Benjamin Chaddock

Cyclocross racers complete back-to-back challenge

The Cross on the Rock series put on two highly competitive days of racing in Nanaimo this past weekend.

The Island’s most versatile bike racers were able to handle all kinds of terrain over two straight days.

The Cross on the Rock series put on two highly competitive days of racing in Nanaimo this past weekend with the Hot Cross Bunnies race on Saturday at Beban Park followed by the Kona Kup on Sunday at Bowen Park.

Nanaimo’s Carey Mark was a double winner in the expert women’s division, edging her Coal City Cycles teammate Janna Gillick, also of Nanaimo, both days. Mark finished her four laps at Beban in 47 minutes, 42 seconds, just 17 seconds ahead of Gillick, and then won by 29 seconds in the next day’s six-lap race, finishing in 50:32.

Another local winner was Norm Thibault, who finished first of 64 competitors in the masters men’s division at Beban. Thibault, representing the Mid Island Velo Association, finished his four laps in 43:28, just two seconds ahead of Ken Olson of Coal City. Olson was third in the next day’s Bowen Park race, finishing nine seconds behind first place in 46:54.

In other local results, 11-year-old Solace Stuart won the kids’ race at Beban and Matthew Evans of Rock City Cycles placed second in the beginner men’s race on Saturday, 33 seconds behind first.

Felix Burke of Victoria’s Broad Street Cycles won the expert men’s division both days, finishing his five laps Saturday in 50:57 and completing eight laps Sunday in 58:00.

The eight-race Cross on the Rock series concludes Nov. 20 in Saanich.

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