Sports

Pumpkin Cross invades Maple Ridge

More than 150 costumed cyclists invaded Maple Ridge last Sunday for the fifth annual Pumpkin Cross B.C. Cup Cyclo-cross race.

The race was sponsored by Maple Ridge’s Local Ride Bike Shop, and drew a record number of participants to Maple Ridge’s North Alouette River Greenway for a sunny day of cycling mayhem.

“We were treated to uncharacteristic sunny skies – not overly spooky, but definitely appreciated,” said race organizer Barry Lyster. “The dead salmon strewn around the part of the course closest to the river did add some scary, stinky ambiance to our Halloween décor.”

The event saw over 150 racers in a wide range of categories from beginner to elite, navigate the challenging course, which featured slick grassy corners, dismounts over equestrian jumps, and Halloween-themed obstacles like the Spooky Forest, the Coffin, Lezyne Lake, and the Giant Leap of Faith. Twenty excited kids between the ages of two and 12 took to their very own kid’s course.

In the women’s event, 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Champion and Olympian Catharine Pendrel of Kamloops bested the defending Pumpkin Cross Champion, Maple Ridge’s Jean Ann Berkenpas

In proper Pumpkin Cross spirit, Pendrel was dressed as a fairy, while Berkenpas chose to honour the top female cyclist who inspired her to pursue the sport, Alison Sydor.

The 60-minute elite men’s race saw fierce competition for the top three positions between Kevin Noiles, Andrew Pinfold, and North Vancouver’s Kevin Calhoun. In the end, it was B.C. Cup leader Noiles who snapped up the victory ahead of a mulletted Pinfold.

Local Ride Racing’s Richard Machhein of Port Coquitlam took home the prize for best costume, dressed as a horse complete with jockey and long, flowing tail.

sports@mapleridgenews.com

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