A record number of participants came out for the 6th annual Tour de Jackpine bike race this year, with 38 competitors biking the loop on a blustery Sunday. The event drew participants from Telkwa to Prince Rupert.
This year, competitors were able to choose their challenge level by the number of laps — one, two, or three times around the Jackpine loop. This attracted a healthy mix of first-time riders and long-time competitors, said event organizer Michael Bruce.
The 32 kilometre route, boasting two long climbs and a “roller” section near the Jackpine flats subdivision, starts at the Thornhill pub, veers south on Old Lakelse road towards Hwy. 37, then north on the highway to Krumm road before heading back to the pub.
“Roller” sections are a series of short downs and ups in the road that allow cyclists to build up speed to help them on the next short ascent. If they are done right, they can help in a race. But if a rider loses momentum, they can be a real detriment to staying with the group.
“There was some pretty fierce competition at the top end of the triple loop,” said Bruce. “Also some great efforts by everyone to finish with their best time for this course with other members of the riding community.”
Eleven volunteers helped run the event by sweeping up debris, posting signs, registering riders, spotting at intersections, and laying out food and water, adding to the event’s success, said Bruce.
For the second year in a row, the overall winner of the full three loop race was Vince Drouin at 2:42:29.
Another top rider was Willie Muller who came in at 2:42:30, taking the top spot in his age category for the second consecutive year.
In the women’s three loop race, Crystal Thomas and Sherie Hamer tied for first at 3:18, followed by Maryka Rypma at 3:27.
In the two lap race, Brodie Lamarche posted first overall at 1:50:46, followed by Ron Lowe of Telkwa at 1:53:29. The first woman over the line was Heather Laine at 2:05:23.
Full results are posted at McBike. The next road race of the year hosted by TORCA is the Skeena River Challenge from Prince Rupert to Terrace on August 12.
For information about entering the race or volunteering to help out, call Michael Bruce at 250-635-0121.