Bear Mountain set to host first Canada Cup of 2020

First UCI race of the Olympic year lands in Victoria, B.C. for fifth straight year

January 13th, 2020 by | Posted in MTB | Tags: , , , , ,

eicking off the Canadian cross country season on the slopes of Bear Mountain is becoming a bit of a tradition. The Victoria, B.C. venue has hosted the opening round of Canada Cup racing for the last four years.

Honouring a Canadian legend

For it’s fifth year, organizers are paying special tribute to late-Canadian freeride legend and Victoria local Jordie Lunn. Several of Lunn’s trails will feature prominently in the weekend’s events. He spearheaded the Bear Mountain Dirt Jump Park, used by many locals and skills camps all year. Lunn is also responsible for building the Flow Trail, which has been a staple in the Canada Cup XCO course. A focal point of the Rocky Mountain Enduro is another Lunn creation, the Chainsaw Trail, which was made in memory of late-Canadian downhill racer Stevie Smith.

“In the brief time I’ve had to work with Jordie, I was always impressed with his calm and gentle demeanor,” said Event Director, Jon Watkin. “He had so much drive and motivation that it was so infectious.  He put his heart and soul in the park and local trails, and made it a playground for everyone to enjoy. Our hope is that people will pause to remember his memory and also join our efforts to build more trails and get more kids into mountain biking.”

Lunn was passionate about encouraging the next generation of cyclists, and coached youth camps around B.C.. At Bear Mountain, he occasionally contributed to the Canadian XCO team coaching skills sessions with top athletes.

Emily Batty Bear Mountain 2018
Emily Batty racing 2018 Bear Mountain Canada Cup. Image Jay Wallace
Olympic XCO and Enduro: 2020 Bear Mountain Bike Fest

Since it’s debut, the Bear Mountain Canada Cup weekend has changed shape to reflect the changing face of Canadian mountain biking.

The cross country event has always been, and remains the weekends marquee event. For 2020, the XCO returns with UCI C1 status, making it an excellent opportunity for North American athletes to earn valuable UCI points. This will be especially important in 2020, as the top Canadian XC racers vie for a limited number of spots at the Tokyo Olympics. Just two women and one man will have the opportunity to represent our country at the Olympics in Japan.

RELATED: Canadian racers share their inside lines on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cross country course

Among the favorites are Catharine Pendrel, Haley Smith, Emily Batty and Sandra Walter, on the women’s side. Peter Disera, 2016 Olympian Leandre Bouchard and possibly Andrew L’Esperance will vie for the lone men’s Olympic spot.

Emilly Johnston Pendrel Racing Bear Mountain Canada Cup
Canadian junior racer Emilly Johnston racing the 2019 Bear Mountain Canada Cup.

While the elites are in the final countdown to the 2020 Olympics, which just passed by the 200 day milestone, Bear Mountain will also feature the next generation of Canadian cross country riders, with a UCI C1 Junior event, and Under-17 Canada Cup race.

Returning again in 2020 is the Rocky Mountain Enduro p/b Marty’s Mountain Cycles. The five stage event will give an early opportunity to local riders to try out the gravity-fed enduro race format. Trails have been built specifically to expand the event, in addition to the trails build by Lunn mentioned above.

The popular Westshore Bikes Kids Dy and Bear Mountain Bike Expo return again for 2020.

Bear Mountain Bike Festival 2020

Victoria will host racing over the weekend of March 29-29 in 2020. The Canada Cup takes place on Saturday, March 28. On Sunday, Bear Mountain will host both the Rocky Mountain Enduro and the Westshore Bikes Kids Day. Bear Mountain Bike Expo will run both Saturday and Sunday.

Early bird registration for the Bear Mountain Bike Festival is open now, and runs until January 31, 2020.

Registration and details are available at Bear Mountain Bike Festival website.