery instead of grippy, and the sheep trail had become the fastest way down the hill.
Some sections had great sun exposure, and ended up being perfectly dry for the race, but the majority of other sections were like butter in a frying pan. Personally, I put on a set of mud tires to ease the pain, but they still didn’t prevent me from going down in a roc garden.
It seemed as if the riders who made it down the hill without crashing took their respective categories. However, with anything, there’s always an exception; Luke Stevens riding for Calgary Cycle set the fastest time of the day with a crash in his race run! His time would have taken first place in Elite Men, and he’s only 15 years old!
A big thanks goes out to Stephen Exley and Doug Zech who gave up their long weekends to shuttle all the riders to the top of the hill, not to mention organize the event, Loyal Ratte for putting many hours into all the registration duties, and all the sponsors for supporting the Alberta series. This year has seen more riders per race than ever before; things are only just starting to grow, I can’t wait to see what happens next season!
Full Results can be found here: Rum Runner Final Results
Elite Men Podium
1. Luke Nelson (BC)
1. Rob Chapman
2. Mark Wolstenholme
3. Mitch Thornton
4. Nick Quinn
5. Roddi Lega