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Professional cyclists and a lot of costumes at Maple Ridge’s Pumpkin Cross

The Oct. 30 event had over 200 racers competing in the mud

Hundreds of cyclocross racers, many in impressive costumes, gathered at Albion Fairgrounds this past weekend to have some muddy fun pedaling around the track at this year’s Pumpkin Cross event.

READ MORE: Costumed cyclists racing in Maple Ridge park

The 14th edition of this annual race was still a great success, according to event organizer Barry Lyster, despite a slight dip in attendance.

“We had about 200 racers,” said Lyster. “Although a bit down from last year, it was a good turnout considering the state of races lately with so many other events, travel, weddings, etc. taking up ones spare time. There was a real good vibe at the race, and the weather did not seem to dampen any spirits.”

Among some of the costumes present were a few penguins, Georgie from IT, Minnie Mouse, a sailor, and a mummy.

But it was a rider dressed up as DC’s Joker that was declared the winner of the costume contest.

Lyster was happy to see quite a few young riders, with some as little as seven-years-old, and a lot of novice females show up to the event, which he credited to their partnership with professional cyclist Sandra Walter.

“About 10 years ago we partnered with professional bike racer Sandra Walter and Giant/Liv Canada to offer a free cyclocross clinic the day before the race,” explained Lyster. “This started to grow the novice women’s category, which has created more women cyclocross racers across all categories.”

In addition to having Sandra Walter, this year’s Pumpkin Cross event also included professional cyclocross racer Michael van den Ham from Chilliwack.

“It is great to have such top-end talent at our races,” said Lyster.

The event saw racers competing in 10 categories:

Novice Men - Luke Bayard won with a time of 28:04.7

Intermediate Men - Matthew Hendriks won with a time of 46:38.5

Intermediate Women - Adele Van Wyk won with a time of 46:13.1

Novice Women - Alice Clarke won with a time of 26:23.1

Master 40+ Women - Carolyn Russell won with a time of 45:11.9

Single Speed Men/Women - Paul Sales won with a time of 48:33.7

Master B Men 40+ - Mario Sanches won with a time of 51:09.3

Elite Men - Michael van den Ham won with a time of 56:54.1

Master A Men 40+ - Thomas Flower won with a time of 47:27.5

Elite Women - Sandra Walter won with a time of 50:13.7

Lyster is already looking forward to next year’s event, which he also plans to have at the Albion Fairgrounds.

“I am already planning for an even more epic Pumpkin Cross in 2023. I want to thank the City of Maple Ridge for providing us with such an amazing place for us to race our bikes.”

RELATED: Maple Ridge cyclist chosen as a hometown hero

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About the Author: Brandon Tucker

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