Olympian Pendrel in the Coaster field

Mountain Biking

This weekend’s Coaster mountain bike race just got a lot more interesting — for racers and spectators.

Canadian Olympic team member (2008 and 2012) and current World Champion Catharine Pendrel has entered the race and will be among the elite riders,

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The member of the Luna pro mountain bike racing team is taking time out of her busy training schedule to race the Coaster, and race organizer Sue Duxbury could not be more thrilled.

“We are really pleased that she has entered. This is huge for us,” Duxbury said. “Catharine entering could have something to do with the 11 pro women racers who are registered for the event. “In the 25 years of mountain bike racing here on the Coast, this is the first time we’ve had more pro women registered than males.

“Maybe this is a ‘take back the Coast’ event for Catharine, as a couple of years ago she broke her collar bone playing in the Sprockids Park in Gibsons.”

Racing starts at 10 a.m. this Saturday, May 2 at B&K Road and the power lines.  There will be a short road closure to facilitate the mass start.

“This is quite a spectacle, and the public is welcome to come out and watch,” Duxbury said.

The marathon cross-country course on Saturday is up to 45 km of beautiful trails offering some challenging climbs and wonderful view points, along with flowy single-track descents.

The short course option gives participants 21 km of Tour d’ Creek without all the nasty climbs, but also missing the Rio Grande descent.

The Sunshine Coast Equestrian Club (SCEC) will be serving up a fine salmon barbecue after the completion of the race, accompanied by refreshments from Townsite Brewery, a long-time sponsor.

The kids’ races take place on Saturday as well, with onsite registration at 9 a.m. at the SCEC corral on B&K Road.  

On Sunday the downhill race returns on the infamous Mach Chicken — three km down, completed by some in less than three minutes! Pro racers get cash prizes, and local racer Kris Sneddon has donated cash prizes for the fastest non-pro riders with a local address.

See more at www.sunshinecoaster.net.

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