3rd Annual Vedder Mountain Bike Festival comes to Cultus Lake this weekend attracting athletes from all over North America
(Fraser Valley, BC) The Fraser Valley Mountain Bikers Association (FVMBA) is partnering with Cycling BC and the Canadian Enduro Series to bring the annual Vedder Mountain Bike Festival to Cultus Lake this weekend, May 12-13. Saturday, May 12 will feature the Vedder Mountain Classic, an XCM Premier race sanctioned by Cycling BC, as well as a kid’s race for children age 5-12. Sunday, May 13 will feature the Fraser Valley section of the MEC Canadian Enduro Series. This race is part of the Canadian National Enduro Championship, North American Enduro Tour, and Enduro World Series Qualifier.
For years, the FVMBA has been hosting mountain bike races in the Fraser Valley, and participant numbers have been steadily growing. This year’s Vedder Mountain Classic XCM has attracted hundreds of racers including racers, from as far as Italy, Las Vegas, Toronto, and Edmonton.
Sacha Torhaghi, 27-year-old member of the Wetlife Ridottiallosso Bike Team and is in the XCM 2018 Season in Italy, is traveling from Bernareggio, Monza E Brianza, Italy, a little town 25 km north of Milan. He learned of the race after seeing a post on Facebook from Olympic Medalist, Catherine Pendrel, who finished first in the Women’s Elite division with a time of 2:52:12 in last year’s Vedder Mountain Classic XCM. “After I saw the track on Trailforks, I hope to finish the race in under 3 hrs and maybe take 2nd or
3rd place on the podium,” says Torhaghi, “although I’m a little bit scared about the nine hours time difference between Italy and Canada, and how I will adjust within 4 days after arrival.”
“I’m excited to shred some awesome trails in BC and race the Vedder Mountain Classic XCM because I want to try a MTB race on the other side of the world!”
His local competition, Ricky Federau won’t make it easy on Torhaghi, with a goal to win the race and complete the course in 2:15:00. Federau won the race 2 years ago and came 4th last year.
Federau grew up in Fraser Valley riding Vedder Mountain, and the Vedder Classic is the first bike race he ever watched, and since then, Federau was hooked on mountain biking and began his 10 year career racing professionally world-wide. “So for me this race is very sentimental, I really wish the race was around during my prime,” says Federau. “I always think it would be so awesome if some kid watched the race this year and went off to race pro and get to the Olympics.”
“This race is a great opportunity to showcase our trails to people from all over the province and beyond. The venue for the Vedder Classic is second to none, Cultus Lake is amazing and you can easily hike up the mountain to see some of the action. There is a very good sized expo area set up so you can check out all kinds of new bike technology and grab a lunch then hang out in the beer garden and watch people limp across the line. Plus being a family guy it’s a great place to bring your kids to see some good wholesome fun. If I wasn’t racing I would be bring my family up to the Notorizer trail to heckle people for crashing or cramping, watching people cramp is the best!” (Federau)
The Vedder Mountain Classic has a short and long course option. The race has attracted competitors from all over North America, ranging in skill level from Novice, to Professional, to Olympian.
Tim Lawson, a registered short course novice competitor from Toronto, Ontario doesn’t mountain bike regularly because living in Toronto limits his ability to find good trails to ride; although, he does ride and race road and cyclocross for fun. Lawson is looking forward to the vertical in this course, “even the short course offers vertical that we don’t even have close to in Ontario,” he says. To prepare for the race: “I’ve done some indoor winter training with Zwift, I also just completed the Paris Roubaix Sportif in France (a bucket list trip) and the famous Paris Ancaster race in Ontario.”
Lawson is looking forward to the climbs and descents of Mt. Vedder, something that Fraser Valley residents are lucky enough to have at our fingertips!
Footage from last year’s Vedder Mountain Classic can be viewed at: http://www.veddermountainclassic.com/.
Sunday, May 13 will feature the Fraser Valley stop along the Enduro series. “The Enduro series is a race for both the competitive and non-competitive athlete. The idea behind Enduro is untimed uphills and timed descents. For our non-competitive athletes, it’s about getting out on group rides with friends to explore new riding areas, and finishing the race with a beer,” says Event Organizer, Ted Morton.
But, keep your eyes on Chilliwack’s local competitor, Max Leyen, who is the current Canadian Champion in the Canadian Enduro Series, and he’s one of the fastest Juniors in the World Enduro Series.
Leyen does most of his training on Vedder, and he also helps maintain the trails on Vedder.
Leyen started mountain biking in 2011 and competed in his first Downhill Race in 2012 at Kamloops Bike Ranch.
He likes the ability to control his own success in the sport and doesn’t have to rely on other factors that could potentially affect his success. “I like the fact that in mountain biking, and with Enduro racing specifically, you have to stay consistent for 7 to 8 hours, alongside being fully self-sufficient the whole time, whereas with lots of other sports that I have competed in in the past, the timeframe I had to be consistent for was a lot shorter compared to Enduro and, there was no self-sufficiency. I love that with mountain biking you can just hop on your bike any time and ride,” says Leyen.
When asked if he has any advice for someone who wants to try racing for the first time, Leyen offers: “go for it and dive in head first—though not literally, I’ve done that before, but that’s for another story. With Enduro racing, you don’t have to be scared to give racing a try. It’s more about the experience you’ll take out of it versus the result. So, if it’s your first race, I would say sign up for an Enduro event and go in with the focus being on having a good time on your bike and you’ll have a tough time not wanting to experience it again.”
Hundreds of people will be coming to Cultus Lake this weekend to take part in the Vedder Mountain Bike Festival. The Festival will also include: group rides, bike demos, prize giveaways, a beverage garden, a local food vendor, after party, and countless other entertaining events for families, casual bike riders, and outdoor enthusiasts. The public is invited to come out to the Bike Festival and celebrate some of best trails in BC.
For more information about the festival, go to veddermountainclassic.com/.