Posted by Editoress on 05/14/03
Lopes, Peat and Gracia Confirmed for 2003 Joyride Bikercross
Courtesy Sara Gardiner - Whistler Blackcomb Media Relations Coordinator
As part of the Whistler Summer Gravity Festival July 14-20, Joyride Bikercross will host the fastest mountain bikers on the planet.
On July 14 2003, Brian Lopes of the USA will roll his GT Bicycle up to the start gate of Joyride Bikercross. The 31 year-old Lopes is the 2002 World Cup 4-Cross champion, the overall NORBA mountain-cross champion and defending Joyride Bikercross champion. Based in California, Lopes has an extensive BMX background. His explosive race start gives him the hole-shot advantage and makes him the man to beat.
Beside Lopes in the start gate of Joyride will be the 2002 World Cup downhill champion, Steve Peat of Great Britain. The laid-back and likable Peat is a downhill specialist racing for Orange England. He has won several World Cup downhills in recent years, but never the coveted overall title. Until 2002 however, when he raced more consistently and climbed, or descended, to the top of the podium by the end of the racing season.
Cedric Gracia is a serious force to reckon with on two wheels. Similar to Lopes, Gracia was a multiple champion in BMX in his native France. The 24 year-old Volvo-Cannondale rider was 3rd overall in last year's World Cup downhill standings and 3rd in 4-Cross. If anyone can beat Lopes and Peat at Joyride, it's Gracia. This young and talented cyclist is getting faster each year.
Along with Brian Lopes, Steve Peat and Cedric Gracia, also confirmed on the Joyride start list are USA World Cup downhillers Shaums March and Kurt Vories. These riders will be competing in the Tissot-UCI Mountain Bike World Cup at Grouse Mountain July 12-13 - just prior to Joyride Bikercross.
"Joyride was an eye opener for these guys," says Canadian World Cup downhill competitor and freeride film star Dave Watson, "unlike most events that they would compete in, Joyride was more about just having fun and riding the unreal terrain in Whistler." Watson, riding for Kona and Sombrio won Joyride 2001.
Joyride Bikercross is a unique event in the mountain biking world. Professional freeriders and up and comers have the opportunity to race against the world's best racers. All competitors will race in a qualifying heat and only 30 will advance to the main event. At last year's event over 3000 spectators lined the course while DJ Matt the Alien's beats echoed off the trees. Spectators can see the whole race, from start to finish, from Whistler Village. Combined with the non-stop rounds of head to head racing, Joyride Bikercross is a great opportunity to watch mountain biking at its best.
The Whistler Summer Gravity Festival is a 7-day celebration of mountain biking and fun in the mountains. Included on the roster is the Tim Hortons Canadian Mountain Bike Championships, Joyride Bikercross, freeride events, amateur events, music, entertainment and fantastic spectating for everyone. Bring your bike! The dates are: July 14-20, 2003.
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