Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2011 Canadian cycling mag preview

New Ontario race venue ready for unveiling
By Dan Dakin - Published August 18, 2010
When 600 or so mountain bikers hit the start line for Sunday’s Ontario cross country championships, they’ll find themselves riding a brand new venue that was more three years in the making. Chico Racing, the organizers of the Ontario Cup mountain bike series, has turned a 200-acre former cross country ski site near Uxbridge into what they hope will be one of Ontario’s favourite new XC race venues.

Chico’s Adam Ruppel said the piece of land, known as Woodnewton, is about five kilometres from where he grew up and is owned by a friend he and brother Sean went to school with.

“We started working on (building) it about a year ago and we had been working on getting Aaron (the landowner) on board for about three years,” Adam Ruppel said.

“Already it had an important element which was the good doubletrack. We needed to incorporate in singletrack so we built probably 3.5 km of really amazing singletrack.”

The trail is broken up into 11 sections separated by pieces of doubletrack, making it an ideal course for safe passing. Some of the sections were built using machines and some were built using rakes and by riding on them over and over.

“There’s no such thing as the perfect race course, but it will be as perfect a race course as possible,” Ruppel said. “It’s already one of my personal favourites. The only element missing is the extreme rocks or rootes, but it’s the most flowing and fun and has the best downhills on the circuit. It’s like a roller coaster ride at Canada’s Wonderland. It’s fun but challenging. There’s about 600 feet of climbing per lap with lots of undulations.”

Needless to say, the Chico crew is looking forward to showing it off this weekend.

“As race promoters, we’re pretty proud. We want to build things that will keep things fresh and keep people excited,” Ruppel said.

Pre-race favourites to take the Elite Men’s title this weekend are Derek Zandstra (3 Rox Racing), Peter Glassford (Trek Canada), Andrew Watson (Norco Factory), or current series leader Adam Morka (Trek Canada). In the Elite Women’s field Amanda Sin (3 Rox Racing), Sue Haviland (Norco Evolution) or current series leader Sue Stephens will battle it out for the Ontario Champion title.

As for the future, this course will likely only be used for special events, not for daily riding. But you can expect to see more races held on the site.

To register for the race or get more information, check out www.chicoracing.com

Derek Zandstra is set to race at the Ontario Championships

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