Cross-country mountain bike races took place on Sunday on a circuit of trails northwest of Campbell River as part of the Island Cup Series.
Several local cyclists won a place on the podium, including Nayland McGill and Gavin Chatterton, who finished second and third, respectively, in the beginner men’s category. McGill, 15, said competition was tough on the muddy trails, but the race was fun.
“This kind of riding is just awesome, especially when you go up the steep hill and the free ride down,” he said. “It’s pretty nice.”
It was familiar territory for McGill, who said he practices there regularly, doing 30 km on the trails most weekends.
Also from Campbell River was Jakob Yells, who took the top spot in the expert men’s category, while Benjamin Pechter and Cameron Meldrum came in second and third, respectively, among youth under 12.
The event on Sunday was the third race in the Island Cup Series, said Bryan Yells, director at large of mountain biking for the River City Cycle Club.
The course, located near Loveland Bay Provincial Park, is more cross-country oriented than most, said Yells.
“We have no huge climbs and no huge descents, it’s just a lot of up and down,” he said.
“The racers never really get a break out here.”
He added that it’s a relatively technical race, involving a lot of riding over roots and rocks.
Expert racers did three laps on the 11-km circuit, while intermediate racers did two laps and beginners did one.
More than 70 racers took part, with competitors from across the Island and a family from Whitehorse. In particular, young mountain biking talent was on display, Yells said.
“I’d say over half of these podium winners were under 18, which is so amazing to see the strong youth development we have on the Island,” he said.