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BC Road Trip - Nationals and BC cup Panorama

17 août

Ahhh the West coast! Although we have great riding in the East, it doesn't really compare to the thousands of vertical feet of descent you can find in British Colombia, hence the flocking of Quebecers and Ontarians every summer. For a second year in a row, we've packed up the LAMA van and headed out to the Promised Land with the team booth tightly packed and the bikes neatly hitched to the THULE rack at the back of the van.
Traveling with bunch of comrades is the best way to go. Eat, sleep live in the van for 4 days! It's a life style: love it or leave it.
Picture taken at 1:00 am
Picture taken at 1:20 am...
This year, our itinerary was planned around nationals and the Canada cup, both talking place in Panorama BC. But before we made our way to Pano, we definitely needed to drop in at Camp of Champions based out of Whistler. We've been fortunate enough to hook up with the camp and provided them with some rides for the kids: 10 NS bikes, 2 Morewood Makulus and some Kali helmets. Jeff Young had extended an open invitation for participating companies to drop in and see what goes down at Camp. It was everything we expected and more! Camp is such a great place to be; the vibe, the people and the mountain…
We spent a whole week riding and living with the campers and staff. The thrill of being out in whistler with some of the best coaches is hard to put into words.  All I want to do is go back and “hang” with the guys, listen to very loud music during breakfast (!), shred some gnarly trails and send it on one of the coolest mountains out there! If you're lucky enough to have parents that will send you to Camp of Champions, make sure you are a perfect child to them! It would have been my dream come true to attend such a camp back in the day. The funny thing is, it still was a dream come true even though I'm in my late twenties!
Alas, all good things must come to an end…but the next chapter of our trip was a blast! Pack everything up, hop in the van and head East towards Panorama. Twelve hours later we hit our new home base for the next 2 weeks: Taynton lodge. We got ourselves a pretty sweet deal  in one of the upper village condos (oh yhea) with a great view, private hot tub and bike-in bike-out access. We couldn't complain.
The first weekend was the big one: Nationals. The track was super dusty and super fast with a winning time of 3:27:97 by Andrew Mitchell. Although there were many Quebecers representing in West coast territory, we didn't make a big splash. For some reason we didn't live up to the expectations we set during qualifying. Finals yielded an 8th and 9th place for the “frenchies”!  The fun part was seeing and spending some time with all the good people from the left side of our beautiful, yet very culturally different country.
During the week between the two races, we stayed put and enjoyed some time to relax and ride Panorama. It's a very dusty mountain but, nonetheless, very fun to ride. Just watch out for those grizzlies ay!
Friday rolled around pretty quickly, meaning we had to saddle back up again and get ready to race.  The track changed slightly for the Canada Cup by having the uphill section removed. It also took away a very fun technical section called “cliffs of insanity” but no one complained about skipping the uphill ;)
Rob Fraser took the lead with a 3:06:21 but the fastest man down the mountain was junior rider Nick Grimm from the Bryson Clan with a 3:05:69. Good Job Nick!
All in all we had an awesome trip filled with inside jokes, excellent riding, gourmet meals and great people to hang with. Next year we'll try and top this one off but it's going to be hard!

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