Bike Barn takes Ski2Sea, Wade first soloist
Evan Guthrie's first tour of duty with the Bike Barn team proved to be a winning proposition for both parties.
The 20-year-old from Peachland used his world-class mountain biking skills to hand his teammates a sizable lead as Bike Barn hung on to take the 31st Ski2Sea Race Sunday in Kelowna.
Guthrie, a two-time World Cup junior champ, tore off the mountain biking leg in just 39 minutes seven seconds—the best ride by more than four minutes—to overtake both Fresh Air and UBCO Voco Quick on the third leg of the race.
Bike Barn held a seven-minute lead heading into the final two legs, but Fresh Air made it interesting with strong finishing leg in the canoe.
In the end, Guthrie and Bike Barn prevailed in the six-leg, 95 km event from Big White to City Park in three hours 15 minutes 17 seconds. Fresh Air was a close second in 3:16:36.
Despite less than ideal conditions on the biking trail, Guthrie was more than happy to help the Bike Barn take top honours. It was also his first personal win in four tries at Ski2Sea.
"It was a real mud show," laughed Guthrie, when asked about the trail conditions. "This was nice because it was a race I wanted to take off my list.
"It's such a fun event, too," Guthrie continued. "It's a good community-backed race and it gets a of attention here in town. You don't have to be super-serious to do either. Anyone can be in it, so that's great."
Joining Guthrie on the winning team was alpine skier Aart Van Kooy, cross country skier Jeff Kerkovious, road biker Jonathan Caron, runner Jeff Symonds and canoers Brad Leigh and Dave Kitsen.
The Fresh Air team—which returned this spring to compete after a one-year break—featured Glenn Bond, Dave Harborian, Sean Williams, Zak Taylor, Aaron Heidt, Bob Woodman and Harry James.
In the soloist category, Gary Wade encountered a number of challenges, but the multi-skilled Kelowna athlete was still the first male to cross the line in eighth spot overall.
Wade, 43, whose bike fell off his roof rack prior to the race, won the event for the third time since 2002 with a time of 3:50:55.
Kari Bailey was the lone female soloist and completed the six-leg race in 4:25:02.
Other class winners were:
• Forced Effort won the open mixed division in 4:03:34.
• Critical Performance topped the women’s event in 4:06:55
• Fresh Air Masters was best among Masters teams in 3:28:47.
• Skookum Juniors were the junior winners in 3:48:37.
• The Real Fresh Air Experience won the recreational division in 3:53:57
• UBC Human Kinetics-Chainline topped the corporate class in 3:34:06.
A total of 103 teams and soloists were entered in the 31st edition of the Ski2Sea Race with 101 of them crossing the finish line.