Posted by Editoress on 06/20/03
Squamish Mountain Bike Festival
Test of Metal ready to roll this weekend
The Squamish Test of Metal cross-country mountain bike race is ready to roll this Saturday, June 21, with an 11 a.m. start at Brennan Park Recreation Centre. The Test of Metal is the prestigious headline event of the Squamish Mountain Bike Festival taking place over the course of the weekend.
Cyclists from all over the world are descending upon Squamish this weekend for the racing and festivities, a testament to the continuing growth of mountain biking and the festival's commitment to putting on the best race anywhere.
"This is the highlight of the year for mountain biking in Squamish, which is recognized as a mecca," says Cliff Miller, Test of Metal race director and organizer of the Squamish Mountain Bike Festival. "It's a big draw for recreational racers from all over and also for pro racers, as the Test of Metal is now an International Cycling Union sanctioned race."
The Squamish Mountain Bike Festival starts on Friday, June 20 at 6 p.m. with racers taking to the streets on Cleveland Avenue in Squamish Town Centre for the Intergalactic Chariot Race Championships. The chariot races are head to head competition where mountain bikes pull fabricated chariots around and over obstacles up and down the crowd-lined street. Preceding the chariot races is a show and shine where riders on cruiser bikes will cruise the chariot race course.
On Saturday, June 21 the Test of Metal, an epic 67-kilometre race, rolls on the streets and world-class trails of Squamish with the spectacle of 800 racers, from top pros to weekend warriors, all leaving the start line together. Immediately after the Test pack rolls past the start line, up and coming nine- to 14-year-old racers in the Teen Test hit the streets and trails on an abbreviated Test of Metal course. The finish area and Mountain Building Centres Marketplace will once again be located the Squamish Loggers Sports Grounds just south of the Recreation Centre. On Saturday night, the Test of Metal party features D.O.A., the longest reigning punk act in Canada, live at the Howe Sound Inn and Brewpub. D.O.A. is fresh off a coast to coast tour in the U.S. and will be primed to rock the Brewpub.
Sunday is a busy day for the festival. At 9 a.m. at Squamish Station Shopping Centre is the M ini Metal, where aspiring four- to eight-year-olds get a chance to race. At noon, freeriders are featured at the Rock Star Invitational Freeride Dash for Cash in Valleycliffe where top local riders compete on Squamish's double black diamond trails to see just who really is the best local freerider. The Test of M etal Trials Competition will take place at the south end of Cleveland Avenue in Squamish Town Centre (right across from the Howe Sound Inn and Brewpub) in Squamish Town Centre. The trials event showcases some of the world's best obstacle riders. The competition starts at 10 a.m., with pros taking to the course at 1 p.m.
Superweek is Coming!
In the past, some have considered the SISU BC Cup Series as an emerging Championship, offering challenges only to the developing racer. How things have changed in only a few short years...
Most can't believe the all-out speed of the races, or the intensity levels of the province's best road racers. BC racing has developed its own style; Flat out and very aggressive from the gun. Racing outside of the province is somewhat more controlled, with strategic attacks and well-planned blocking techniques. In BC, riders attack at every opportunity, then, unleash a counter-attack on top of their last attack. The "faster the better" seems to be the motto of the riders competing in the SISU BC Cup Series. This may be the reason why BC produces many of Canada's best cyclists, and, perhaps the reason why BC athletes continually make up the backbone of Canada's National Teams.
The remaining events in the SISU BC Cup Series - perhaps the toughest, most prestigious, and definitely among the richest 10 days of racing in Canada - collectively known as SuperWeek; A week of racing that brings North America's top teams together to vie for over $30 000 in cash and prizes over seven events. SuperWeek, Tour de White Rock in particular, also has the distinct honor of crowning the overall SISU BC Cup Champion, in front of thousands of spectators and media.
Launching SuperWeek July 18th, the Tour de Delta, in its third year, has enjoyed tremendous success thanks to the vision and support of the entire community - from the crowds that line the streets, the hundreds of volunteers, to Mayor Lois Jackson's enthusiastic support; community pride is evident throughout the three days of racing. The Tour's grueling three-stage format is host to a hill climb, downtown criterium, and an unforgettable road race, all of which are attacked by the fastest riders on the continent. For complete Tour de Delta details, please go to www.tourdedelta.com.
New to the SISU BC Cup Series, and encompassed within SuperWeek, the marked return of the Tour de Gastown is a spectacular twilight criterium set on the historic cobblestones of Gastown, in the heart of Vancouver's business center. The Tour de Gastown is a celebration of brute horsepower and speed that was witnessed by over 24 000 screaming spectators in its returning year! This prestige event will award SISU BC Cup points to the top 3 BC licenced riders, only adding to what is sure to be the fastest race in Canada! With sprint speeds in excess of 65km/hr, the blur of riders negotiating slick cobbles along a technical course, the Tour de Gastown will entertain even the most demanding adrenaline junkies. Get up close and personal with the Tour de Gastown, visit www.tourdegastown.com.
Bringing SuperWeek and the SISU BC Cup Series to a finale, the Tour de White Rock, going into its 24th year, is perhaps the most established race in the country - And what a show it puts on! Mimicking the events of the previous week's Delta races, with a tremendously challenging hill climb up the steep bluffs of White Rock, a Criterium held in the center of the community, and an epic, 140km road race that stretches its way along the sandy beaches of Crescent Beach before heading into the hills of White Rock. Standing in the way of potential victors of the road race, is Magdalen Avenue; a steep, snaking grade that shatters the peloton from the first lap to the tenth. The Magdalen Avenue climb, coupled with Columbia Avenue on the backside of the course, where King and Queen of the Mountains are named, are just two elements playing pivotal roles in this race. The two climbs together help to determine which riders will taste success, and the key to many riders' demise. For complete Tour de White details, go to www.city.whiterock.bc.ca
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