Vancouver’s Trek Red Truck Racing Team announced its roster for the 2014 season last week, and just two mountain bikers were on the list: Squamish’s Brandi Heisterman, who has won every local race event over the years and is a force to be reckoned with on any terrain, and Whistler’s Austin Reith — a junior rider who won his category at the Whistler Canada Cup race in August, and came up with wins at the Nimby Fifty in Pemberton and Gearjammer. He also placed third in the Test of Metal this year.
Trek Red Truck is one of the biggest and best-sponsored bike teams in the province, and always has a huge presence at road events — although they have supported mountain bikers in the past. There are no Whistler athletes on the road team, but one of the women named to the team is Shoshauna Laxson, who married Whistler’s Will Routley last weekend and spends a lot of time training in the area. As well, three-time RBC Granfondo Whistler women’s winner Leah Guloien was also named to the squad.
Osborne-Paradis to sponsor Right to Play
With the annual Lake Louise WinterStart Festival about to launch the World Cup speed seasons for both men and women, there’s been a flurry of announcements from Alpine Canada, the national sanctioning body for alpine skiing.
On Nov. 21 it was confirmed that Mark Rubinstein would be taking on the position of Chief Executive Officer for the organization, with Max Gartner stepping down from the top post over the summer. Rubinstein has 25 years experience in media and sports, and is the former president and CEO of Insight Sports Limited, which launched several specialty sports channels.
His challenge going forward will be to rebuild the team and its sponsorship profile, with several gaps in the World Cup squad to fill — notably the lack of a women’s speed team. Athletes were averaging over 12 medals a year for Canada before the 2010 Games, but in recent years the team has seen the average number of medals drop and an increase in injuries.
Also announced in the run-up to WinterStart, Whistler’s Manuel Osborne-Paradis, a three-time World Cup winner, has agreed to sponsor the Right to Play organization through the season, with a prime spot on his helmet and cash donations starting at $25,000 for the organization from his other sponsors.
“They get a guaranteed $25,000 plus bonuses if I perform well in races,” Osborne-Paradis explained.
Right to Play is a global charity that brings play to poor and war-torn countries using ambassadors like Olympic athletes. The programs are facilitated in over 20 countries, with 600 international staff and 13,500 volunteer coaches.
Osborne-Paradis said the charity resonated with him, growing up in a household where money was sometimes tight.
“I was raised by a single mom and on the weekends she would take me to see my grandpa, who owned a small A-frame in Whistler,” he said. “Once I was old enough I joined the ski school; this was the perfect sport for me.
“Growing up, things were tight. Being part of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club and my grandpa’s cabin really helped me to become the ski racer I am today. There was a lot of ski equipment given to me — a lot of it secondhand — and there were always families who helped out my mom, paying for gas or helping me get to events.
“To this day, one of my best friend’s dads and now current friend and BC Bike Race teammate Greg McDougall, CEO of Harbour Air, has been a sponsor of mine. All of these things have shown me the importance of people giving back.
BC Bike Race close to sold out
It’s not even 2014 yet, and the 2014 edition of the BC Bike Race is 92 per cent sold out, according to the event’s website.
This is the fifth year for the seven stage BC Bike Race, which features seven different epic rides on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and Sea to Sky. The event finishes in Whistler.
This year starts in Nanaimo, followed by Cumberland, Campbell River, Powell River, north Sunshine Coast, south Sunshine Coast, Squamish and Whistler. Days vary in the length and difficulty
The ride is limited to 500 for logistics reasons, and every year the race attracts more international riders.
For more on the race, visit www.bcbikerace.com.
Local runner top 50 in U.S. cross-country race
Pemberton runner Emma Chadsey, a member of the Simon Fraser University Clan cross-country running team, placed 43th at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II cross-country championships this past weekend, out of a field of 240 runners. The event took place in Spokane, Washington.
“Our goal was to finish in the top 10 and we were seventh so everybody is really happy about that,” said Chadsey.
“I had a really good day on Saturday. I ran about a minute faster at nationals than I did at regionals two weeks earlier, and it was on the same course, and that was definitely better than I was expecting.”
Chadsey said she’ll take a week off, then start training for the indoor track season.
The SFU Clan are one of the few Canadian schools that compete south of the border.
The women’s team placed seventh overall out of 32 schools. Chadsey, in her second year with the team, was the third-ranked Clan runner at the competition.
For the record
In our rundown of winter on-mountain events, the write-up of the annual Peak to Valley race mentioned the rule that each team of four must have at least one female racer. What that piece didn’t mention is that some teams have more females than others. The Babes with Age team, featuring Grace Oaks, Bonnie Wiegele and Randall Carpenter races as a trio every year, and keep one spot open for a fast male. Lately that’s been David Trussler, a fast regular in the Kokanee Valley Race Series. The team has also won their age group, 225 and over, while finishing between top 10 and top 20 out of 100 teams, all age groups, mostly keeping to the “three male one female” requirement.
We regret the omission.