Bike Barn defends title at 33rd Ski2Sea race

Annual six-stage race reduced to five due to icy conditions as 62 teams and eight soloists complete the event Sunday

A cancellation of the mountain biking leg wasn’t enough to stop Penticton’s Bike Barn from  capturing its second straight overall open team title at the annual RE/MAX Ski2Sea race on Sunday.

The team of Aart VanKooy, David Kitson, Evan Guthrie, Jonathan Caron, Eddie Smith, Glenn Bond and Bob Woodman completed the 33rd edition of the event in two hours 43 minutes.

Purple Haze finished second overall in 2:52:54, with Kelowna Cycle Edge Racers taking third in 2:53:04.

Due to icy conditions, organizers cancelled the mountain biking portion of the race, reducing the number to stages to five—downhill skiing, cross country skiing, road biking, running and canoe/kayak—along the 95 km course from Big White to City Park.

“Most important was our racers’ safety,” said Ski2Sea race chairman Sue Keast,”so we cancelled so we cancelled the mountain bike leg of the race. “

Rough waters on the north side of the bridge also prompted organizers to divert the paddling portion of the race to the south side of the bridge.

Ian Crosthwaite won the men’s solo division in a time of 3:19:41, while Jane Hollenberg was the lone woman to go solo, finishing in 4:05:21.

Other division winners were:

• Open mixed—Forced Effort, 3:17:56

• Women—Weak Lynx, 3:56:51

• Masters—Bent, Beaten and Bullied, 3:07:37

• Recreational—Charities of Perspire, 3:46:09

• Corporate—Chain Line Cycle/Wild Mountain, 2:55:24

Sixty two teams and 400 competitors, including eight soloists, took part in the 2013 Ski2Sea Race, which was nearly cancelled this winter due to a lack of sponsorship funding.

But when RE/MAX stepped up as the new platinum sponsor in February, the future of the race was ensured for at least the next five years.

“The RE/MAX Ski2Sea goal is to grow our race to even greater numbers next year,” said Keast. “Say 1,000 participants.”

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