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Weekend Preview: Sunshine, Soldiers Hollow and O-Cup

A big weekend of racing as three provincial XCO series get started for 2019

After building momentum with events on Vancouver Island and the opening Ontario XCMarathon series, the Canadian racing calendar really gets exciting this weekend. O-Cup and Alberta Cup and BC Cup all get started while Island Cup wraps up its XCO calendar, Quebec enduro stays in B.C., and downhill heads just south of the border in Washington. Where are you riding this weekend?

Soldiers Hollow US Pro XCT  – Utah

The fifth round of the US Pro XCT leaves California to head to Utah for the Soldiers Hollow UCI S1 stage race. Four days of racing cover a TT, Short Track XC, XCO and XC Marathon event.

RELATED: 2019 Provincial cross country and marathon calendar

O-Cup #1 – Woodnewton – Uxbridge, Ont.

Woodnewton hosts the opening round of O-Cup racing this weekend in Uxbridge. With Canadian XCO national championships returning to Ontario later this summer, there will be a solid crowd of riders looking to get a jump start on their racing season this weekend.

Island Cup
Eric Ashton racing the first round of Island Cup XCO in Victoria, B.C. The series wraps up this weekend in Nanaimo
Sunshine Coaster (BC Cup – XCO / XCM) – Sechelt, B.C.

Sechelt starts of the both BC Cup XCO and XCMarathon series’ this weekend with the Sunshine Coaster. Short course riders will race for XCO points while the full marathon event counts towards the reduced, three-stop XCM series.

Coulee Cruiser – Lethbridge, Alta. (Alberta Cup #1)

Kicking off the Prairie racing season is the first round of Alberta Cup XCO events,  the Coulee Cruiser. Riders will head south to Lethbridge to escape a resurgent winter that’s delivered snow right up to the end of April for the rest of the province. Temperatures may not be warm, but trail conditions promise to be mint.

Island Cup XC Finals – Nanaimo B.C.

Cross country season is already wrapping up on Vancouver Island, with Nanaimo hosting the XCO series finals on the Dumont trail network. A technical course, covering local favourites like ASOP and Stairway to Hayden, will crown a worthy race winner and determine the 2019 Island Cup XC overall champions. After this, the series turns to enduro, XC marathon and downhill.

Marin Wildside Enduro #2 – Kamloops, B.C.

Quebec’s enduro series returns for a second straight weekend of racing, after starting the season last weekend in Nakusp, B.C. One weekend remains out west before Wildside heads back east to Quebec. This weekend, its the high speed trails of Kamloops, B.C. that play host to the second round of Marin Wildside Enduro racing.

Vernon Bike Fest – May 2-5

The third annual Vernon Bike Fest rolls into the Okanagan town this weekend. There’s movie screenings, an art ride, bike party, demo rides and even an old fashioned bike race, all as part of a celebration of mountain bike culture in Vernon.

NW Cup DH #2 – Port Angeles, Washington

In the first NW Cup round at Dry Hill, five Canadians made the elite podiums between men’s and women’s races, and both junior races were won by riders from north of the border. Some of the top names may be missing, between World Cup season starting in Slovenia and this not being a Pro GRT event. With NW Cup providing high caliber DH racing close to the border, there should still be plenty of riders making the trip south to Port Angeles this weekend.