Under blue skies and a fresh wind, the 2017 edition of the Hayman Classic opened Friday to rave reviews from cyclists and coaches.
The first event, a mass start hill climb, saw the 96 registered riders work their way through 10
kilometres of relatively easy roadway before turning sharply onto a twisting ascent with grades
of 15 to 20 per cent over 650-metres (younger riders) and 900 metres (older riders).
Giuseppe Carone, of Hamilton, Ont.-based NCCH, finished first in the under-17 category but
conceded that he suffered for his victory.
“That hill was pretty tough,” said the 16-year-old from Ancaster, Ont. “At first I was with a few
other guys and then the pace went up and my heart rate went through the roof. It was steep.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Isabelle Orsler, who described the climb as difficult but noted
that the overall event presented an unusual challenge for her – it was her first road race.
Orsler, 13, from Bragg Creek, Alta, can normally be found on a mountain bike, but on Friday she
was part of race peloton taking turns at the front. She described the experience as a “bit
confusing,” though it ended well and now she’s looking forward to the remainder of the
“I just need to make sure I keep calm and don’t slow down,” said Orsler, who rides for Synergy
Trina Irving, coach of the U-Kon Echelon Team faced an usual challenge too. Irving travelled to
the Okanagan from Whitehorse with a team of four riders, but it wasn’t until 1 a.m. Friday that
they finally got into bed.
Still, she was pleased with her team’s performance on only six hours of sleep and was effusive
in her praise for the Hayman Classic and its contribution to building young minds and bodies.
“I want people to be healthy. I want people to have goals and I want people to have confidence.
So as much as it’s about cycling, it’s about developing the whole person.”
Also on hand for the hill climb was local cycling great Evan Guthrie, a road racer as well as a
mountain bike champion. He is currently the points leader in the Canada Cup Mountain Bike
Growing up in Peachland, he said, there were no events like the Hayman Classic to
promote the development of young talent.
“It’s pretty inspiring to see this,” he said of Friday’s event. “This looks like a pro race here and
this is for kids … and hopefully we see a lot of these kids grow up and become the next
generation of racers for Canada.”
The Hayman Classic continues through Sunday. For details and full results, go to www.haymanclassic.ca.