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Cowichan riders rise to the top at Mount Prevost enduro

“This is definitely the hardest event of the series”

Back after some years away, the Mount Prevost Enduro leg of the Island Cup enduro race series took place May 5 thanks to the hard work of the Cowichan Trails Stewardship Society, Cowichan Cycles and Cycle Therapy bike shops as well as the Municipality of North Cowichan.

“It’s been a while,” Cowichan Cycles owner Grant Lestock-Kay, one of the event’s organizers said. “It’s definitely been at least 10 years, I bet.

“I think it went well. This is definitely the hardest event of the series and realistically, one of the hardest in the province,” Lestock-Kay explained. “They are quite technically challenging trails and everyone handled it really well.”

He noted there were some crashes but few injuries.

“I think people responded really well to the challenge,” he said.

The second stage of the six-stage Island Cup series, the sold-out race divided riders into six divisions: expert, masters (40+), sport, junior expert (U19), U15, and U12.

Nanaimo’s Ryder Wilson took the overall win in the 120-rider expert male event. Cowichan’s Austin Makson was second.

Salmon Arm’s Emily Williams was the best of fifteen riders on the expert female side while Cowichan’s Ava Kitching placed a solid third.

Hector Monro won the junior expert male race, ahead of fellow Cowichan rider Cruz Lendrum, while Duncan’s Izzy Thorpe-Shaw earned the win in the junior expert female race.

Out-of-towners John Russell and Esme Woltz won their groups in the masters races.

Harrison Backer earned the gold in the sport male division and fellow Duncan rider Landen Conville placed third.

Elan Baildham-Troje won the female sport division.

U19 winners were Cowichan’s Kyson Stevenson (who is just 12 years old) and fellow local Austin Belton placed third. Jasmine Bessens won the U19 women’s event.

Siblings Kasch Wing and Mya Wing, of Courtenay, won the U15 male and female races, respectively.

The U12’s winner was Orson Smith.

Many other riders from the region also fared well, with some narrowly missing the podium.

Realtor Matthuw Ronald-Jones sponsored the aid stations and had some amazing consumption statistics: “70+ litres of water, 90+ chunks of bananas, 200+ sliced oranges, six kilograms of Huers candies, two large bags of strawberry yoghurt coated pretzels, 48 packages of Dads cookies, 96 Costco granola bars, countless mini packages of Welches fruit snacks, three boxes of two-bite brownies, two boxes of Aussie Bites and three massive jars of pickles and every drop of pickle juice” were consumed by ravenous riders during and following the ride, Ronald-Jones noted.

He added that it was the perfect day for a climb, not too hot and only a little bit of rain.

“It was great until about 1:30-2 p.m. when the rain did show up, so the racers did get a variation for weather,” he said.

The next leg of the Island Cup enduro race series takes place on June 15 on Hornby Island.

Next year’s Cowichan stop on the Island Series will happen on Mount Tzouhalem.

“The Zoo is the polar opposite type of race,” Lestock-Kay said. “It’s the fun accessible race and this mountain is the technically challenging race.”