Local Ride Racing saw some of its strongest riders pin it to win it at one of BC’s toughest stage races – Race the Ridge – organized by Maple Ridge’s very own Local Ride Bike Shop.
Stage 1 – Thornhill Road Race: Using a slightly modified race course that ran in reverse, the first stage of Race the Ridge 2009 was a hit with every category of rider. With just the right amount of climbing, technical corners and an uphill finish it ensured that the strongest rider would win. In Category 4/5 Ryan Newsome just missed the split and finished in the second group in 13th place. The Cat 3 men saw an early two man break form with Local Ride’s own Steve Devantier pulling hard at the front. After three and a half laps of chasing the main field had been reduced to just 11 riders, which set up a 13 man sprint where Steve sprinted for a 2nd place finish with Mike “the carrot” Berkenpas not far behind in 6th. In the women’s Cat 3/4 Liz Chamberlain, Jenelle Cassidy, and Jeanine Ball battled hard right to the end with Liz securing 6th place, while Jenelle and Jeanine earned 12th and 18th spot respectively. Race the Ridge 2009 attracted the who’s who of Cat 1/2 women with Chelsea Bilsbarow, Shoshauna Laxson and Laura Brown suiting it up in the brick and blue for Local Ride Racing. Laura “Downtown” Brown came out of the gate guns blazing but was reduced to a spectator after dropping a chain at a critical point in the race. Shoshauna and Chelsea rode on but were unable to match the power of former team-mate and eventual overall winner Stephanie Roorda who bridge to an earlier break.
Stage 2 – Pitt Meadows Airport Time Trial: The 2009 Race the Ridge time trial will forever be known as the day the carrot chased the carrot. Local Ride’s resident strong man Roy Mcbeth set an early fast time of 22:15 on the Ford Road T.T course but due to Mike’s later start time he left a juicy opening for Mike “the carrot” to chase down. Mike’s scorching time of 22:12 earned him a fourth place on
the stage and fourth overall setting up an epic criterium that afternoon. In the women’s field Laura Brown came out with vengeance and set the fastest time of the day at 22:53 over the 16km course, while Liz Chamberlain posted a very respectable time of 26:14, also a big congratulation to Jeanine Ball for exceeding her personal expectations and setting a time of 29:49.
Stage 3 – An ode to the Harris Roubaix: Despite early trepidation the final stage of Race the Ridge 2009, that incorporated a gravel section into its 2km loop, garnered rave reviews from the peloton for its combination of technicality and fun factor. The men’s 4/5 saw up and comers Ryan Newsome and Andrew Kerr battle it out on the dyke and asphalt against a fast paced peloton of 33. In the men’s Cat 3 criterium it was the Local Ride Racing pain train with Roy and Steve acting as the locomotives pulling hard to secure the best possible position for Mike who was just 12 seconds back from a third place podium spot. Despite a highly competitive Cat 3 peloton and Steve crashing hard into the grass shoulder the pain train secured Mike 4 valuable seconds in primes and set him up for the final sprint to the finish and potential glory. Mike channelling his inner cyclocross rider railed the final gravel corner but was unable to out sprint eventual overall winner Jacob Schwingboth finishing a hard earned fourth. The five seconds awarded for fourth place coupled with the four seconds earned in the primes left Mike just a hair of the podium but still satisfied. Lastly, how could we forget the best placed Local Rider in the crit, Jenelle, who fought hard to maintain position on the last lap to finish a very strong 2nd behind Sara Nathan.
Congrats to all the riders who contested Race the Ridge. Fun was had by all. Finally, another big congratulation to Mike and Steve for earning enough points to move into the Cat 2 pro ranks!