by Doug Brons and Jeff Van Mulligen
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — 150 racers descended on Mahon Park in North Vancouver BC for the 2011 BC Cyclocross Championships. Racing started at 10 am with steady rain and with several days of rain prior to the race the course was already soggy, slick and muddy. By late morning the skies cleared and made for an amazing day of racing. The challenging 2.6 km. course was winding and technical including short-steep climbs, a brutal section of mud and slick, muddy off-camber runs. The compact course was very crowd-friendly and may spectators migrated to the mud bog to watch the race unfold.
In the Elite Men’s race H&R Block’s Aaron Schooler (featured in Cyclocross Magazine Issue 15) and Trek Red Truck’s Tyler Trace duelled for the lead in the first half of the race before Trace dropped back with a mechanical. From there, Schooler raced solo to the win. The other battle was for second as Condo Group’s Drew McKenzie (multi-winner of the WSSChampionships) was able to stay ahead of a charging Kevin Noiles (Sportique). Just back from the top three was the newest addition to the H&R squad Andrew Pinfold in fourth position. Drew McKenzie however was crowned the 2011 BC Provincial Champion as Aaron Schooler is not a BC resident.
The Elite women’s race saw Jean Ann Berkenpas (Exprexo Factory Team) take the hole-shot and she never looked back, using her MTB skills on the still slick and technical course. Sandra Walter (Local Ride) chased hard the entire race but had to settle for second place. Kelly Jones (North Shore Physio) would round out the top three.
The “hard man” award goes to Sven Sturm (Trek Red Truck) who raced in the Masters 40-49 category where he finished third, then completed the Elite Men’s race in eighth place.
Elite Men Top 5
|5||22||TRACE||TYLER||TREK RED TRUCK|
Elite Women Top 5
|1||6||BERKENPAS||JEAN ANN||XPREZZO FACTORY|
|3||2||JONES||KELLY||NORTH SHORE PHYSIO|