Although races were delayed for about two and a half hours as an injured cyclist was rescued last Sunday afternoon, the Mt. Prevost Downhill ended up being a terrific competition, according to organizer Robin Dutton of Cowichan Cycles.
The top five riders in the field of 80 finished the four-kilometre long course within one second of one another, led by 16-year-old Magnus Manson from the Sunshine Coast, who barrelled down the mountain in four minutes and 41 seconds.
"That’s frighteningly fast," Dutton said.
Right behind Manson were Nanaimo’s Bryce Stirling and Vancouver’s Robert Venables. Matt Hardwick of Vancouver and Dean Tennant of Victoria rounded out the top five.
Dutton wasn’t surprised to see top riders from the Mainland attending the race, now in its third year.
"We had some fast guys that made the trek over," he said. "We had prize money for the first time, donated by AFD Petroleum."
The race is sanctioned by the Island Cup series, which now includes just two downhill races. The cost of putting on a downhill event is prohibitive, Dutton explained, because of running shuttle buses.
"We were only able to make it work because Island Return-it paid for the shuttles," he said. "Otherwise, it wouldn’t have happened."
Duncan’s Vince Spronken, who owns Island Return-it, builds trails on Mt. Prevost, and won the intermediate men’s category. Another local, Crofton’s Claire Nicholson, won the intermediate women’s division. Dutton was pleased with the number of Cowichan Valley riders who took part.
"We get a ton of local kids out, which is great," he said.