Sunshine 5000 race report

Oh Canada

Feb 6th marked the 6th annual Sunshine 5000. The weather was perfect, blue sky, warm temps and nary a breath of wind made for comfortable race conditions.

The route down Delerium Dive in red

The race started fast and furious with the lead peloton winding through the forest before breaking out into the alpine at the top of the WaWa chair and continuing around to Mt Standish. The course had lower angled uptracks and steep short descents, favouring those with longer strides and polished transition skills.

A long alpine climb on the South west face of Lookout Mtn spaced the racers out well, leading them to the aesthetic stairs and airy traverse to the top of Delirium Dive. Even with good conditions in the Dive, caution was necessary and everyone made it through unscathed and on to the last gruelling climbs up Goat’s Eye. The well groomed skintrack led to a heinous bootpack through a sunbaked couloir and airy traverse under a cliff. Conditions here were some of the finest the Rockies had to offer(windslab and facets) and rewarded persistence and good line selection.

Caution again as competitors picked their way down the last descent, uncovering rocks and skiing for their lives in a thinly covered gully before making it onto a nice wide cruisy groomer until the finish line……

On-course arch nemisis’ Reiner Thoni and Brendan French(USA) duked it out until the photo-finish ending that Brendan conceded due to time penalty. James Minife was overcome on the last climb  by the Slovakian diesel engine Stano Faban and after a bad fall on the final descent  couldn’t catch him.  Stano’s effort was really impressive as he managed to actually speed up as the race went on.  The 5th and 6th  spots went to Ian Gale and Andrew Mcnab respectively .

Mel Bernier cruised into the finish line as the first female across with a hefty time margin slaying most of male racers. Behind her was Billie Velisek and Julie Matteau, who were neck and neck most of the race, swapping leads as both suffered skin failures.  Ultimately Velisek  managed to pull ahead into the lead. 

It was great to see almost all of the team out racing, and see some new smiling faces on the start line.  Thanks to Dave D, Ryan J and the whole crew of volunteers for organising this year’s Sunshine 5000!

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5 Responses

  1. Ian, thanks for keeping us on track on the second ascent. I would have gone the Stevo’s way if you weren’t there 🙂

    I was going with my head down and all of a sudden I was surprised where the course went. Then I decided to follow you since you were obviously paying more attention 🙂

  2. Hey Ian,
    … Thanks for the lift back to Golden after the race.
    Loved talking about the peaks between Sunshine and Golden … and dreaming of doing the Wapta Traverse in 1 day.

    Here’s my funny video of the race day … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JOnRkSm3ag

  3. good job on the great times guys!
    ian, i’m gonna tell dad you were wearing tight pants.

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