Dunbar Summer Series’ “Superweek of Downhill” keeps chugging along, with the second Canada Cup final in four days delivering incredible racing and huge crowds. If the riders (and fans) were tired, they didn’t show it. Over 360 riders showed up to race down the steeps of Panorama Mountain Resort.
A very different track than Sunday’s final in Fernie, Panorama saw new winners rise and experienced veterans show the full range of their skill. On the women’s side, Anhoa Ijurko (Canyon) won her first pro/elite women’s Canada Cup event. Kirk McDowall (Dunbar/Devinci) doubled up, taking his second pro/elite men’s win in four days.
With more top riders arriving ahead of Canadian downhill nationals on Sunday in Kicking Horse, racing is heating up across categories. There was tight racing across the junior and under-17 Canada Cup categories, with some young riders posting times that would challenge the top pros.
Forrest Riesco flying off Wall St. into second
Claire Buchar takes another Canada Cup silver, her second this week.
Kendall McLean at full compression on his way to fourth.
Jennifer McHugh adds another podium
Putting in the work
In the final races of the day, a new winner emerged. The young Anhoa Ijurko stormed down Panorama’s “Cliffs of Insanity” to take her first pro/elite Canada Cup win. The winning margin? A narrow 0.46 seconds. Chasing Ijurko was multiple-time Canadian national champion Claire Buchar (Kovarik Racing). Showing she’s fast on any course, Bouchar repeated her second from Fernie on Sunday. Jennifer McHugh landed third, with Rachel Pageau (Commencal) fourth and Bailey Goldstone (Specialized) fifth.
The pro/elite men’s racing has been fierce this week. But it was Kirk McDowall, two time Canadian national champion, leading again at the end of the day. After winning in Fernie, McDowall flew down (or over) the notorious cliffs of Wall St. – a near vertical stretch on the upper part of Panorama’s race track – to take his second Canada Cup win this week. This won by a solid 3.87 seconds, nearly breaking the three minute mark with a 3:00.52 winning time.
Forrest Riesco (Commencal Canada) narrowly edged out Gabriel Nuron (Dunbar) for second, by just 0.56 seconds. Kendall McLean (Specialized) styled to fourth while Garrett MacIntosh, in fifth, gave Dunbary Cycles three podium finishes in elite men alone.
Bodhi Kuhn set the day's second fastest time, riding in u17
Jackson Goldstone takes another junior men's win, with the day's third fastst time
Lily Boucher was second in junior women
Tegan Cruz second in u17 behind Kuhn
Max Halchuck - 4th in u17 men
Coen Skrypnek - 3rd junior men
The junior racing saw even closer finishes. Jackson Goldstone (Miranda Factory Team) landed his second junior men’s win in as many races, but by an incredibly tight 0.03 seconds to Wei Tien Ho of Whistler. Both Goldstone (3:03.80) and Ho (3:03.83) posted times that would have put them on the podium in pro/elite men. It’s an especially strong result for Wei Tien Ho, in his first junior expert race after winning the junior sport men’s race in Fernie to earn his upgrade. Coen Skrypnek (Kona) followed in third, Marcus Goguen in fourth and Haydyn Wynter fifth.
Under-17 racing was even faster. 16-year-old Bodhi Kuhn (Trek) set the days second fastest time. The Rossland, B.C.-based racer’s u17 winning time of 3:01.47 was Wednesdy’s second fastest, with only Kirk McDowall posting a better time. Tegan Cruz followed in second, Ryan Griffith third, Max Halchuck fourth and Jon Mozell fifth.
In the junior women’s race, Emmy Lan (Commencal) broke four minutes, solidly, with a 3:55.59 to take her second Canada Cup win this week. Lily Boucher followed in second with Elly Hoskin third, Vanessa Bruneau fourth and Ayva Gaudet fifth.
Lucy Van Eesteren won the under-17 women’s race from a sizable field, showing the future of women’s downhill in Canada is only getting stronger. Nathasha Miller takes second, Kayley Sherlock third. Joy Attalla landed fourth in her first u17 expert race after winning the sport class in Fernie. Emmylou Grieve takes the final podium spot in fifth.
Cole Bernier rode fast and smooth to take the win
Ethan Krueger lands a second silver in Panorama
Landon McGauley, 3rd, followed by guest tailgunner, Casey Brown
Sierra Roth takes sixth, and first woman
Cameron Lochhead fought to fourth.
Richard VanderWal finished fifith in aMTB on Wednesday
Adaptive Downhill is making its debut this season at Dunbar, and the second race threw completely different challenges at racers than Fernie. Cole Bernier (Kelowna) set the fastest time the narrow, technical track, mostly shared with the elites with one deviation down Quadbuster instead of the Cliffs, taking his first win this week.
Ethan Krueger (Surrey) followed in second, repeating his result from Fernie. Landon McGauley (Kamloops) landed third, Cameron Lochhead (Kelowna) fourth and Richard VanderWal (Toronto) fifth. Sierra Roth, the lone woman tackling the aMTB course, just missed the podium, finishing sixth at Panorama.
Superweek rolls on, straight into nationals
After six days straight of course walks, practice days, seeding and racing, riders get a day off to recover. They’ll need it, as Canadian downhill national championships start Friday in Golden, B.C. at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. KMHR will also be the third, and final race in Dunbar Summer Series “Superweek of Downhill.” If numbers stay consistent, the series will see well over 1,000 racers over three races in just eight days. Downhill is alive, and thriving in Canada!