More than 150 cyclists braved the elements at the Pumpkin Cross cyclo-cross race on Sunday at the North Alouette Greenway adjacent to the Maple Ridge Equi-Sports Centre.
"We had a fantastic turnout for our event," said race organizer and Local Ride Bike Shop owner Barry Lyster.
"So many people dressed up in creative costumes and a very large contingent of beginner and first-time racers showed up, which is exactly what we're trying to achieve. We want people to realize bike racing is a blast."
The racing was close and very exciting with the race lead changing numerous times across the categories. Despite torrential rain the day before the event, skies cleared on race day and treated riders to a mild, albeit muddy, day.
Fifteen beginner women pedaled, ran, and leapt along the track, with its many corners and obstacles. Susanne Nagy was the winner, beating second place, Emily Weekes, and third place, Karine Duval.
Kelsey MacDonald (Maple Ridge) of Local Ride Racing finished fourth in her first cyclo-cross race, while sister Megan MacDonald (Maple Ridge), also of Local Ride Racing, crossed the line seventh in what was her first cyclo-cross competition. The sharks, Sue Weston (Pitt Meadows) and Joanne Kerr (Pitt Meadows) of Local Ride Racing, finished seventh and eighth, respectively.
Dressed as a hula girl, Local Ride Racing's Rozie Krupa was also among the ranks, and thoroughly enjoyed her first 'cross race.
"The atmosphere was fantastic," said Krupa. "As a first-time racer, the experience was exhilarating. I felt the course was very well-rounded and I got a taste of lots of different types of terrain. It was a great course for beginners."
The beginner men's category saw lots of keeners in costume getting muddy and having fun on their bikes. Shawn Kingerlee took home the victory, followed by Andrew Appleton in second, and Brett Whitehead in third. Pete Whalen (Pitt Meadows) of Local Ride Racing finished 14th.
Maple Ridge's Maggie Coles-Lyster, 13, of the Local Ride/Dr. Vie Superfoods squad won the intermediate women's race, besting Corinne Issel (White Rock). Aja Philip took the third podium spot, while Local Ride/Dr. Vie Superfoods racer Rachel Canning competed in her first-ever cyclo-cross event and Local Ride Racing's Jeanine Ball (Vancouver) finished ninth.
The U17 race saw Kian Zandi, 14, of Team Devo grab the top spot, while his teammate Quinn Storey finished second. Local brothers Noah and Caleb Dobie (Maple Ridge) of Ridge Meadows BMX pedaled into third and fourth spots, respectively. Allison Merke (Maple Ridge) and Kaelen Coles-Lyster (Maple Ridge) rolled across in fifth and sixth place.
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