Fernie Alpine Resort hosts B.C. Downhill finals

The British Columbia Cup Downhill Mountain Bike Race series will be coming to a close on Aug. 27 and 28 at Fernie Alpine Resort.

The British Columbia Cup Downhill Mountain Bike Race series will be coming to a close on Aug. 27 and 28 at Fernie Alpine Resort. While this race will be the finals for the B.C. Downhill Mountain Bike Series it will also be the Fernie Legendary Summer BC Cup Downhill Race.

While the event officially begins on Aug. 27, the course will be marked and open on Aug. 26 for open training. Aug. 27 will also be for training runs and is the day of official race inspections. Aug. 28 is race day and will feature some of Canada’s fastest downhill riders blast down featured trails like Bike Thief and Deer Trail. The course will be similar to last year with one reroute in the top quarter of the course.

Stephan Exley of SE Racing is organizing the race in conjunction with Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR). He told The Free Press that 165 racers came out to get down last summer. As of Aug. 17, there were 100 racers registered and he expects to see another 50 to 100 by the time the event starts. He is also a big fan of the trails and features at FAR.

“Fernie has some of the best dirt found anywhere and the course is fast and full of flow. One of the favourites of the year,” he said.

Amongst his favourite features, Exley is looking forward to the two road gaps and “tall long drop into the finish.”

The event is ideal for spectators as one of Exley’s favourite features is adjacent to the Timber Chair, making it a prime spot due to its accessibility and proximity to the finish line. He also highlighted the “great pit area with a BBQ overlooking the course.”

According to Exley, two of the riders to look for are both from Kovarik Racing.

“Chris and Claire Kovarik,” he said. “They’re leading the series and the long time pro racers are now running clinics to teach new racers the skills to win.”

The event will have races for riders from ages two and up, including a Shimano Kids Race, scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday.