Even if the weather stays cool, this year's edition of the Test of Metal on Saturday, June 19, promises to be sizzling with at least nine past champions, representing 14 first place finishes, on the starting line.
"It's an unbelievable year," said race organizer Cliff Miller. "We've got confirmation that at least six past champions on the men's side and three from the women will be competing."
Leading the way is Canada's Geoff Kabush, who won the race in 1998. Kabush will be joined on the starting line by Carter Hovey (1996, 2002, 2004), Michael Pruner (1997), Ricky Federeau (2005), Neal Kindree (2006,2007), and Max Plaxton (2008, 2009).
Organizers have also heard rumours that Chad Miles (1999, 2000) and Andrew Kyle (2003) are planning to race this year.
"We're getting close to having all the men who have won since the long course was created in 1996," Miller said.
On the women's side, 2007 and 2009 champ Catharine Pendrel is expected to be joined by Wendy Simms (2008) and Linda Robichaud (1998).
"I think that if the weather holds, it's safe to say we will have a new course record set," Miller said. "The course is in fabulous shape, and these guys are going to be pushing one another through the race. It'll be very exciting to watch."
This is the 15th running of the Test of Metal on the long course in Squamish, and every year the race increases in popularity. This year it sold out the 800 available spots in less then 25 minutes.
The Test of Metal, a 67-kilometre mountain bike race, has sold out for the last 13 years. The race is run by a not-for-profit group of volunteers and any proceeds from the race are returned to the community through charitable donations. Since its inception, the Test of Metal has donated more than CAN$135,000 to community organizations and events.
For more information, visit www.testofmetal.com.