The fourth annual Williams Lake Peel Out mountain bike festival was the most successful in the event’s history, said organizers.
“Featuring more than 200 race participants and another 300 riders in Williams Lake to enjoy the weekend, the Peel Out Mountain Bike Festival is becoming legendary throughout the Interior as one of the most fun, grassroots events of the season,” said Justin Calof, executive director with the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium who, along with the Williams Lake Cycling Club, organized the event.
Riders came from all corners of the province including Prince Rupert, Vancouver Island, Vernon, Fernie, Prince George, Quesnel, 100 Mile House, Vancouver and Kamloops.
Most came to hang out and take in the mountain bike scene, but the weekend was all about racing and competition was fierce on the downhill on Fox Mountain.
With the rains the night before, course conditions were totally different than they were during the three weeks leading up to the competition where the course was super dry.
On race day slick conditions and greasy corners made for an exciting race.
In Category 8 (women’s 18 and under), Alexandra Hamm kept her title from previous years with a time of 6:01.
In Category 7 (boy’s 8-11) Luis Rohner started first and stayed in the hot seat all the way through the category. Rohner finished with a time of 5:43, with second place going to Evan Trotter (6:11). Third place in the class went to Jade Gibbs in 6:23.
Category 6 (12-15 junior men’s) had a number of surprises, including Paul Rohner, who pumped out a time of 4:36 — which would have taken the fastest time in both senior and junior men’s divisions. Second went to Hunter Mennie in 5:05 followed by Aiden Mhyer in 5:11.
In Category 5 (elite women’s) it was Monica Larder, former vice president of the Williams Lake Cycling Club and longtime lakecity rider, taking first in a time of 5:24, followed by last year’s Fox Mountain DH champion Janelle Robichaud with a time of 5:31. Third place was taken by Tara Mowat in 5:35.
Category 4 (senior men’s) saw Shawn Salmon take the win in 5:33, while Stewart Bell finished just behind in 5:35. Sean Donahue and Ivor McMahen tied for third in 5:37.
The always competitive senior men’s Category 3 class (30-49 elite men’s) was taken by Seth Burke in 4:53. Second place was a tie between Tyler Murphy and Williams Lake’s Byron Black with times of 4:58. Third place was won by local Chris Masters just one second behind, in 4:59.
Category 2 (race men’s) was won by Gavin Lake’s Harry Tudor with a fast time of 4:46. Second place was Sandy Thompson (5:02), followed by Cole Feldinger in 5:04.
The pro Category 1 men’s class saw some big names enter the fray including Williams Lake’s James Doerfling and Cory Brunelle, and 2012 Red Bull Rampage winner, Nelson’s Kurt Sorge.
Sorge wound up third in 4:38, Doerfling took second (4:33) and, finally, as anticipated to be the fastest racer in the Peel Out, Brunelle blazed to glory — dressed in a skin-tight race suit — to take the championship with a time of 4:15.
The following morning, after a pancake breakfast at Bell-E-Acres, the Peel Out Super DH took place.
“Suffice to say that fun was had by all,” Calof said. “This was by far the smoothest Super DH in Peel Out history and the organizers are stoked.”
Later in the evening festival participants gathered at the Limelight for the sounds of Shred Kelly, before the official opening of the new Snakes and Ladders took place Monday afternoon.
For complete Peel Out Super DH results visit www.ridethecariboo.ca.