Local mountain bike race champ teams up with pro

A Campbell River mountain bike champ is teaching a skills camp

Each year close to 200 mountain bike racers travel from across Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, and Washington to compete in the Island Cup mountain bike race series, and the first stop for downhill racing on this year’s tour is Cumberland on April 13.

To help the sport grow, promote athlete development, and encourage locals to fine tune their mountain biking skills, local company Drift Mountain Biking is bringing professional mountain bike instruction and programs to the Comox Valley.

World-class downhill racers and coaches, including Campbell River’s own, Amber Zirnhelt and Dunbar Cycles Team Rider Dean Tennant, will instruct downhill mountain bikers and racing enthusiasts to fine-tune their skills.

Drift Mountain Biking will be hosting two one-day clinics on March 29 and 30 in Cumberland for downhill riders of all skill levels.

Zirnhelt is Drift’s Race Instructor, and has coached and raced throughout North America and Scotland.

A past BC Cup Downhill Champion, winner of the 2013 DCDH Island Cup, and coach for Whistler Mountain Bike Park, Zirnhelt brings a breadth of experience in coaching riders to develop racing techniques.

Zirnhelt has represented Canada at several world cup races, and her past achievements include being ranked third in Canada in elite downhill.

Dunbar Cycles Team Rider Dean Tennant, joins Zirnhelt as guest coach for Drift.

Tennant was the 2014 BC Cup Downhill Champion and Island Cup Champion.

As a three time Canadian National team member, he has competed at the Canberra, Champery and Mont Sainte Anne World Championships.

He has competed in 11 World Cup races, and is both a talented rider and coach. Dean currently resides in Victoria.

The clinic on Saturday, March 29 is for novice and intermediate riders, while Sunday’s clinic will focus on experienced intermediate and advanced riders.

“We are really pleased to bring professional downhill mountain bike instruction with this world class duo to the Comox Valley. Dean and Amber have raced and coached internationally, and bring fantastic instruction, skills and a contagious enthusiasm for the sport,” says Amanda Ridgway, Founder of Drift Mountain Biking.

Each clinic runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is limited to 10 riders.

Registration is already filling up, so sign-up online now to ensure your place www.driftbiking.com

Instruction will be held in Cumberland, focused on the DCDH Island Cup Race Course, and will include group instruction, individual detection and correction, lunch and shuttle rides.

Riders must bring their own bikes and full-face helmets, and additional protective gear is encouraged.

The cost to participate in the clinic is $149 + tax with $10 per participant being donated to the Cumberland Community Forest Society to support its pursuit of securing more forest for everyone’s enjoyment.