Test of Metal set for 2012 edition

Max Plaxton is a multi-time winner of the Test of Metal run annually in Squamish, British Columbia.

Max Plaxton is a multi-time winner of the Test of Metal run annually in Squamish, British Columbia. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

The Test of Metal mountain bike race in British Columbia, Canada, will happen again in 2012 on Squamish's world-renowned trails. Set for June 16, 2012, the 67km point-to-point race has previously attracted elite racers such as Canadian Olympians Alison Sydor, Geoff Kabush, and Seamus McGrath, world champion Catharine Pendrel, as well as notable celebrities like Vancouver Canuck icon Trevor Linden.

The Test of Metal is the centrepiece of the Squamish Mountain Bike Festival which runs from Friday, June 17 to Sunday June 19. The weekend's activities will include the "Pre-Test Festival" in downtown Squamish on Friday evening and the "Rock Star Invitational Downhill" on Sunday.

The Test of Metal Inc. is a not-for-profit society run by 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$145,000 to community organizations and events. A 2006 study done by the BC Mountain Bike Tourism Association established that the Test of Metal generates just under one million dollars of economic activity in Squamish every year.

Registration for the 2012 edition will open on January 1 at 6:00 pm local time and is expected to sell out as quickly as ever. Race director Cliff Miller said the 2011 event sold out in 23 minutes.

"It was crazy last year," Miller said, "but this year, with local racers already taken care of, we hope that we really open this up to get as many of those who want to ride into the race as possible. This our attempt to try to create as fair a process as possible."

A local's only registration for 200 people sold out in two hours and 30 minutes on December 1, 2011.

This year again, the 800 spots available will be filled on a first come, first served basis; but unlike in the past, there will be no wait list.

"We've heard from riders that they want certainty, this should address that. We will over-sell by 20 percent and anticipate that many not to make the start line," Miller said.

Catharine Pendrel and Kris Sneddon won the most recent edition in 2011.

For more information on the race, visit www.testofmetal.com.

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