There were 350 riders at the annual Pumpkin Cross bike race in Maple Ridge on Sunday, and some were local racers who made it to the podium.
Race organizer Barry Lyster of Local Ride Racing said the combination of great costumes, a huge field of riders from every demographic, the sun shining and the success of local riders made it the best Pumpkin Cross in the race’s 11-year history.
“It was a glorious day,” he said.
Several local riders, from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, had good results:
• Skyler Sinow won the under-19 men’s race, and that was made more impressive by the fact he is new to the discipline of cyclocross.
• Jamie Hennessey, who runs track and field at UBC, entered the novice women’s category at Pumpkin Cross and also took first place, in a large field of 34 riders.
• Katrina Rytir took second in the under-17 women’s category.
• Patrik Rytir finished third in the under-17 men’s race.
• Steve Devantier took second in the single speed category, for bikes with no gears.
• Andrew Kerr finished ninth in a large field of 54 riders who started the race in the Master B (40 and over) men’s category.
His daughter Maggie Coles-Lyster finished sixth in the elite women’s competition. She is a national cycling team competitor, living in Laguna Beach and training in California, and is a month away from starting the competitive season in Europe.
“She hasn’t done a cyclocross in over a year,” said her father and coach. “She just went out there, dressed as a Queen of Hearts, and had some fun.”
The elite women’s class was won by Sandra Walter of Coquitlam, who covered five laps of the course in 43.13 – a full minute ahead of the nearest competitor.
The elite men’s winner was Jacob Rubuliak of Kelowna, and Red Devil’s Cycling Academy, who completed eight laps in 1:01.50.
Lyster said Cycling BC got involved in promoting the race through the iRide program, which brought a lot more children to the event, and to the sport.
The best costume went to a cyclist who went all out on his Chewbacca the Wookie costume, that included a bike that was made up like the Millenium Falcon.
“It’s funny, this year people really picked it up, and some of the costumes were amazing.”
Lyster said the event only happens with the help of the Maple Ridge Equestrian Centre, the City of Maple Ridge and the residents of Park Lane, who indulge the traffic disruptions.
“If we don’t have these partners, these events don’t happen.”