Coaster 50 draws over 200 racers

Mountain Biking

Carter Woods wasn’t alive when the first Coaster 50 race took place, and he is too young to drink his prize. 

“Everyone who was on the top of the podium in their category got a growlette with a coupon to fill it from Tapworks. I couldn’t give him one – he was under 19,” said race organizer Sue Duxbury.

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The 18-year-old Cumberland-based cyclist won the mountain bike cross-country race on May 4 in a time of 2:06:59.

This is also the first year Carter, who races with the Rocky Mountain Factory Team, competed as an elite cyclist. He received an exemption to do so, since the minimum age is 19, according to Cycling B.C.

“He’s allowed to race as an elite this year even though he’s technically too young, but he’s still not allowed to win a beer,” Duxbury said. 

Canadian champion Sandra Walter, 39, was the first female winner for the elite class with a time of 2:29:04. Andreas Hestler, who competed in the 1996 Olympic Games, came in 12th.

Hestler, who is Team Captain for the BC Bike Race, also approached Duxbury about changing this year’s Sunshine Coast portion of the race after experiencing the West Sechelt trails, according to Duxbury, who is also a course director for the BC Bike Race.

Duxbury said the trails are appealing because they are low elevation with gentle shady climbs, views of the ocean and inlet, and winding downhill sections. Unlike on the North Shore, the trails aren’t as worn and are diligently maintained by Sunshine Coast United Mountain Bikers.

Rod Camposano, who started the race in 2000, also attended the race in celebration of its 20th anniversary. “That year we had more volunteers than we had racers,” said Duxbury, who took over as lead organizer 10 years ago and who is stepping down this year. “I took over not only the tangible assets of the race, but the intangible assets, which were these incredible volunteers and the community support.”  About 40 people volunteered this year.

In Duxbury’s place will be Warren Hansen, who has helped organize past races.

The good weather brought registration up to 210, and there were enough 20th anniversary beer glasses for every registered racer.

Sponsor Sunshine Coast Community Forest graded the road, which made up the start of the race. Most of the race’s 34 sponsors were local. 

Search and Rescue, in charge of first aid, sent two racers to the hospital, one with a collarbone injury and the other for precaution due to a fall that damaged a helmet.

For full race results, see www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=178948

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