Dunbar Summer Series came storming back after a year break, complete with a new format for 2021. The first “Super Week of DH” brought three events to the Canadian Rockies in just nine days. Starting with two Canada Cup races and the debut of a new adaptive DH race category, the week culminated with the return of Canadian downhill national championships. This compressed and killer lineup drew huge crowds of over 350 racers at each race, all week.
The Super Week format was so successful in 2021 that Dunbar Summer Series is gearing up to do it all again.
The 10th year of Dunbar Summer Series is looking to be even bigger. Last season was planned around lifting restrictions and still drew huge start lists. With a whole year to prepare, long-time series organizer Stephen Exley is preparing to deliver another pair of Canada Cup races and 2022 Canadian downhill national championships.
2021 Dunbar Summer Series
Super Week of DH
This summer saw Dunbar Summer Series experiment with a new format. Instead of races staggered throughout the summer, three events were planned back-to-back-to-back. Starting in Fernie, B.C., the series travelled to Panorama Mountain Resort before a grand finale at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort outside Golden, B.C. The new format was a resounding success.
“The format of having three races in one week really worked out well, everyone planned their vacations around that. And I think next year is going to be even bigger. There were a group of guys from out Quebec that weren’t able to make it out this year because of restrictions. We’re looking forward to having more riders from out east be able to join next year,” says Rob Venables, owner of series sponsor Dunbar Cycles. “Racing is back and bigger than ever in Canada. Downhill especially is back with a vengeance.”
Coming out of a year away from racing and lingering uncertainty around events, riders were visibly stoked to get back to racing. The energy around all three venues was electric throughout the week.
“Going into the 2021 race season, we didn’t know what to expect given the current situation and little to no races in the bank. Everyone was taken back and stoked to see the sheer number of racers throughout the “Super Week.” An amazing event and organization allowing riders of all age groups to come out and test their skills and speed on some of the best tracks the country has to offer,” James Jeannet of Specialized Canada.
The team had a strong roster of riders at the series including Finn Iles, who defended his elite men’s national championship title. With that success, Specialized is already signed on to return for 2022. “We at Specialized are proud and fortunate to partner for this event and we are looking forward to investing effort towards MTB racing. The Dunbar Summer Series truly is what Canadian DH is all about.”
2022 Dunbar Summer Series – 10 years of downhill racing
For the series 10th year, Fernie Alpine Resort will once again host a Canada Cup as the first round of a three-stop series. From there, Dunbar Summer Series heads north to Panorama Mountain Resort for a mid-week Canada Cup. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort will reprise its role as host for Canadian downhill national championships.
All three mountains deliver excellent courses with very different challenges. The series will deliver a full week of events and activities, kids races and will continue to offer prizing for seeing rounds and equal prizing for elite men and women. The aMTB category, successfully introduced in 2021, will be expanding for 2022. And, as ever, Canadian mountain bike icon Brett Tippie will be back on the microphone.
“Announcing the Dunbar Summer Series Canada and BC Cup DH races in 2021 was a total blast! It was great to see the MTB family again and watch some wicked racing! Stephen Exley, as always, puts on great events with both technical and fun courses, top notch professionalism, on time schedules, special events, kids races, ridiculous amounts of swag and prizing, champagne (and Ginger Ale), and lots of fun to be had by all. With many kids and adults racing this series for many years, some have gone on to race (and beat) the best in the world, but always remember their roots and come back to race the Dunbar Summer Series! I am proud to be a part of the team and can’t wait for 2022!”
2022 Dunbar Summer Series
Fernie Alpine Resort – Canada Cup
July 17th, 2022
Panorama Resort – Canada Cup
July 20th, 2022
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort – 2022 Canadian DH National Championships
July 24th, 2022