First-year event West Coast Racing's Cardiac Classic's cross country was held at Burnaby Mountain in British Columbia, Canada, where Stefan Widmer (Rocky Mtn- K Capital Source) and Joanna Harrington won the elite men's and women's races.
Many of BC's fastest women came out to play with Dawn Berg of Oak Bay Bikes / Everti handily scooping up the first lap hill climb cash prime for pros, before bringing home a second place overall finish on the day behind Aussie Harrington.
"It was very hard," said Berg. "They were tough climbs on a very hot day. The downhill was also fantastic. It was nice and technical, which made you stay focused and it left you with some adrenaline if you took things too fast!"
The Island Racing Club's Joele Guynup, who wound up her day two positions back from Berg after an epic battle with Melanie Vaughan of Steed Cycles. Vaughan eventually claimed the final spot on the elite women's podium with a scant one second lead.
Stefan Widmer of Rocky Mountain - K Capital Source p/b Different Bikes brought home the biggest haul of the day in the elite men's race, first nailing down hill climb cash prime and then executing an intelligently managed effort to hold off a stern challenge from Colin Kerr of Different Bikes and collect the lion's share of the cash prize purse, too.
Kerr held tough throughout what became a two-man battle with Widmer, who recently concluded a breakthrough campaign that saw him finish third in the 2008 Canada Cup national mountain bike series. Widmer's team-mate Kevin Calhoun rounded out the podium.
"The race was really tough," said Widmer. "A ton of climbing and some challenging descending." Course designers had laid out a challenge which put the pro men through 5,300 feet of cumulative elevation gain and loss over the relatively short distance of 31km.
"I went off the front at the start of the race to ensure that I would get the hill climb prime, but then Colin quickly got back on my wheel in the singletrack," said Widmer. "In fact, in the next two laps, Colin and I would climb together but he would continually ride the descents quicker then me putting a good 10-15 seconds into me each lap which I would have to make up at the start of the next climb. Knowing this, I pulled away on the last lap at the top of Cardiac Hill ensuring that I would get a gap on him and enter the singletrack first. After that, I kept it steady on the last climb and brought home my first ever BC Cup win."
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Cardiac Classic.