The first bicycle road race in Mission for the past 20 years drew a solid number of competitors Sunday, with Tyler Trace and Claire Cameron taking top spots in their respective categories.
The Mission Sports Park Kermesse started at 9 a.m. May 15, with cool temperatures and some light rain falling.
The senior category three and four men’s race saw early leader Graham Laurie succumb to a slow leak in his rear tire to finish fourth behind Mike Fellows of Atomic Racing Club, Ryan Golbeck and TNA’s Phil Vernon.
The senior men category one and two riders saw the Trek/Red Truck team sweep all top six positions. Their determined attack on the twisty, hilly 5.5-kilometre circuit saw Tyler Trace take the win in a time of 2:35:16 for the 80 km race, showcasing a mile of gained altitude. Trace was followed by teammates Dave Vuckets and Dan Skinner, while their breakaway companion, Cody Canning, had suffered a puncture and after borrowing a wheel from an earlier competitor held off the remnants of the pack for fourth.
According to co-organizer Bruce Wenting, Claire Cameron, the women’s’ champion, best captured the difficulty of the course when she looked with disbelief at the lapboard and declared, “There can’t be four laps left!”
Cameron was visibly slowing through the start finish area to keep eventual second place Kristine Brynjolfon in contact after the aptly named “Wailing Wall” (aka Wren Street) a 14 per cent grind to the finish line. Brynolfson’s Trek/Red Truck teammate, Karlie Gendron rounded out the podium. Cameron’s winning time was 2:37:08 for the 67-kilometre test featuring nearly 4,000 feet of vertical gain.
The District of Mission was a key supporter of the event, said Wenting, granting a road closure on Tyler Road and providing the event stage and many hours of staff time. A party atmosphere was maintained through the presence of the Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse BBQ Team, he said, providing post-race burgers to all competitors as well as keeping the many volunteers well nourished.
Phoenix Velo’s next event will be the Mission City Hall Road Race mid-June. Visit phoenixvelo.shawwebspace.ca/ for details.