Vancouver Island will host an impressive calendar of grassroots racing in 2019, as Island Cup looks to expand the series enduro and downhill calendars.
The biggest change to the West Coast’s racing scene is in the growing discipline of enduro. For 2019, there are a full ten enduros scheduled for the coming season. Racing starts with the Bear Mountain enduro, a non-series event which runs the same weekend as the year’s first Canada Cup XCO event at the same venue. The enduro calendar proper starts in Nanaimo on May 19 and runs through to Sept. 15, which Maple Mountain hosts series finals. To deal with the discipline’s growing popularity, a new “elite” category has been added this season.
A new generation of Vancouver Island mountain bikers will get to experience the legendary Hornby Island Bike Fest for the first time this year. The event has been missing from the local racing calendar for over a decade. In its heyday, though, Bike Fest hosted downhill, dual slalom and XC events, as well as an infamous after party. Only the enduro will be part of the Island Cup series, but you can expect all sorts of riders to make their way to the small, northern Gulf Island for the two day event.
After years of a slowly shrinking downhill race calendar, the gravity crowd will have a three race Island Cup series in 2019. The return of lift-access riding to Mount Washington certainly helps. The resort will host two of the series three rounds, as well as the Steve Smith Memorial DH later in September, which is not part of the series. Cumberland’s longstanding DCDH event kicks off the Island’s downhill season on May 5.
For any Island locals, or visiting riders, looking to get a jump on race season before the Canada Cup series starts, two XC events are scheduled for early March. Victoria’s Hartland network and Parksville’s Hammerfest trails will host early season racing before Canada’s best get their first test at Bear Mountain on March 31. The XC series resumes with four more events after the Bear Mountain Canada Cup, as well as the non-series Coal Town Classic XC Marathon and Twelve Hours of Cumberland.
2019 Island Cup XC
March 17 – Victoria XC – Victoria, B.C.
March 24 – Hammerfest XC – Parksville, B.C.
April 7 – Snowden XC – Campbell River, B.C.
April 14 – Cumberland XC – Cumberland, B.C.
April 21 – Cobble Hill Classic XC – Cobble Hill, B.C.
May 5 – Nanaimo XC Finals – Nanaimo, B.C.
June 9 – Coal Town Classic XCM* – Cumberland, B.C.
June 22 – 12 Hours of Cumberland* – Cumberland B.C.
*Coal Town Classic and 12 Hours of Cumberland are standalone events and do not count towards XC overall series
2019 Island Cup Enduro
March 31 – Bear Mountain Enduro* – Victoria, B.C.
May 19 – Nanaimo Enduro – Nanaimo, B.C.
May 26 – Hammerfest Enduro – Parksville, B.C.
June 9 – Mt. Tzouhalem Enduro – Duncan, B.C.
June 23 – Forbidden Enduro** – Courtenay, B.C.
June 15/16 – Hornby Island Bike Fest Enduro* – Hornby Island, B.C.
July 14 – Pro City Enduro – Victoria, B.C.
Aug 4 -Mt Washington Enduro – Mount Washington Alpine Resort
Sept 1 – Dodge City Enduro – Cumberland, B.C.
Sept 15 – Maple Mountain Enduro Finals – Duncan, B.C.
*Bear Mountain and Hornby Bike Fest will not count towards the overall series standings
**Forbidden Plateau event is dependent on logging scheduled for the area.
2019 Island Cup DH
May 5 – DCDH DH#1 – Cumberland, B.C.
July 21 – Mt Washington DH#2 – Mount Washington Alpine Resort
Aug 25 – Mt Washington DH#3 – Mount Washington Alpine Resort