B.C.’s cyclocross season went out with a bang over the weekend, with a double header at Victoria’s Western Speedway.
On Saturday, Cross on the Rock wrapped up season 13 of the Island race series with its series final “Days of Thunder CX.” The next morning racers returned to the speedways moto track and infield grass for Cycling BC cyclocross provincial championships.
When the planned B.C. provincials venue had to pull out mid-season, Broad Street Cycles teamed up with long-time local race organizer Drew McKenzie to make sure the event had a home for 2018, expanding the event to be all Cycling BC approved, getting timing and registration and all the fun details of a race going.
Race day rewarded them, their army of volunteers, and anyone willing to race cross in late November. Blue skies and frigid, but not frozen temperatures help keeps the notoriously muddy moto track firm and the infield lake the shallowest it has been in recent years.
Racers from around the province showed up to battle for the provincial champion jerseys in masters, junior and elite categories. Hot off defending his national champion title in Peterborough the weekend prior, Michael van den Ham (Easton-Garneau p/b Transitions Life Care) was on form and looking comfortable at the front of his race. Raphael Lalumiere (Broad Street Cycles) chased hard, distancing Carter Nieuwesteeg (Santa Cruz Bicycles) in the process.
Sandra Walter (Liv Cycling Canada) stamped her authority on the elite women’s race, followed by Naked Factory Racing’s duo of Emilly Johnston and Mical Dyck. The 16-year-old junior took on the elite women’s field alongside her teammate Dyck. The younger racer escaped when Dyck flatted her front tire, but Walter had established a comfortable lead by that point. Walter retains her B.C. provincial champion title from 2017, while Johnston shows the next generation isn’t going to wait for their turn much longer.
In the junior men’s race, Naked Factory Racing’s Carter Woods, like van den Ham, was still carrying form from his national title in Peterborough. Denied the chance to answer the senior racers challenge to race up into Elite, Woods was left to chase van den Ham from the junior field, which started one minute behind the elites. The junior made solid progress, moving past most of the elite field over the course of his 45 minute race. Jacob Rubuliak (Red Devils Cycling) followed in second while Cody Scott (Tag Cycling) followed in third.