Provincial XC Race Report Alberta
By Cory Wallace
Last Sunday the Alberta Provincial XC Championships took
place out in the wild hills surrounding the town of
With close to a hundred racers/spectators camping onsite a
game of glow in the dark frizzbie broke out late at night with Crazy Larry from
Sunday morning racers awoke to sun and blue skies with the temp reaching a high of 28 for the race. After the youth raced around a 6 km technical course in the morning the Elites lined up at to tackle the single-track dominant 9.7 km course. The tough course was designed by Nathan Froehler back in 2001 when he hosted Provincials, and it had been grown over, but with a bit of work it was ready to go on race day and was sure to cause a lot of suffering. With fast flowy single track descents including a 6 minute arm burner and then a fast 16 minute quad path/single-track climb back to the start the course was rough on the riders as only 200 meters by the start/finish area was flat.
With a case of Big Rock on the line for the winner’s of the 1 km prologue loop the game plans for a couple racers changed as Jon Nutbrown decided he would give up his chance of a provincial medal and instead emptied the tank to claim his case while Pepper Harlton would out sprint Loni Klettle (Freewheel Cycle) to claim the Women’s case. After the prologue sprint the Elite men would settle in for 4 laps on the pure mountain biker’s course. Cory Wallace (Freewheel Cycle) rode away on the first climb with Cody Canning (ERTC) staying close for a couple laps before succumbing to the relentless course and eventually coming in 4 minutes behind Wallace to claim Provincial Silver. Roddi Lega (Pedal head) and Brian Bain (Bow Cycle) would duke it out for the final podium spot with Lega using his diesel engine dump truck to gap Bain on the final lap.
In the Women’s race local rider from Jasper, Loni Klettle (Freewheel Cycle) would out battle last year’s winner Pepper Harlton (Juventus) to take the Gold medal. Harlton, who is well known for her cyclocross riding was already preparing for this year’s season by riding her cyclocross bike in the race. Apparently the rough course took its toll on Harlton as Klettle was able to gap her enough on the descents to hold her off on the long climbs and came in over 10 minutes ahead. Claiming Bronze in the race was Shantel Koenig (Redbike) who was having a blast ripping down the endless descents while being able to work on her tan lines on the long climbs.
After the race riders were awarded their Provincial medals and then the annual Moustache competition took place, awarding the best male and female staches in the Alberta mountain biking community. With the winners walking away with jumbo sized cans of Heineken all the other riders were jealous and already talking about starting to grow there staches for next year’s event… which apparently may expand to include a night crit and marathon race.
Overall the race weekend was a great success thanks in large
part to announcer and volunteer extraordinaire Crazy Larry who made sure every
racer coming across the line had a smile on there face thanks to one of his
smirky comments. Crazy Larry who is well known for announcing at the 24 hrs of
Adrenaline races in Canmore kept the racers going throughout the day and singlehandly
transformed a peaceful wilderness race into an ongoing high energy comedy
show. After the race he was seen heading
out with his backpack cycling back to
Special thanks to Kona, Freewheel Cycle, Lakeview Inn and