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Cowichan Lake welcomed Cowichan Crusher

Busy weekend for annual gravel bike race
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Duncan’s Alex Mann placed 21sth overall in a time of 3:36:37 on May 5 at the seventh edition of the Cowichan Crusher gravel fondo. (Delgado Photography photo)

Kai Vander Veen placed seventh overall in the nearly 100km full-fondo at the Cowichan Crusher in Lake Cowichan this past weekend. Vander Veen’s time was 3:12:3 and was the top time of the day for Cowichan region riders.

“This was my third time doing the Crusher,” Vander Veen noted. “The course was fantastic, the roads were in excellent condition. The mixture of climbs and then descents made for a great race. The weather was great, a bit of rain but overall mostly cloudy, which was nice.”

All told, four Duncan men made the top 25 in the men’s fondo. Ander Monro and Alex Mann were 20th and 21st respectively while Darren Meiner was 24th of 99 riders.

Four Duncan women placed in the top 20 of the women’s individual fondo with Duncan’s Jackie Espinoza the first local woman to cross the finish line with a time of 4:11:55 for fourth overall in her category and 57th overall. Lynn Sanderson was just a little over eight minutes behind in sixth place in the division, and 66th overall.

Amanda McArthur’s time of 4:51:29 was 11th in her category and 103rd overall while Nikki Klaassen came in at 5:31:53 for 18th in the group and 114th overall.

In the 116-rider (about 55kms) medio race, Cowichan Bay’s Minka Thomas placed first overall in a time of 2:02:30. Ladysmith’s Wes Lord was the next best local, placing 52nd overall while Lake Cowichan’s Remko Schrik and Gary Schrik were 64th and 65th respectively.

Crofton’s John Mackie placed 67th and Darren Combs of Cowichan Bay was 90th. Kim Andell rounded out the Cowichan Valley competitors with a 114th place showing.

The piccolo race (about 25kms) featured 35 total riders and Duncan’s Zoe Pullan pulled in fifth overall in a time of 55:51. Duncan’s Michael ONeill was eighth and Jessica Lendrum was 11th. Kelly McManus of Chemainus was 16th while Lake Cowichan’s own Nicolette Jacobsz was 18th.

Meghan Seal placed 21st of the 35 riders while Jeff Lord rounded out the Cowichan-based riders with a 31st overall showing.